|The cholla (pronounced CHOY-uh) is also known as the teddy bear cactus due to its soft appearance at a distance.|
Believe it or not, the jumping cholla is commonly used in cultivation, especially in the areas where it is native. It may help that the flowers are a bright shade of pink. Chollas can be quite useful, such as habitat for several native species, including as a nesting place for a species of thrasher.The can also be planted to create a natural fence since the well-armed nature of the plant would discourage all but the craziest intruder.
|A close up of a cholla spine|
One of my very early memories involves this plant. My grandparents used to live in Arizona, and my grandfather made me afraid of the jumping cholla. He told me to steer clear, or it would jump out and bite me. The warning was necessary, as my father ended up getting stuck soon thereafter. Needless to say, my six-year-old self gave them a wide berth!
Source is Desert Connections. Images are from Wikimedia Commons and are under a crative commons license or are copyright free: one, two.