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Tephrocactus articulatus var. inermis (Pine Cone Cactus)


Scientific Name

Tephrocactus articulatus var. inermis (Speg.) Backeb.

Common Names

Pine Cone Cactus, Spruce Cone Cholla


Opuntia diademata var. inermis, Opuntia glomerata var. inermis

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Opuntioideae
Tribe: Tephrocacteae
Genus: Tephrocactus


Tephrocactus articulatus var. inermis is a nearly spineless form of Tephrocactus articulatus without or with very few glochids on the new growth. The glochids usually fall off as it ages. Flowers are bell-shaped, white with a yellow center, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter.

Tephrocactus articulatus var. inermis (Pine Cone Cactus)

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USDA hardiness zones 8b to 10b: from 15 °F (−9.4 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Though the large variety of species within the Opuntia genus means different types of Prickly Pears may need slightly different care. All are desert cacti that need lots of sun, lots of light, and very little water. If you live in a hot, arid area, these plants can generally be planted outside, left alone, and enjoyed.

These cacti will grow just fine in a garden, but they can be grown in pots as well. To repot, ensure the soil is dry, remove the pot and knock away the old soil. After treating any cuts with fungicide, place the cactus in a new pot and backfill it with potting soil. As with a new cutting, make sure not to water a newly repotting Prickly Pear for a brief period to avoid rotting its roots.

Opuntia can propagate either by cuttings or by seed. To propagate by cuttings, sever pads from a plant and let them dry so that the wounds heal. Then place the plants in dry soil and refrain from watering them until they begin to grow to avoid rotting them.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Opuntia.


Tephrocactus articulatus var. inermis is native to western Argentina.


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