I got this image from the archive. When we went to Arizona in May to buy our property there, a lot of the cactus were in bloom. There is a pencil cholla in our new back yard that will have flowers like this one next spring. Click on the image to enlarge.
From Todd’s Desert Hiking Guide:
The Pencil Cholla is a member of the Cactus Family. It is a shrubby cactus which can grow to 9 feet in height and has many cylindrical, smooth, jointed sections which are up to 6 inches in length and 0.5 inches in diameter. The plant typically grows in the southern portions of Arizona in sandy plains and washes at elevations between 1000 – 3000 feet. The Pencil Cholla gets its name from the many narrow jointed segments which comprise the cactus.
The Pencil Cholla typically blooms between May – June and produces yellow, greenish or brown flowers to 1 inch in length, followed by a spineless red tinged fruit to 1.5 inches in length.