Beavertail Cactus Facts: Learn All About Prickly Pears | Kidadl


Beavertail Cactus Facts: Learn All About Prickly Pears

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Beavertail prickly pear is one of the species of the cacti family (Cactaceae) that occurs in the southwest United States.

It is generally found in the Colorado Deserts and the Colorado Plateau. It can also be seen in western Arizona, southwestern Utah, and Nevada and in the regions that are situated alongside the Lower Colorado River Valley.

Many people have heard about beaver tails, but they don't have in-depth knowledge about them. There are many unknown facts that we have gathered and listed here. Read them to enhance your understanding of these cactus plants. So, without further dues, let's get started with the unknown and amazing facts about cactus Opuntia basilaris!

Classification Of Beavertail Cacti

Let's get started with learning about the classification of the Beaver Tails, so here are some of the facts related to the classification of these species of the cacti family:

The technical name of this plant is Opuntia Basilaris, and it is commonly known as Beavertail Prickly Pear Cactus.

It grows in clumps with flat and paddle-like leaves in grayish-green color.

Beautiful and colorful flowers also bloom on this plant, primarily seen in the spring and summer.

Opuntia species can also bear beautiful, fleshy, and green leaves without spines and these leaves have formidable barbed tips.

Engelmann prickly pear, also known as Opuntia Engelmannii, has green, broad, flat, and pad-like leaves.

They have large spines that are around 3 in (7.6 cm) long, covered with tiny and barbed hair. These barbed hair are known as Glochids.

These plants can grow up to 6-12 in (15-30 cm) in height and around 6 ft (1.8 m) wide with beautiful flowers and oval fruit.

The fruit of prickly pear is known as desert pear, which is bright fuchsia and has a mild pear flavor.

Brachyclada, Treleasei, and Longiareolata are counted among the various opuntia species.

Where does a beavertail cactus grow?

While reading about the prickly pear cactus, it is also essential to know its origin and occurrence. Here are some of the facts related to the places where it grows:

This plant is generally grown in the Sonoran deserts and Mojave deserts in western Arizona, southeastern California, and southwestern Utah.

It thrives well in the dry climates of rock gardens and cactus gardens located in the plant hardiness zones.

It can be easily found in the deserts of the United States, Northwest Mexico, South America, Africa, Australia, and the Mediterranean.

How To Care For A Beavertail Cactus

Like every plant needs special care and environment to grow, beavertail cactus also needs some type of care to grow well to its full extent. Here are some of the facts regarding the tips required to care for a beavertail cactus:

Due to the self-supporting traits of this plant, it doesn't need special care for its growth.

It can easily be grown in a dry climate and must be exposed to direct and bright sunlight.

It needs very less water, you just need to water it twice or thrice a week in the summer season, and the amount of water should be reduced in winter.

Avoid wet and soggy soil while growing Beavertail Prickly Pear.

Fertilizers are used for the cactus planted in the pots rather than the cactus planted on the ground.

Regularly remove the pads to control the plant's growth and remove the dead pads to make the plant look attractive.

For regular trimming, the pads should be cut with a sharp knife at the joints where they connect with other plants' pads.

You can even cut the top of a cactus and use it as a sap to grow another plant, but the plant from which it has been cut needs a long time to recover.

According to the experts, the fruits and the pads of prickly pear are edible and are used to make jelly, candy, juice, and wine.

This cactus plant can also survive at a temperature as low as -18 degrees Celcius.

A single plant of Opuntia basilaris consists of a large number of green and fleshy pads containing flowers and fruits.

You must always wear heavy leather gloves while trimming the cactus plant to avoid injuries.

Cattle, goats, and sheep eat the pads and fruits of the spineless species of Opuntia basilaris.

Beavertail Prickly Pear is used by different birds, tortoises, rodents, and reptiles for their food and shelter.

The Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus was assessed as endangered species under Endangered Species Act in 2008.

These plants can live for over 20 years.

Like every other plant, cactus also needs a unique and small amount of care to flourish well.

Flower Details Of Beavertail Cactus

Flowers and fruits are the specialties of any plant. Similarly, the cactus opuntia also bears beautiful and colorful flowers and fruits. Below cited are some of the facts that reveal the unknown truths about the beautiful flowers of the beavertail cactus:

The flowers of Beavertail Prickly Pear generally grow in the spring season.

They grow along the edges of the green and fleshy pads of the plant.

They are generally purple in color, but the color of these flowers can also vary for different plants.

The edible fruits of Opuntia basilaris follow the flowers.

The flowers of this plant also attract different beneficial insects, such as a large variety of bees and birds like hummingbirds and songbirds.

Some species of this plant are cultivated and valued for their flowers and fruits.

The flowers of this plant can endure for a minimum period of one day, while some flowers can last as long as six weeks. This entirely depends on the amount of water and sunlight provided to the plants.


What eats beavertail cacti?
Tortoises love eating the beavertail cactus' magenta-colored flowers and its juicy pads.

How much water does a beavertail cactus need?
This cactus requires very less water and needs to be watered only once every two or three weeks.

Where did the prickly pear originate from?
The prickly pear originated in Brazil but thrived in Sydney in New South Wales.

What is a desert pear?
The desert pear is not exactly a pear but, in fact, a blend of prickly pear and pear flavors by the brand Monin.

Is the prickly pear cactus endangered?
The prickly pear cactus is classified as Least Concern.

How long do prickly pear cactus flowers last?
These flowers last just a day.

Is beavertail cactus poisonous?
No, this isn't a poisonous cactus.

How long do beavertail cactus live?
Beavertail cacti live over twenty years of age.

How do you trim a beavertail cactus?
You can trim individual pads to maintain their size and shape by cutting them at the joint base.

What happens if you cut the top off a cactus?
The cactus will ooze sap and need a while to recover and grow.

Written By
Anjali Latwal

<p>An experienced content writer and editor, Anjali has worked for multiple publishing houses. She is currently pursuing her major in English Literature at the University of Delhi and specialises in SEO and creative writing. Anjali is a literature fanatic who loves spending her free time reading books or playing with her pet dogs Koko, Alexa, and Liza. She has a passion for adventure and exploring the world, and can often be found traveling to new and exciting destinations.</p>

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