Teddy Bear Cholla

Share native plant sightings, info about plants that grow in the Death Valley area, or ask questions about wild desert plants here.

Teddy Bear Cholla

Postby blackturtle.us » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:01 pm

Teddy Bear Cholla
Steve Hall found a colony of what he believes to be Teddy Bear Cholla recently while hiking in Nova Canyon. A plant expert from DVNP agrees with him and an outside expert will be checking out the colony to confirm that they actually are Teddy Bear Cholla (Cylindropuntia bigelovii) and not some other species of cholla. What makes this find exciting is that this may be the furthest north that Teddy Bear Cholla has ever been observed growing in a natural state. My feeling is that there's a very good chance that the plants in this colony are actually silver cholla (Cylindropuntia echinocarpa) or Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa) or possibly some hybrid with Cylindropuntia bigelovii, but we'll have to see what the outside expert determines. There will most likely be an official press release from DVNP should the group of cholla indeed turn out to be Teddy Bear Cholla! One way or the other this is a neat find. BTW, check out my recent blog on
Silver Cholla by clicking here!
The reports will include 3 reports on the Nova Canyon area exploration which resulted in the co-discovery of the stunning Teddy Bear Cholla gardens. A press release may be issued on our discovery soon. I was told that an outside expert will travel to the park soon to visit our Teddy Bear Chollas and it has been confirmed that this is the farthest north that they have ever been found. The previous farthest north group of Teddy Bear Chollas is actually 200km to the south!

Steve's Blog: http://panamintcity.com/dvablog/?m=201403
User avatar
blackturtle.us
Backcountry Hiker
 
Posts: 198
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:20 pm
Location: Turtle Town

Re: Teddy Bear Cholla

Postby wildrose » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:54 am

blackturtle.us: This is interesting. I did a little research and I read your blog as well as information posted at a few other websites and you're probably right since chollas are known to hybridize quite readily according to what I was able to read. It seems unlikely that a pure strain of Teddy Bear Cactus would grow in isolation so far outside its normal range unless of course they got stranded in Nova Canyon centuries ago while the rest of their species died out. In that case some kind of tests to see if there has been any genetic drift within this population should be done.
User avatar
wildrose
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:41 pm
Location: middle of nowhere

Re: Teddy Bear Cholla

Postby cactuspete » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:29 am

I believe that Teddy Bear Cholla is also sometimes called Jumping Cholla because they seem to jump out at and attach themselves to people who pass by too close to them. Segments of the plant break off easily and those who just barely brush up against them wind up pulling one off due to barbs on the spines. In the process other spines dig into the clothes or skin of the unfortunate victim and it can be a real pain in the ass detaching oneself from the segment and all the spines! Not exactly what I'd call a cuddly and loveable Teddy Bear!!!
User avatar
cactuspete
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 960
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:14 am
Location: The Boonies

Re: Jumping Cholla

Postby CactusHugger » Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:59 am

Jumping Cholla: I don't think I want to tangle with that kind of cactus! Despite what you may think based on my name, I'm not no masochist! When it comes to cactus, look but don't touch, is a good rule!
User avatar
CactusHugger
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:29 am
Location: The Cactus Patch

Re: Teddy Bear Cholla

Postby surfsteve » Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:37 pm

The wiki says that teddy bear and jumping cholla are closely related. I guess they look the same and the only way to tell is to lightly brush up against one and see how bad you regret it.
Make Trona great again!
surfsteve
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 2077
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:57 am
Location: everywhere

Re: Teddy Bear Cholla

Postby wildrose » Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:38 am

My understanding is that Teddy Bear Cholla and Jumping Cholla are just two common names for the same species. It's possible that the common names get applied to different species, but I've never actually heard anyone use them to refer to anything but C. bigelovii.
User avatar
wildrose
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:41 pm
Location: middle of nowhere

Re: Teddy Bear Cholla

Postby surfsteve » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:18 am

Trust me. I know from experience. They are 2 different types of cholla. If you haven't seen one in a while you wont be able to tell them apart because they look virtually identical, but after hiking through them a while I noticed the jumping cactus didn't have as bright of color or to grow quite as big. Also the jumping cactus tended to have huge piles of their cactus ears below them while the regular ones did not. You can get pretty messed up from a regular Cholla if you aren't careful but nothing compared to jumping cactus. It's as if they are spring loaded and they will jump off and stick really hard to you if you even brush so much as a hair against them. When I was a kid I used to throw rocks at them and the pods of the jumping cactus would fall off like rain. At the time I thought I was disarming them but in reality I was helping them spread. My cousin used to say that cowboys had been known to shoot themselves if they fell off their horses into a patch of them rather than endure the pain.
Make Trona great again!
surfsteve
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 2077
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:57 am
Location: everywhere

Re: Teddy Bear Cholla

Postby CactusHugger » Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:43 am

surfsteve: Nice story! Sounds like a little bit of exaggeration the part about cowboys shooting themselves, but it makes for a good story! I've had to deal with a cholla pod before and it took a good half hour to get it detached and the spines pulled out. What a pain!!!
User avatar
CactusHugger
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:29 am
Location: The Cactus Patch

Re: Teddy Bear Cholla

Postby tronagirl » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:10 am

It seems deceptive to me to name a cactus after something that is soft and cuddly. I wonder how many children have been told that it's a Teddy Bear Cactus and then try to pet it and wind up with a cactus pod stuck to them. Talk about childhood trauma!
tronagirl
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 585
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:55 am

Re: Teddy Bear Cholla

Postby tronagirl » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:54 am

I saw some cholla blooming last week out in the desert, but I don't know how to share my pictures here. Maybe someone can post a cholla cactus picture here just so everyone can know what they look like. The one I saw was a yellowish-green.
tronagirl
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 585
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:55 am

Next

Return to Native Plants Information

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest