- Safari Park
Bloom time (approximate):
Cactus: Beaver-tail Cactus Opuntia basilaris
FAMILY: CACTACEAE (Cactus Family)
It's easy to see how the beaver-tail cactus Opuntia basilaris got its name, as its pads look like blue-gray beavers' tails. A relative of the better-known prickly pear, it has tufts of barely visible bristles and had many uses for Native Americans, who used the fruit and stems as food, the pulp as an anesthetic, and the bristles as wart removers. Magenta flowers decorate the plant in springtime, giving it a pretty touch.