Tesajo Cactus, Rat-tail Cactus, Slender-stem Cactus, Garambullo, Pencil Cholla, Desert Christmas Cactus

Cylindropuntia leptocaulis (DC.) F.M. Knuth

Whole plant

Family : Cactaceae

Longevity : Perennial

Origin : Native

Season : Warm

Tasajillo is a thicket-forming cactus that stands from about 1/2 to 6 1/2 feet tall. The trunk measures 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter. The stems are cylindrical and in varying shades of green. The small greenish-yellow flowers bloom from July to August. The red berries are eaten by white-tailed deer, quail, turkey and other small mammals. Cactus wrens are known to nest in larger plants. White-tailed deer also eat the succulent new growth, but Tasajillo is of no use to livestock or humans. The spines stick into the flesh of livestock and humans and are difficult to remove.

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