Many years ago, I remember seeing cacti in the high plains of Colorado
(or maybe it was northern New Mexico or the Texas panhandle) that had
big purpley-red flowers -- I think they were double or semidouble
flowers. Some of them that otherwise looked identical had much less
showy yellow flowers. The cactus were upright, many-branched, and had
long thorns. I believe they were a variety of cholla.
On recent visits to that area, I can only find a few yellow-flowered
cacti, execpt for 1 red plant that I saw in a bed in a national park
(and didn't think it would be a good idea to pinch off a piece.) Is
this enough information to identify which species it was?
I would guess that it gets rather cold at 7000 feet in Colorado, but I
don't really know. I would also guess that the problem would be
keeping it dry while it is cold, but I don't really know that either.
Green and somewhat spineless, this cholla resembles the Cane Cholla,
which also turns purplish in colder weather. Prevalent in desert
flats, and in Pinyon and Juniper stands.
Desert: Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico and Texas north to semi-desert
areas of eastern Colorado and western Oklahoma.
Height: Up to 7 feet
Joints: Very fat with tubercles
Flowers: Deep lavender to red
Fruit: 2-inch-long, yellow, oval
Elevation: 2,000 -7,000 feet
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