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Beaver Tail Prickly Pear

Opuntia basilaris

Details & Attributes

Plant Type(s) Cactus, succulent, perennial
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Low
Sun Full sun
Pollinators Bees
Has Spines Yes
In relative feet, width by height
1-2' × 3-4'
Flowering Season February-June
Flower Color Pink (occasionally white)
Minimum Temperature Range 0 °F
Leaf Description Bluish/purple cladodes (pads)
Fruit Green fruits with numerous tan seeds
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Elevation Range 1000-5500 ft.
Description A common prickly pear in western Arizona where it occupies habitats ranging from scorching desert washes to oak and juniper studded woodland. In general this species stays low to the ground, spreading wider than tall, forming a patch which erupts in showy pink flowers in the spring. Beaver tail prickly pear is generally more or less spineless, though it still has glochids (those prickly hairs which get stuck in your skin!), and the pads take on a gorgeous purple hue in response to sun or cold exposure.