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Tephrocactus articulatus var. inermis – Pine Cone Cactus

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Scientific Name

Tephrocactus articulatus var. inermis (Speg.) Backeb.

Common Names

Pine Cone Cactus, Spruce Cone Cholla

Synonyms

Opuntia diademata var. inermis, Opuntia glomerata var. inermis

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Tephrocactus articulatusis a much variable cactus forming small tufts, rather messy, usually up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall, with ramified stems, erect or prostrate, formed by a sequence of globular, ovoid or almost conical (pine-like) segments, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter. Tephrocactus articulatus var. inermis is a nearly spineless form of the species with no spines and without (or with very few) glochids on the new growth. These usually fall off as it ages. The flowers are bell-shaped, white with yellow center, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter.

Photo via tephro.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 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 – particularly the American Southwest – these plants can generally be planted outside, left alone, and enjoyed. Though Opuntia will grow just fine in a garden, they can be grown in pots as well.

To repot, ensure the soil is dry, then remove the pot and knock away the old soil. After treating any cuts with fungicide, place the prickly pear 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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Opuntia

Origin

Native to western Argentina.

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