Showy Cactus Flowers

Opuntia Basilaris Flower

And now the cactus flowers are opening. This is one of many beavertail cactus flowers open on the beavertail (opuntia basilaris) cactus in front of the house today. There are many more flowers to come on that cactus.

From Wikipedia:

Opuntia basilaris, the 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.

This cactus is a medium-sized to small prickly pear cactus 70–400 mm (2.8–15.7 in) tall, with pink to rose colored flowers. A single plant may consist of hundreds of fleshy, flattened pads. These are more or less blue-gray, depending on variety, 50–210 mm (2.0–8.3 in) long and less than 100 mm (3.9 in) wide and 10–15 mm (0.4–0.6 in) thick. They are typically spineless, but have instead many small barbed bristles, called glochids, that easily penetrate the skin. Opuntia basilaris blooms from spring to early summer.

The Wikipedia article fails to mention the Arizona High Sonoran Desert as a beavertail habitat. I assure you, they are here too. Click on the image to enlarge.

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