Description: This is a miniature cactus that makes a nice and tangled
cluster of fine
crests. The stem surface is completely obscured by small
pectinated ashy-grey to white
Tubercles: Numerous, not confluent into
ribs, hemispheric or short cylindric, very small, ca. 1-3 mm;
arranged in tight spirals around the plant.
Areoles : Small at tips of tubercles, 1 mm long, nearly
circular, elliptic when distended by flower or fruit, slightly
woolly when young, copiously woolly only at
sexually mature stem
Spines: 20-35(-40) white to ashy grey 2-5 mm long,
appressed on sides of stems, straight,
innocuous, in 1-3
superimposed series except for a longer (4-12 mm) and erect
adaxial tuft on the top,
sexually mature stem apex often greyish or purplish white,
frequently with brown bases, collectively forming
brown spots at
the centre of each spine cluster.
Diffuse (usually) or
tap-root (in some
diurnal, borne in the plant top. Only partly opened just
distal portion visible, as they barely stick out above the
wool obscured by longer spines at stem
Blooming season: Flowering late winter-early spring
Fruits: Bright red, thin narrowly cylindric, mm, weakly
succulent, soon drying and
spineless; pulp absent; floral remnant
Fruiting season: Late spring-early summer (Apr-Jun).
cause of cresting: The cause of cresting is not fully explained.
disagree as to why some plants grow in this unusual form. Some
speculate that it is a genetic mutation. Others say it is the result of
a lightning strike or freeze damage. But whatever the stimulus, the
growth point of the stem has switched from a geometric point to a line,
which folds and undulates as the crest expands. Though these crested
cacti are somewhat rare (1 in 50,000 or less), cresting occurs naturally
and can be encountered in many
other cactus species.