Austrocylindropuntia verschaffeltii, South American Cholla
Austrocylindropuntia verschaffeltii, formerly known as an Opuntia, is a small cholla from South America. Those little tubular red-purple things are leaves and they are only on the new growth – that’s how you know this is healthy! – and will drop off as the stems age. They get orange flowers, almost the same color as California Poppies.
These are a short plant, getting at most 12″ tall. Generally considered Bolivian, but also found South to Argentina.
While in the Opuntioideae Subfamily of Cactus, they are different than the Opuntias proper because they have cylindrical stems and are lacking the spine sheaths of the North American Chollas (Cylindropuntia).