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Opuntia basilaris var. caudata

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Opuntia basilaris var. caudata
 

This is a compact form characterized by oval to heart-shaped cladodes that  stretch from the plant base (from which the name "basilaris")
They are bright blue, with a blush of purple pigmentation and contrasts well with the brownish-red clusters of glochids on the areoles.

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Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of
Opuntia basilaris.

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Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name:  Opuntia basilaris Engelm. & J.M. Bigelow 1856
Published in: Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 3: 298-299. 1856. {Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts ; BPH 724.20}

var.  caudata

Origin Unknown, perhaps it is a  nursery produced cultivar.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

This is a beautiful dwarf compact, form of the Beavertail Prickly Pear. The cladodes are thick blue/purple and hearted. Very nice plant and highly decorative.

Description: Branching upwards to 15-20cm high in tight clumps up to 40cm  in diameter.
Stem: Oval to heart-shaped bright blue, with a blush of purple pigmentation (due to the presence of betacyanins pigments) that vary in function of temperature.  New pads stretching from the lower areas of the plant.
Areoles : Numerous with white  wool (3 mm of diameter), filled with brownish-reddish clustered glochids 3 mm long and easily penetrate the skin.
Spines: Spineless.
Flower: 5cm in diameter and 6cm long;  open from spring to early summer. They are intensely rose purple.
 

 


Cultivation:
 Best in very fast draining mineral soils this plant is very rot prone, needs little water once established, avoid acid soils rich in humus or clayey. Tolerates sand.  Keep dry in winter. Frost Tolerance Hardy to -5: Sun Exposure: They need maximum light exposure in full sun. Avoid shadow. Handle with precautions to avoid the prickly glochids, besides the blue pruina that cover the cladodes may be allergenic for same people.

Reproduction: Cuttings or seeds.
 

Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art files are now available also in the new the Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.