Previous species
Previous Species

Next Species
Next Species

Home Page

Order CD-ROMs from the site

Tell a Friend

Gardening Books

Gardening Catalogs


Paper Spine Cactus
Scientific Name: Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus (Phil.) Backeb.
Synonym: Opuntia papyracantha, Tephrocactus papyracanthus
Family: Cactaceae
Paper Spine Cactus (Tephrocactus  articulatus var. papyracanthus) Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 8,9, 12-24
USDA: 8b-10

Frost Tolerance: Hardy in Phoenix, hardy to 15F (-9C) depending on the clone

Minimum Avg. Temperature: 50F (10C)

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Origin: Western Argentina

Growth Habits: Succulent to 1 foot tall (30 cm)

Watering Needs: little or no water once established

Propagation: Cuttings, occasionally seeds

This small cactus has remarkable soft flat paper spines. It is easy to grow and easily found in most place selling cacti. The stems are loosely attached to each other and fall easily.
As a house plant it needs as much direct sun as it can get, and it generally ends up getting thinner and thinner stem as a result of the lack of sun.
It is fairly cold resistant and will take full sun in the garden, it is then that it will bloom and reach its potential.
The main growing period is spring. It might produce some new segments in the fall also.

Paper Spine Cactus (Tephrocactus  articulatus var. papyracanthus)

Blooming Habits:

Fruiting Habits:

Check for Field Collection numbers at Ralph Martin's Site

Sponsors: Michigan Bulb - 120 x 60 Lawns Banner! Gurney's 120 x 60 A

We do get a small commission out of these sponsors that helps financing the website.  Let us know if you are satisfied or dissatisfied of their services, since obviously we are trying to advertise only for reputable garden supply companies.  They might be helpful to get plants not generally available at the local garden center, getting a new and unusual gardening tool or get a discount Better Homes and Gardens magazine subscription.


Desert Tropicals Home Page | List of All the Plants | More in the Cactaceae family | Tell your friends about this page

Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

1998-2005 Philippe Faucon, All Rights Reserved.