The Paper Spine Cactus was first described in 1868 by Charles Lamarie. Native to western Argentina, the Paper Spine Cactus (Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus) is found growing naturally on the lower slopes of the Andes mountain range.Also known as Spruce Cactus, each new segment emerges from the cactus aureoles, which protect the new growth with a circle of defensive glochids and one large papery spine.This plant grows up to 12 inches tall. The pine cone-shaped segments loosely attached to each other and fall easily.The new segments seem to be reaching out to the warm sun as they poke through the old segments. Soon, they will reach maturity, and take on the typical mature pine-cone shape.