Cylindropuntia x kelvinensis
is a natural hybrid of two other south central Arizona species, cylindropuntia fulgida
(jumping cholla) and cylindropuntia spinosior
(cane cholla), and resembles a more lightly-spined version of the former. The general shape of the shrub and its green or purplish branches is similar to the jumping cholla, and the plant also has short chains of spineless green fruit that persist for several years. Spines on the stems may be absent, but if present number up to 13, are no more than an inch long, usually shorter, and generally do not overlap with adjacent clusters. Branches are typically just over an inch in diameter, intermediate between the two ancestor species.