Summary of coastal cholla and its traditional use

Kumeyaay name: etat'kwilly

Coastal Cholla (Cylindropuntia prolifera, aka Opuntia prolifera)


Coastal cholla is a native cactus from southern California and the Channel Islands. This cactus grows along ocean bluffs and reaches a maximum height of 10 feet. The spines on its flattened stems (pads) can get up to ¾ inches long. Its purple to red flowers bloom in the spring and summer.

The Kumeyaay make good use of this plant. The fruits are eaten raw, while the branches are boiled and eaten. Seeds are collected in July and eaten as pinole.