Beavertail Cactus is a
of the Cactus Family and
is named after the shape of the pads which resemble a beavers tail.
It grows to two feet in height and features
oval, grayish green pads to a foot in length. New pads
grow mostly from the bases of old ones. As a result the plant typically
grows in clumps to 6 feet in diameter. The Beavertail grows in sandy or
gravelly soils in desert areas between 200 - 4000 feet.
Though the Beavertail Cactus does
not have regular spines, it does have glochids (small,
hair-like barbed spines that are very sharp and brittle, and very
The plant typically blooms between
March - May and produces pink to magenta flowers to 3 inches in width,
followed by an oval fruit to 1 inch in length. Fruits and pads of the
cactus were eaten by Native Americans.