cholla

/chohl"yah, -yeuh/; Sp. /chaw"yah/, n., pl. chollas /chohl"yahz, -yeuhz/; Sp. /chaw"yahs/.
any of several spiny treelike cacti belonging to the genus Opuntia, esp. O. fulgida of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico, having knobby outgrowths and yellow spines.
[1855-60, Amer.; < MexSp cholla head (perh. < OF (dial.) cholle ball < Gmc); see KEEL1]

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Any cactus of the genus Opuntia, native to North and South America, having needlelike spines partly enclosed in a papery sheath.

Chollas vary greatly in size and have small flowers, sometimes chartreuse and inconspicuous, but usually of more striking colors. O. leptocaulis, the desert Christmas cactus, bears bright red fruits through the winter. Living plants serve as food for desert animals. Cholla wood, a hollow cylinder with regularly spaced holes, is used for fuel and novelties. Some cholla fruit is edible.

Jumping cholla (Opuntia bigelovii)

Grant Heilman

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plant
 any cylindroid-jointed cactus of the genus Opuntia, family Cactaceae, native to North and South America. Chollas vary in size, from the small O. pulchella, which is almost never noticed except when blooming, to small trees about 3 m (10 feet) in height.

 They have small flowers, sometimes chartreuse and inconspicuous, but more commonly of more striking colours. At least three species—O. pulchella, O. imbricata, and O. whipplei—are hardy to -18° C (0° F) or below. O. leptocaulis, the desert Christmas cactus, holds its bright red fruits through the winter. Eve's pin cushion (O. subulata), found in South America, has large leaves for an Opuntia; they are awl-shaped, grow to 12.5 cm (5 inches) long, and last much longer than the usual few weeks.

      The living plants serve as food for desert livestock, and cholla wood, a hollow cylinder with regularly spaced holes, is used for fuel and novelties. Some cholla fruit is edible.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cholla — can refer to the following things: Cholla cacti, a genus of cyllindrically stemmed cacti Cholla (horse), a painting horse born in Nevada Jeolla (Chŏlla), former Korean province Jeollabuk do (North Jeolla), province in the southwest of South Korea …   Wikipedia

  • cholla — 1. f. Entendimiento, juicio. 2. coloq. cabeza (ǁ parte superior del cuerpo) …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • cholla — ☆ cholla [chōl′yä, chō′yä ] n. [MexSp < Sp, lit., skull, head] a spiny cactus (genus Opuntia) with cylindrical stems, growing in the SW U.S. and Mexico …   English World dictionary

  • cholla — ► sustantivo femenino 1 ANATOMÍA coloquial Cabeza humana: ■ al salir del coche se dio un golpe en la cholla. 2 coloquial Inteligencia, entendimiento o talento. 3 Colombia, América Central Pereza, cachaza: ■ con esa cholla no va a conseguir… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • cholla — noun Etymology: Mexican Spanish, from Spanish, head Date: 1846 any of numerous shrubby opuntias chiefly of the southwestern United States and Mexico that have needlelike spines partly enclosed in a papery sheath and cylindrical joints called also …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cholla — [ tʃɔɪə] noun a cactus with a cylindrical stem, native to Mexico and the south western US. [Genus Opuntia.] Origin C19: Mex. Sp. use of Sp. cholla skull, head …   English new terms dictionary

  • cholla — chol•la [[t]ˈtʃɔɪ ə[/t]] n. pl. las pln any of several cylindrical treelike cacti of the genus Opuntia, of Mexico and the southwestern U.S., having yellow spines • Etymology: 1855–60, amer.; < MexSp cholla head …   From formal English to slang

  • cholla — noun arborescent cacti having very spiny cylindrical stem segments; southwestern United States and Mexico • Syn: ↑Opuntia cholla • Hypernyms: ↑cactus • Member Holonyms: ↑Opuntia, ↑genus Opuntia …   Useful english dictionary

  • cholla — noun Any of several species of cactus in the genus Cylindropuntia, having very spiny, cylindrical stem segments …   Wiktionary

  • cholla — Sinónimos: ■ cabeza, chola ■ entendimiento, juicio …   Diccionario de sinónimos y antónimos

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