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Beavertail Cactus

(Opuntia basilaris)

Beavertail Cactus, or beavertail prickly pear, is a cactus species found in the southwest United States. It occurs mostly in the Mojave, Anza-Borrego, and Colorado Deserts, as well as in the Colorado Plateau and northwest Mexico. It is also found throughout the Grand Canyon and Colorado River region as well as into southern Utah and Nevada, and in the western Arizona regions along the Lower Colorado River Valley. A single plant may consist of hundreds of fleshy, flattened pads. These are more or less blue-gray, depending on variety. They are typically spineless, but have instead many small barbed bristles, called glochids, that easily penetrate the skin.