Tephrocactus articulatus v. Papyracanthus


Cereus articulatus
Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus
Opuntia articulata
Opuntia andicolata
Tephrocactus andicolus
Opuntia diademata
Tephrocactus diadematus
Opuntia turpinii
Tephrocactus turpinii
Opuntia papyracantha
Opuntia glomerata
Opuntia strobiliformis
Tephrocactus strobiliformis


Native to western Argentina (provinces of Catamarca, Cordoba, La Rioja, Mendoza, Salta, San Luis and Santiago del Estero). As all Tephrocactus grow in extreme heat and arid conditions.


T. articulates v. papyracanthus is a segmented bushy cacti that growing slowly up to 30 cm. Stems develops in little pine-cone shaped segments (about 6 cm. long and 4 cm, in diameter ), grey-green color with areoles and flattened spines which are not properly thorns but thin ribbon like raffia wide and long , often crumpled and white.
The segments are loosely attached to each other and fall easily. When fall off they root creating a new plant.
Blooms rarely (in summer), the flowers are white or yellow.


This cacti is easy, as other desert Tephrocactus is very resistant, needs full sun and well draining soil.
During the growing season (spring and autumn) irrigate regularly and suspend completely in winter.
It resist and loves intense hot so you can put it outside almost all year : in spring, summer and autumn. In winter time can resist even for short period at temperatures below 0° C up to -9°C with dry soil; but it’s better shelter it.


Can propagate either by cutting or by seed.
Is very easy propagate by stem cutting because the articles detach themselves at the first impact, so you can put this in a new dry soil.
Is better handle it with caution or with gloves because in addition to the ribbon spines it hides numerous glochids.


The common name is “paper pins” because thorns are like a paper tapes.

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