Cactus and Succulents forum→ Paper Spine Cactus (Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus)

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Name: Leslieray Hurlburt
Sacramento California (Zone 9b)
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HamiltonSquare
May 6, 2018 7:57 PM CST
Was at the local Cactus and Succulent show and sale in Sacramento where I saw this. I spoke with some of the some people there who were discussing it and they told me that none of the vendors had ever seen on this large. Have any of you? The index cards are 4"x6".
Thumb of 2018-05-07/HamiltonSquare/8c8cdc

Hamilton Square Garden, Historic City Cemetery, Sacramento California.
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
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plantmanager
May 6, 2018 8:45 PM CST
I have it in the ground in AZ and have had to cut it back because it outgrew it's spot. As they age, they don't have as many of the paper spines. That one is very green, too.
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
May 6, 2018 8:46 PM CST
Yep, I have and if I did not keep knocking off sections I'd be able to show you pictures of my own plant that would be that size or bigger. Unfortunately I do not have pictures but I have seen flowering specimens in the garden of a colleague with say another 3 or so sections on top of what the plant in your picture has.

cross posting...
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[Last edited by mcvansoest - May 6, 2018 8:47 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
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plantmanager
May 6, 2018 8:47 PM CST
Mine is under the shade cloth pergola and has never bloomed. Should it be moved out into full sun? It's been shaded since 2003.
I agree that it drops sections very easily and they all root if I don't pick them up soon enough. Another similar one is the pine cone cactus (Tephrocactus articulatus var. diadematus.)
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[Last edited by plantmanager - May 6, 2018 8:49 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
May 6, 2018 8:50 PM CST
The biggest one I ever had was about 12 pads... and then one day, it was 12 plants. Sighing!

Maybe they were referring to the size of the pads? They do seem really big.
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[Last edited by DaisyI - May 6, 2018 8:51 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
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plantmanager
May 6, 2018 8:52 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing I can believe it! Did someone walk into it, or a big dog hit it?
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
May 6, 2018 8:53 PM CST
I am not sure I would move it if it is used to the shade and is that old. My colleague has them in front of his house which is south facing, but enclosed on the west and east side so they get quite a bit of mid-day sun, but are in the shade for the rest of the day.

I have am growing some of these in pretty sunny conditions and have also never had one flower. So am not sure what would make them flower. They will however take quite a bit of sun, so it is definitely worth trying maybe some sections? These plants do actually sun burn though it takes a lot of doing, so moving your whole old plant might not be the best idea.
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
May 6, 2018 8:55 PM CST
I have the really long spined version which has much tougher spines that is about 6 sections tall and then decided to go lean down onto the ground. I know that if I try to get it to come up straight with a stake or something I just be breaking it, so I have let it be.
It is what it is!
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
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plantmanager
May 6, 2018 8:57 PM CST
Good idea. I'll just plant up the ones that break off. I must have 20 or 30 of those a year!
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Name: Leslieray Hurlburt
Sacramento California (Zone 9b)
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HamiltonSquare
May 6, 2018 9:20 PM CST
Yes Daisy nodding I was referring to the size of the pads. I've grown species myself. Never even close to this girth. Venders were amazed by it.
Hamilton Square Garden, Historic City Cemetery, Sacramento California.
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse
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plantmanager
May 6, 2018 9:22 PM CST
It would be really interesting to know how it was grown.
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Name: Leslieray Hurlburt
Sacramento California (Zone 9b)
The WITWIT Badge Region: California Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Xeriscape Native Plants and Wildflowers Salvias
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HamiltonSquare
May 6, 2018 9:47 PM CST
I just sent an email to the club asking that the grower share any and all info she cared too. Crossing Fingers!
Hamilton Square Garden, Historic City Cemetery, Sacramento California.
[Last edited by HamiltonSquare - May 6, 2018 9:48 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse
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plantmanager
May 6, 2018 9:49 PM CST
Thank you! I hope the grower is willing to share! That one is really pretty!
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Enjoys or suffers hot summers Cactus and Succulents Xeriscape Adeniums Hybridizer
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mcvansoest
May 6, 2018 11:10 PM CST
Given that the longer spined variety (Tephrocactus articulatus var. syringacanthus) has way bigger pads than the regular version and the pine cone spineless version (Tephrocactus articulatus var. inermis) makes way longer but thinner pads, that would seem to just be a question of variability. The fact that those are different enough to be their own variety does not mean there isn't a lot of variability within the regular species.

Here are both the varieties in the same picture. If the var. syringacanthus would revert back to the more paper spined look of the spines you'd have that plant with the bigger pads:
Thumb of 2018-05-07/mcvansoest/76496d
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
May 7, 2018 11:30 AM CST
Leslieray, that is indeed one very impressive looking Tephrocactus! Love it! I guess given the right conditions, it can indeed grow to such awesome size even in a container.

I have one, just do not know what type of Tephrocactus it is exactly.

To show how my plant looked like when I acquired it last April 2017 and still maintaining it in the 4 inch container it came in:
Thumb of 2018-05-07/tarev/95ccb1

Currently, after overwintering indoors, it is now outdoors once more this late Spring:
Thumb of 2018-05-07/tarev/a8fce5 Thumb of 2018-05-07/tarev/5a0b84

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