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Beavertail Cactus

Opuntia basilaris

In stock

1 gallon; 2-3 gallon; 5 gallon

Plant Care

Native region:

Local Native

Water needs:



Mature size:

Growth rate:

Full Sun; Filtered Sun



Flower color:

Flower season:


Hot Pink

Spring into Summer

None required




Nectar pollinators:


Nighttime pollinators:


Rabbit resistant:


The blue-gray 6” long pads are shaped much like a beaver’s tail and dotted with dense clusters of brown glochids (tiny spines) in an attractive dotlike pattern. New pads are jointed one on top of another creating a distinctive succulent clump. Large hot pink flowers are produced in clusters on top of the pads between March and June. Dry, green pearlike fruits follow the flowers. Although this species is spineless, the glochids are easily detached and are not enjoyable if one brushes against them. Most clumps will be about 2 feet tall by 3 feet across.

Growing Plants in the Desert — Important Information

The information presented here is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate and based on my research from reliable sources, observations I have made of plants growing in my, and other gardens I have visited, and observations of the plants in their native habitats. I would appreciate your feedback and experience to help me educate others! 


Cacti: In my experience, cacti are much happier in the filtered shade here in the low desert of the Coachella Valley. Colors are more vibrant and they bloom more profusely, especially the non-native varieties. If you pay attention to how our native barrel and beavertail opuntia grow in the wild, it is frequently tucked in the rocks under creosote or another shrub.


Light Requirements: I have found that in our desert (Sonoran/Colorado) “full sun” plants can take and appreciate the late afternoon filtered sun, especially in the hot summer months.

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