got this cactus from a roadside seller. Didn't catch the name, and having trouble finding it online. The needles are very flexible and paper-like. Let me know if you have any info!

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  • Maybe a picture with a better resolution would be helpful?
    – benn
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 11:37

1 Answer 1


Tephrocactus articulatus paprycanthus. It is an Opuntioid native to South America. The "paprycanthus" denotes the "papery" spines. They grow in low-ish clumps, up to 50cm tall. They are common world-wide.

The joints are very easily detached and can be planted to make a new plant. Like most Opuntioids, they have some glochids which can be irritating to the skin.

They will grow in full sun once acclimated and they grow fairly quickly. They let you know when they need water by drooping. It's best to anticipate this and water before it droops.

Flowers are 4 to 8 cm across, with yellow centers and and white petals. They generally appear in the spring. They are similar to most other Opuntioid flowers.

Treat like any other desert cactus, use soil that drains well in a pot with drainage holes and give as much sun as possible. Outside would be ideal. Is not particularly frost-tender, but it won't take sub-freezing weather for more than an hour or two.

  • You could edit your post to include the identifying characteristics.
    – Niall C.
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 0:11

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