Boxing glove cactus

Boxing glove cactus

Cylindropuntia fulgida

Common Name:

Boxing glove cactus

Scientific Name:

Cylindropuntia fulgida

Alternative common names:

Boxing glove cholla, Club cactus, Coral cactus, Jumping cactus, 


Distinguished by presence of distorted segments; corrugated surface of segments; presence of small bristles (glochids) in clusters in depressions (areoles) on segments, these glochids readily attach to skin and are difficult to remove, areoles also have white to brownish spines, thorns are at the base of areoles and glochids at the tops; absence of flowers and therefore fruit.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Boxing glove cholla, Club cactus, Coral cactus, Jumping cactus,

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA - Category 1b.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Arid regions of the Northern and Eastern Cape as well as the Limpopo Province

How does it spread?

Spreads vegetatively by movement of segments which root where they contact the ground. Much of the movement is by water down watercourses.

Why is it a problem?

Boxing-glove cactus injures human beings and animals and drastically reduces the carrying capacity of affected land.

What does it look like?

Leaves: Leaves reduced into spines

Flowers: Flowers, which are not often seen, have magenta, backwards-curving "petals", just like chain-fruit cholla

Fruit/seeds: Boxing-glove cactus also produces its fruit in chains but, in contrast with the smooth fruit of chain-fruit cholla, its fruit have distinct tubercles. Like chain-fruit cholla, its fruit are also sterile.

Does the plant have any uses?

During droughts animals like the bighorn sheep rely on the juicy fruit for food and water. Because they grow in inaccessible and hostile places of the desert

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