This unusual plant is a wickedly interesting nearly leafless shrub from Uruguay, western Argentina and southern Brazil that grows slowly to 6 to 9 feet tall. It has oppositely arranged, flattened 2 inch wide triangular spine tipped gray-green photosynthetic stems (called cladodes) that resemble a ships anchor. The flowers are small creamy white lightly fragrant flowers (said to smell like almonds) at the stem joints in late summer or fall. New growth has small leaves that are present only briefly. This amazing plant thrives in full sun in a light to medium well-drained soil where it is fairly drought tolerant. It has tolerated temperatures down to at least 20° F and as low as 10° F for brief periods in our gardens so long as the soil is kept dry. This plant is a must have for any plant collector.