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A Cactus With Christmas In It's Name!

The Desert Christmas Cholla (Cylindropuntia leptocaulis) produces small fruits which turn red or red-orange during winter, typically in December. To some these colored fruits resemble small Christmas ornaments.


The Desert Christmas Cholla, a New Mexico Native, has slender stems and grows to about 2’ to 3’ tall and wide. This cholla is best grown in full sun on well-drained soils with only occasional watering. It produces cream colored flowers and is Hardy to USDA zone 6.

Trees That Please Nursery propagates the Desert Christmas Cholla and has them available in 1 or 5 gallon containers. The Desert Christmas Cholla  makes a great Christmas Gift and addition to the low water – low maintenance landscape.

Photos and Narrative By:
Steve Sain

Staff Plant Physiologist

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