Opuntia basilaris

Engelmann & J. M. Bigelow

Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 3: 298. 1856.

Common names: Beavertail pricklypear
Illustrated
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 144. Mentioned on page 143.

Shrubs, forming clumps, 1–2 (–3) segments tall, to 7–40 cm. Stem segments not disarticulating, blue to yellow-green, sometimes tinged maroon-purple, flattened, spatulate to broadly obovate or subcircular, thick, 5–22 (–35) × 2–13.5 (–16) cm, nearly smooth, papillose to puberulent (rarely glabrous); areoles 4–16 (–19) per diagonal row across midstem segment, circular to elliptic, 3–5 × 3 mm; wool white to tan, aging gray. Spines 0 (–8) per areole, when present, usually in distal areoles, spreading, yellow, straight, acicular, 5–25 mm. Glochids numerous, nearly filling areoles, yellow to redbrown or dark-brown, to 3 mm. Flowers: inner tepals pink to magenta throughout (rarely white), 25–40 mm; filaments red-magenta (rarely pale); anthers yellowish; style white to pink; stigma lobes white to cream. Fruits maturing tan, 20–40 × 15–23 mm, dry at maturity, puberulent, spineless (except in var. treleasei); umbilicus 5–12 mm deep; areoles 24–76. Seeds yellowish to tan, ± subspheric but angular, thick, 6.5–9 × 6.5–7 mm, sides smooth or bearing 1–3 depressions; girdle protruding to 1 mm.

Distribution

V4 274-distribution-map.gif

Ariz., Calif., Nev., Utah, n Mexico

Discussion

Varieties 4 (4 in the flora).

Selected References

None.

Key

1 Stem segments bearing spines in at least several of distal areoles Opuntia basilaris var. treleasei
1 Stem segments essentially spineless (rarely 1-few per stem segment) > 2
2 Stem segments broadly obovoid to subcircular, erect; areoles (8-)10-16(-19) per diagonal row across midstem segment Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris
2 Stem segments spatulate to elongate, oblong, usually decumbent; areoles 4-8(-9) per diagonal row across midstem segment > 3
3 Stem segments spatulate, apex rounded; areoles 4-8(-9) per diagonal row across midstem segment; Arizona, Utah. Opuntia basilaris var. longiareolata
3 Stem segments oblong to narrowly spatulate to subcylindric, apex truncate to rounded; areoles 4-6(-7) per diagonal row across midstem segment; California Opuntia basilaris var. brachyclad
... more about "Opuntia basilaris"
cushionlike +
circular +  and elliptic +
0.8 cm8 mm <br />0.008 m <br /> (1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br />) +
0.7 cm7 mm <br />0.007 m <br /> (1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br />) +
deciduous +  and persistent +
0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br /> (0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br />) +
24 +  and 76 +
acicular +
0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br /> (2.5 cm25 mm <br />0.025 m <br />) +
3 cm30 mm <br />0.03 m <br /> (?) +
Donald J. Pinkava +
Engelmann & J. M. Bigelow +
proliferating +
flattened +  and cylindric +
Beavertail pricklypear +
Ariz. +, Calif. +, Nev. +, Utah +  and n Mexico +
15 cm150 mm <br />0.15 m <br /> (30 cm300 mm <br />0.3 m <br />) +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (15 cm150 mm <br />0.15 m <br />) +
burlike +  and spiny +
straight +
indehiscent +
persistent +, long +  and deciduous +
20mm;40mm +
tuberculate +  and smooth +
clavate +  and cylindric ovoid or obovoid +
fleshy +  and juicy or dry +
1.5 cm15 mm <br />0.015 m <br /> (2.3 cm23 mm <br />0.023 m <br />) +
0.03 cm0.3 mm <br />3.0e-4 m <br /> (0.35 cm3.5 mm <br />0.0035 m <br />) +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br />) +
foveolate +  and reticulate +
oblong +  and spatulate +
2.5 cm25 mm <br />0.025 m <br /> (4 cm40 mm <br />0.04 m <br />) +
deciduous +
flattened +  and conic +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (3 cm30 mm <br />0.03 m <br />) +
succulent +
tuberculate +
fluted;spheric;depressed-spheric or club-shaped +
tinged color +
open +  and simple +
sometimes covered by outgrowths of proximal portion of style base or of flower tube wall +  and open +
persistent +  and deciduous +
ridgelike +  and nipple--shaped +
Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts +
3;2;2;30 +
tuberlike +
0.04 cm0.4 mm <br />4.0e-4 m <br /> (1.2 cm12 mm <br />0.012 m <br />) +
0.65 cm6.5 mm <br />0.0065 m <br /> (0.9 cm9 mm <br />0.009 m <br />) +
subspheric +
0.65 cm6.5 mm <br />0.0065 m <br /> (0.7 cm7 mm <br />0.007 m <br />) +
7 cm70 mm <br />0.07 m <br /> (40 cm400 mm <br />0.4 m <br />) +
bearing 1-3 depressions +  and smooth +
Illustrated +
not sheathed +
7.5 cm75 mm <br />0.075 m <br /> (17 cm170 mm <br />0.17 m <br />) +
dark-brown +  and black +
deciduous +  and persistent +
conspicuous +
with hairlike bristles +  and setose +
0 (?) +  and 15 (?) +
terete +  and angular-flattened +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (7.5 cm75 mm <br />0.075 m <br />) +
hard +  and rigid +
decurrent +
winged +  and unsegmented +
tuberculate +  and smooth +
not disarticulating +
22 cm220 mm <br />0.22 m <br /> (35 cm350 mm <br />0.35 m <br />) +
13.5 cm135 mm <br />0.135 m <br /> (16 cm160 mm <br />0.16 m <br />) +
tinged maroon-purple +, blue +  and yellow-green +
5 cm50 mm <br />0.05 m <br /> (22 cm220 mm <br />0.22 m <br />) +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (13.5 cm135 mm <br />0.135 m <br />) +
segmented +
woody +  and succulent +
white +  and cream +
white +  and pink +
adventitious +
tuberlike +
epipetric +  and epiphytic +
Opuntia basilaris +
species +
dull +  and glossy +
yellow +  and paler +
segmented +
0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br /> (1.2 cm12 mm <br />0.012 m <br />) +
terrestrial;epiphytic or epipetric +
erect +  and trailing +
1 (?) +  and 2 (?) +
gray +, white +  and tan +