Plant Image
Plant - summer
Hwy 71 - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Opuntia basilaris - beavertail cactus

Other Common Names: beavertail prickly pear
Plant Form: Cacti

Family: Cactaceae

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Plant - summer
Hwy 71
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Hwy 71
Sue Smith
Hwy 71
Sue Smith
Hwy 71
Sue Smith
Plant Description

Origin: Native
General Desc: Typically branches from the base and remains low. Grows in clumps. Pads resemble a beaver's tail. Occurs on desert plains, dry mountain slopes and in washes.
Height: 2 feet     Width: 6 feet


Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 200 - 6000 feet


Color: Pink to magenta     Flowering Period: Mar - Jun
Description: 3 inches wide. Clusters along the upper end of the pad for 3 to 4 weeks.


Stem Color: Grayish-Green     Number of Stems:     Stem Shape:     Stems Segmented:     Stem Surface:
Stem Description: Stems are flat jointed pads 1 foot long to 6 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Pads are oval in shape. New pads grow from the bases of older pads.

Areoles (structures unique to cacti, found on the stems, areas from which spines, flowers and fruits emerge)

Areole Description:
Spine Color: Reddish-brown     Spines Hooked:    
Spine Description: Spineless but do have reddish-brown glochids, tiny hair-like spines, to 1/8 inch long dotted on pads and fruits.


Fruit Color: Grayish   
Fruit Notes: Oval fruit to 1 inch long. Sparsely covered with glochids. Dry at maturity. Dry fruits contain very large seeds.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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