Opuntia basilaris Engelm. & J. Bigelow var. basilaris

Beavertail Cactus
Cactaceae (Cactus Family)


Beavertail cactus is a succulent, low-spreading, spineless perennial with flat, obovate to roundish pads 5"-10" long, glaucous, and often transversely wrinkled.  The areoles contain numerous short brown glochids or barbed bristles which can be painful if one brushes against them.  The showy rose to magenta, rarely white, flowers appear on the upper margins of joints.  The obovoid fruits are dry when ripe and are a little more than an inch long.  Beavertail cactus is frequently found on dry benches and fans to 6000' in creosote bush scrub and joshua tree woodland and ranges across both deserts, less commonly in drier areas closer to the coast.  It blooms from March to June.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Opuntia 2) basilaris.
Pronunciation: oh-PUN-tee-a bas-i-LARE-is.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.