Cylindropuntia fulgida  Chainfruit Cholla, Jumping Cholla
CACTUS.  Large, substantial, treelike cholla with two distinct forms, one with long, dense yellow spines (left photo) and a slightly less common one with shorter, sparser spines.  Both forms may be found growing together.  Flowers small, bright magenta, blooming in mid to late summer.  Fruits green, remaining on the plant for years and forming long chainlike clusters.  Branches detach at the slightest touch and plants can "explode" in high winds, scattering joints that quickly take root and grow.  In the Empires, occasional in low, dry, deflated desert flats.  Very abundant immediately to the west of the Empires on the bajada north of Mount Fagan.
FAMILY:  Cactaceae (Cactus Family)