• Sunrise at the Cholla Cactus Garden

    Joshua Tree

    National Park California

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Cottonwood Trails Closed

    Trail access remains closed to Cottonwood Spring Oasis, Lost Palms Oasis, and Mastodon Peak. More »

  • Pinto Basin Road Under Construction; Expect travel delays up to 30-minutes

    The ongoing construction project to improve Pinto Basin Road will impact travel between the northern portion of the park and the Cottonwood/I-10 area. Please plan accordingly. The project is expected to be completed in August 2014. More »

  • Deteriorating conditions of Black Rock Canyon Road

    The road leading to Black Rock campground has deep potholes, is deeply rutted, and can be difficult to negotiate, especially in large vehicles. Please drive with caution.

Cacti / Desert Succulents

Silver Cholla Bloom
Silver Cholla Bloom
National Park Service
 
Hot temperatures pose special problems for cacti. Most leafy plants cool themselves during the day by opening their pores. The movement of water from stem to leaf to air keeps leaf temperatures from rising too high. Because their pores open only at night, cacti cannot take advantage of such transpirational cooling. They adapt to desert heat by internal mechanisms. Teddybear cholla, for instance, can withstand an air temperature of 138 degrees F. Most other plants would literally cook at this temperature, but teddybear cholla often rises 59 degrees F or more above the air temperature!
 

Cacti of Joshua Tree National Park

Coryphantha alversonii (cushion foxtail cactus)
Cylindropuntia bigelovii (teddybear cholla)
Cylindropuntia echinocarpa (silver cholla)
Cylindropuntia ramosissima (pencil cholla)
Echinocactus polycephalus (cottontop cactus)
Echinocereus engelmannii (hedgehog cactus)
Echinocereus mojavensis (Mojave mound cactus)
Ferocactus cylindraceus (California barrel cactus)
Grusonia parishii (matted cholla)
Mammillaria tetrancistra (common fishhook cactus)
Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris (beavertail pricklypear)
Opuntia chlorotica (dollarjoint pricklypear)
Opuntia phaeacantha (tulip pricklypear)
Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea (grizzlybear pricklypear)

Did You Know?

Joshua Tree Blooms

One of the most beautiful spectacles in spring is the creamy-white blossoms of Joshua trees. These white candles can be seen from February to late March. Joshua trees do not branch until after they bloom, and they don’t bloom every year. More...