Desert Christmas cactus facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsDesert Christmas cactus
Cylindropuntia leptocaulis, the desert Christmas cactus, desert Christmas cholla, pencil cactus, or tasajillo, is a species of cholla cactus.
The shrubby Cylindropuntia leptocaulis plants reach .5 to 1.8 m (1.6 to 5.9 ft) tall, reaching the extreme height when supported within desert trees. Branches are narrow, 3–5 mm across. Spines 0-1 (occasionally as many as 3) at each areole. Flowers open in the late afternoon and are pale yellow or greenish yellow, with occasional red tips.
Around December, the plant grows red berries that when consumed, can have an intoxicating effect. The fruits are crushed and mixed with a beverage by the Apache, Chiricahua, and Mescalero to produce narcotic effects.
Desert Christmas Cactus in Sahuarita, Arizona.
Desert Christmas cactus Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.