Alphabetical Plant Listing

Opuntia basilaris (Beavertail Cactus)

Beavertail Cactus


A low-spreading cactus species, Opuntia basilaris (Beavertail Cactus) is a bushy succulent shrub with gray-blue, wide and flat, fleshy pads resembling beaver tails. During arid conditions, the pads take on an attractive purple tinge. Lacking the long spines of other prickly pears, the pads are covered with tiny, gray-blue bristles with barbed tips. Sitting on the top edges of the pads, brilliant rose-purple flowers, 2-3 in. wide (5-7 cm), open from spring to early summer. They are followed by small, spineless, brownish-gray fruits that are attractive to birds. This plant forms low clumps and does not develop a woody central trunk.

  • Typically grows up to 6-12 in. tall (15-30 cm) and up to 4 ft. wide (120 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun in well-drained soils. This plant tolerates a wide variety of soils as long as they are well-draining. Needs little water once established. Drought tolerant.
  • This low-maintenance plant is a great choice for xeriscape gardens, rock gardens, Mediterranean gardens and cactus gardens.
  • This remarkable plant is deer resistant and is easy to care for.
  • Generally disease-free.
  • Propagate from woody stem cuttings or from seed.
  • Native to Mojave and Sonoran deserts of southeastern California, southwestern Utah and western Arizona.

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 10
Climate Zones 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents
Plant Family Opuntia
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6" – 1' (15cm – 30cm)
Spread 4' (120cm)
Spacing 48" (120cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden

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pilens / 123RF Stock Photo

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 10
Climate Zones 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents
Plant Family Opuntia
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6" – 1' (15cm – 30cm)
Spread 4' (120cm)
Spacing 48" (120cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Opuntia

Guides with Opuntia

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