is a relatively lightly spined cholla, forming untidy clumps with thin branches, up to 6 inches long and less than one inch across. The thick white spines usually number 1 or 2 per areole, but may be absent. In some parts of its range the species forms hybrids with the Christmas cholla
and the tree cholla
. The candle cholla is found mostly in the arid, lightly populated grasslands of New Mexico and west Texas, so is not often encountered. Fruits are orange to brown, quite different to the deep red fruits of the Christmas cholla, which inhabits a similar area.