Botanical Name: Opuntia basilaris
Common Name: Beavertail Prickly Pear  
Plant photo of: Opuntia basilaris
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  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Succulent, Cactus


Height Range

Under 1', 1-3'


Flower Color



Flower Season

Spring, Summer


Leaf Color

Blue Green, Grey Green


Bark Color



Fruit Color

Blue, Green


Fruit Season

Summer, Fall


Full, Half



Very Low, Low


Growth Rate



Soil Type

Sandy, Clay, Loam, Rocky, Unparticular


Soil Condition

Average, Poor, Well-drained


Soil pH

Neutral, Basic


Adverse Factors

Attracts Bees, Thorns/Spines

Design Styles

Ranch, Spanish, Wild Garden


Accenting Features

Showy Flowers, Unusual Shape


Seasonal Interest

Spring, Summer


Location Uses

Parking Strip, Patio, Raised Planter, Walkways, With Rocks


Special Uses

Container, Mass Planting, Fire Resistant, Naturalizing


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: George Hull MSN
Photographer: Mountain States Nursery
  • Description

  • Notes

About 1' high by 4' across. Pads are blue-grey, sometimes with a bit of purple. New pads form on lower areas of the plant. Flowers are intensely rose purple from spring to early summer. Native in AZ, UT, NV, CA and Sonora Mexico to Baja Mexico. Needs full sun. Drought resistant. Needs good drainage.
Dig hole, insert plant slightly higher than soil grade. Disturb root ball very little. No amendments, just native soil. No fertilizers. Backfill the hole .Water lavishly. Mulch top of soil around plant in a 4' diameter circle. - Bert Wilson Las Pilitas