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Opuntia basilaris

Pronunciation: Oh-pun-tee-a bas-i-lare-is
Family: Cactaceae
Synonym: Brisiliopuntia braziliensis
Common Name: Beavertail cactus
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
  • succulent and cactus
Height to: 2'
Width to: 4'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
Notes for Identification: Origin: sonoran and mojave deserts (nevada, california, arizona, baja california, sonora, mx) at elevations below 3,000hardiness zones: sunset 8, 9, 10-24 usda 7-10landscape use: cactus rock garden, ground cover, accent plant for small to medium sized desert landscape areascharacter: much branched and prostrate with individual stems upright, stiffgrowth habit: mounding and spreading to 2 tall with generally a 4 spread when mature, growth rate is moderately slowfoliage/texture: stems are jointed into fleshy pads that are curiously thickened and shaped like a beavers tail to 2 long. Usually stems are glaucous with areoles containing glochids (white to brown) and no spines, pads are occasionally pleated when drought stressed, coarse textureflowers & fruits: flowers are a brilliant magenta pink in spring, 3" to 4" across, are borne on upper terminal margins of pads; fruit oblong, 2"-3" long, red to purple, edibleseasonal color: a profusion of flowers in mid spring, fruit in summertemperature: higly tolerant of desert heatlight: full sunsoil: tolerantwatering: none after establishedpruning: prune by removing pad segments of any length to control spreadpropagation: cutting and dispersal of padsdisease and pests: root rot, cochineal scaleadditional comments: beavertail cactus is a very nice spreading cactus for small to medium size formal desert cactus gardens. Here is a fascinating hybrid cross of opuntia santa rita and opuntia basilaris. Someone please pluck off a pad of this for my yard! Source: asu
USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Located in: Succulents
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