Stay On the Trail

Blooming Cholla Cactus

Here's another plant that serves many purposes in the desert Southwest. Cholla (genus Cylindropuntia, family Cactaceae) grows in the plains and foothills across the Southwest. It's a native species, closely related to the Prickly Pear, that grows in thin soil and on hot, dry sun-baked locations.

Cholla (pronounced "choy-uh") is also quite effective at encouraging hikers, bikers and equestrians to stay on trail, rather than tromping across fragile desert soil. The fruit is edible and I'm looking forward to gathering cholla and prickly pear fruit in the fall and maybe making some jam.

More Info:

Wikipedia: Cylindropuntia (Cholla Cactus)

Prickly Pear Cactus

Cactus Recipes

Mother Earth News: Pick a Peck of Prickly Pears