Discovering the Desert / Diverse Landscapes

Teddy Bear Cholla (Cylindropuntia bigelovii) joints

Teddy Bear Cholla (Cylindropuntia bigelovii) joints

Plantae, Anthophyta, Dicotyledoneae, Caryophyllales, Cactaceae

Cacti such as the Teddy Bear Cholla are uniquely designed for survival in a hot, dry environment. They have succulent stems with a thick coating of waxy cuticle to prevent water loss, and their roots spread widely to help capture rainfall. Cactus spines are highly modified leaves which provide defense against herbivores, prevent water loss by reducing and modifying airflow, and create shade around the stem. As the spines are not capable of photosynthesis, the plant’s food production is provided by the fleshy stems.

This specimen was collected by Tasha La Doux on March 15, 2011.

H 42, W 29 cm
Joshua Tree National Park, JOTR 31921