Cylindropuntia kleiniae, Candle Cholla, is a tall, slender cholla whose population epicentre is the Chihuahuan Desert where it is found on both sides of the USA/Mexican border although it grows as far south into Mexico as Hidalgo and Veracruz and north into Oklahoma where it has naturalised. For a cholla it is relatively free from spines with usually only one long central spine per areole (although sometimes more) and very small glochids leaving the elongated greyish-green stems somewhat naked and unobscured. The elongated cylindroid cladodes form an open multi-branched bush often with several branches forming at each node that in time can reach between one and two metres in height and as many in width. The flowers are pinkish to purple with yellow anthers and do not open again after the first day. They are followed by reddish or orange-red fruits that have glochids but no spines.
One of the common names Cylindropuntia kleiniae is often referred to is Klein's Candle Cholla. However, Cylindropuntia kleiniae was named after Cacalia kleinia (now Kleinia nerifolia), the Canary Island succulent whose candle-like appearance it (rather loosely) resembles. As a common name, Klein's Candle Cholla may therefore be misapplied as it is not named after anyone called Klein but after another plant.
In cultivation, Cylindropuntia kleiniae is a very easy cactus to grow and ideal for a sunny, well-drained xerophytic garden where it forms a perfect planting combination with other Opuntiads, Agaves and Yuccas. It requires a gritty alkaline substrate and ideally should be kept as dry as possible through the winter months.
|Synonyms||Cylindropuntia caerulescens, Cylindropuntia congesta, Cylindropuntia recondita, Cylindropuntia recondita var. perrita, Grusonia kleiniae, Opuntia caerulescens, Opuntia congesta, Opuntia kleiniae, Opuntia perrita, Opuntia recondita, Opuntia wrightii|
|Geographical Origin||USA: Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma; Mexico: (mainly) Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo Leon, (but also) Sonora, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi, Guanajuato, Queretaro, Hidalgo, Veracruz|
|Cultivation||Full sun. Free-draining gritty/sandy soil with very little organic material. Alakaline pH. Plant on a gradient or raised bed to increase drainage|
|Hardiness||Hardy in warmer locations but must have perfect drainage in the UK. A sheltered aspect in full sun is ideal. A thick mulch of grit and stone in winter. Chollas can 'droop' in very cold weather. Fleece to keep it dry as much as to keep it warm|
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