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Taxon  Report  
Opuntia basilaris  Engelm. & J. M. Bigelow  var. basilaris 
Beavertail cactus,   Beavertail pricklypear
Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris is a shrub (stem succulent) that is native to California.
Siskiyou Del Norte Modoc Humboldt Shasta Lassen Trinity Plumas Tehama Butte Mendocino Glenn Sierra Yuba Lake Nevada Colusa Placer Sutter El Dorado Yolo Alpine Napa Sonoma Sacramento Mono Amador Solano Calaveras Tuolumne San Joaquin Marin Contra Costa Alameda Santa Cruz Mariposa Madera San Francisco San Mateo Merced Fresno Stanislaus Santa Clara Inyo San Benito Tulare Kings Monterey San Bernardino San Luis Obispo Kern Santa Barbara Ventura Los Angeles Riverside Orange San Diego Imperial

Bloom Period
Parent: Opuntia basilaris
Genus: Opuntia
Family: Cactaceae  
Category: angiosperm  
PLANTS group:Dicot
Jepson eFlora section: eudicot

Name Status:
Accepted by JEF + PLANTS

Alternate Names:
PLANTSOpuntia basilaris var. heilii
JEF + PLANTSOpuntia basilaris var. ramosa
PLANTSOpuntia basilaris var. whitneyana
PLANTSOpuntia brachyclada ssp. humistrata
PLANTSOpuntia whitneyana var. albiflora
Information about  Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris from other sources
Nursery availability from CNPLX
Commercial availability unknown.
Jepson eFlora


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[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. Description 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. Taxonomy 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)

Suggested Citation
Calflora: Information on California plants for education, research and conservation, with data contributed by public and private institutions and individuals. [web application]. 2024. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a non-profit organization]. Available: https://www.calflora.org/   (Accessed: 04/12/2024).