Spruce Cones (Opuntia turpinii) is a very unusual looking cactus in the prickly pear family. Also called the Pine Cone Prickly Pear, this strange looking plant does look like pine cones jointed together.
Spruce Cones is hardy to 15 degrees, so will take cold temperatures in the Tucson and Green Valley area. It might be a good idea to cover, however, should temperatures try again to break record lows.
Spruce Cones, unlike most other prickly pear species, prefers some afternoon shade. This well behaved plant also works in containers. No matter where you plant it, make sure it has excellent drainage. When used as a potted plant, never use regular potting soil. Look for a cactus mix, or use native soil.
Spruce Cones bears light pink flowers in the summer at the tips of the cones. Although mostly spineless, do not assume that means it is touchable, since it can produce those nasty tiny spines called glochids.