Opuntia basilaris Engelm. & J. M. Bigelow var. basilaris
Beavertail cactus, Beavertail pricklypear
2019 Diane Etchison 2019 Diane Etchison 2019 Ryan Hall 2023 Steve Matson 2023 Julia Markey 2007 Steve Matson 2023 Bob Steele 2023 Bob Steele 2023 Steve Matson 2007 Steve Matson 2023 Julia Markey 2007 Steve Matson 2013 James Gonsman
Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris is a shrub (stem succulent) that is native to California.
[Wikipedia] Range, Description, Taxonomy: Opuntia basilaris, the beavertail cactus or beavertail pricklypear, is a cactus species found in the southwest United States. It occurs mostly in the Mojave, Anza-Borrego, and Colorado Deserts, as well as in the Colorado Plateau and northwest Mexico. It is also found throughout the Grand Canyon and Colorado River region as well as into southern Utah and Nevada, and in the western Arizona regions along the Lower Colorado River Valley.
Opuntia basilaris is a medium-sized to small prickly pear cactus 70 to 400 mm tall, with pink to rose colored flowers. A single plant may consist of hundreds of fleshy, flattened pads. These are more or less blue-gray, depending on variety, 50 to 210 mm long and less than 100 mm (3.9 in) wide and 10 to 15 mm thick. They are typically spineless, but as is typical for Opuntia species, have many small barbed bristles, called glochids, that easily penetrate the skin. Opuntia basilaris blooms from spring to early summer.
Opuntia basilaris, Opuntia sphærocarpa, Opuntia erinacea
One of the first known descriptions of opuntia basilaris come from the reports of the explorations and surveys for a railroad route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. This expedition followed the 35th parallel through New Mexico, Arizona, and California. In the 4th volume of this report, The Botany of the Expedition, by George Engelmann and John M. Bigelow, Opuntia basilaris is described as a stout fan shaped opuntia resembling an open cabbage head, with accompanying illustrations. (contributed by Mary Ann Machi)
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