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Teddy Bear Cholla, Choya Güera
Scientific Name: Cylindropuntia bigelovii (Engelm.) F.M. Knuth
Synonym: Opuntia bigelovii var. ciribe, Opuntia bigelovii, Opuntia ciribe
Family: Cactaceae
Teddy Bear Cholla, Choya Güera (Cylindropuntia  bigelovii) Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 10-13

Frost Tolerance: Hardy to 5°F (-15°C)

Minimum Avg. Temperature: 50°F (10°C)

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Origin: Mojave and Colorado deserts of USA (Arizona, California) and Mexico (Sonora)

Growth Habits: Shrubby cactus up to 8 feet tall (2.4 m), generally around 4 feet tall (1.2 m), well defined trunk; tuberculate segments 2 to 8 inches long (5-20 cm), 2 inches in diameter (5 cm);small yellow glochids; 6 to 10 barbed spines, 0.8 to 1.2 inches long (2-3 cm).

Watering Needs: Little to no water when established

Propagation: Cuttings, the fruits often contain no seeds.


The stems of this Cholla break loose very easily (it is also called jumping cholla). This cactus is famous for the way their spines get then stuck in the skin of the their victim. Removing the stem has to be done very carefully to avoid sticking more spines, and each spine has then to be removed one by one. By now I am sure you get the picture.
Opuntia ciribe is a form of C. bigelovii endemic to the Sierra de la Giganta, in Baja California Sur.

Teddy Bear Cholla, Choya Güera (Cylindropuntia  bigelovii)

Blooming Habits:
Yellow flowers with reddish tinge, 1.2 to 1.6 inches in diameter (3-4 cm). Green ovoid fruit, 1.1 to 1.4 inches in diameter (2.7-3.5 cm).

Fruiting Habits:

Check for Field Collection numbers at Ralph Martin's Site


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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

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