|What is a Jumping Cholla?|
The cholla (pronounced choy-a) is perhaps the most feared and hated cacti in the southwest desert. If you brush up against one, you will know why.
There are several types of Jumping Cholla cacti in the desert southwest, but all of them were called the "jumping" cacti in past days because they seemed to jump when a boot or shoe would walk on or near them.
How could a plant so
nasty be so beautiful? Good question, and one more mystery
of the desert. The plant (especially the Teddy Bear Cholla with its golden
spines) is quite beautiful at sunrise and sunset. As the sun catches the tips of
the spines, the plants radiate a cast of yellow, and look quite soft sometimes
with an appearance of velvet. Add to this the pink flower it produces and the
plant is delightful to look at ... but not touch.
Because some of the Jumping Cholla cacti can grow to heights of 8 feet tall, they look like strange, distorted trees, each with its own personality.
Believe it or not, the cactus wren builds nests on the Jumping Cholla. The nests are quite secure amongst all the spines and the bird knows how to avoid the spines of the Jumping Cholla.
This plant propagates and spreads throughout the desert by its own defense mechanisms: Its spines attach to anything that can carry it around, animals, people, the wind. When a Jumping Cholla finds a new home, with a little time, and contact with the soil, it begins to root and grow.
...... and that's what our computer consulting and commercial graphic/print company Jumping Cholla Enterprises, Inc. (JCE for short) is named for.
Website last updated Monday April 21, 2003