Herbs & Plants

Opuntia basilaris

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Botanical Name : Opuntia basilaris
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Opuntia
Species: O. basilaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names :Beavertail,Beavertail Cactus

Habitat : Opuntia basilaris  is found in southwest USA, mostly in the Mojave Desert, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and Colorado Deserts, and also in the Colorado Plateau and northwest Mexico; it ranges through the Grand Canyon and Colorado River region to southern Utah, and in western Arizona, regions along the Lower Colorado River Valley.

The Opuntia basilaris is a medium sized to small prickly pear cactus, depending on variety, growing to about 60 cm tall. A single plant may consist of hundreds of fleshy, flattened pads. These are more or less blue-gray, depending on variety, growing to a length of 14 cm and are maximum 10 cm wide and 1 to 1.5 cm thick. They are typically spineless, but have instead many small barbed bristles, called glochids, that easily penetrate the skin. The pink to rose colored flowers are most common; however, a rare variety of white and even yellow flowers also exist. Opuntia basilaris bloom from spring to early summer….CLICK  &   SEE  THE  PICTURES

Edible Uses:
The Cahuilla Native Americans used beavertail as a food staple. The buds were cooked or steamed, and then were eaten or stored. The large seeds were ground up to be eaten as mush.

Chemical constituents: Opuntia basilaris is a psychedelic plant containing 0.01% mescaline and  4-hydroxy-3-5-dimethoxyphenethylamine.

Medicinal Uses:
The older pads served as medicine.  Their pulp provided a wet dressing for bruises and sores, bites and lacerations, an application said to deaden pain and hasten healing.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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