This low, spreading cactus with short bristles grows 6 to 12 inches high and up to 6 feet wide. The gray-green, jointed stems are wide and flat resembling the tail of a beaver. Oval in shape, the stems are 1 to 6 inches wide and 2 to 13 inches long. The stems grow in clumps with flowers from the top edge of the joints. Flowers are followed by a brownish-gray, oval fruit more than an inch long with many seeds.
Dry, rocky desert slopes of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of southeastern California, southwestern Utah and western Arizona.
These are typically spineless, but have instead many small barbed bristles, called glochids, that easily penetrate the skin. (Joshua Tree National Park )
Lat: 33.91, Long: -115.84
Spotted on Mar 24, 2012
Submitted on Mar 27, 2012