Description: Plants typically solitary with
atractive hooked central spines, occasianally branched from the base.
The flowers are a unique coppery colour.
Stem: Flattened globular to egg-shaped, green to bluish-green
with a grey glaucescence. Up to 15 cm tall and 8 cm wide.
Ribs: 9-13, prominent and strongly tubercles, approx 6-9 mm broad
and 9-15 mm tall.
Areoles: Approx 2-2,5 mm apart, roundish 3-5 mm in diameter with
greyish-yellowish wool, and with several yellowish glands in the short
woolly groove in the upper part of the tubercle (hence the genus name
Spines: Strong, tannish-white to greyish-pink or purple slightly
flattened, not obscuring the stem.
Central spines: 1 (or up to 4 in adult plants) the principal
central (the lower one) curving and prominently hooked 5-9 cm long,
1-1,5 mm wide.
Radial spines: 5-8 of which the 2-3 upper ones straight in
quasi-central position, the three lower hooked and reddish-tan
(one strong straight lower radial may be present underneath the hooked
ones), lateral and upper radials subulate, tannish-white or yellowish
Flowers: Produces several buds in spirals at the plants apex on
the new growth of the current season, with usually 3-5 or more flowers
in clusters opening at a time. The flowers are cylindrical to
funnelform, 2-4 cm long, 2-3 cm wide. Inner petal tannish, to brick red
obtuse to acute, outer tepals with brownish midribs., filaments yellow
or maroon up to 6 mm long, anthers yellow, style 1,2 cm long reddish,
stigma lobes 10-14 yellow or orange. Pericarpel with toothed scales up
to 6 mm long.
Blooming season: March to May (some flowering episodes are
possible after heavy summer rains as late as August) The flowers open
stimulated by warm temperatures in the morning and close partially at
night and open again for 2-3 days.
Fruits: 1,5-2,5 cm long, ovate to globose, fleshy, red,
indehiscent, with few conspicuous white-fringed scales, floral remnants
persistent. The fruit matures in about one month (in May-June or later)
and is edible.
Seeds: Black, 1,3-1,5 mm long, 1 mm broad, 0,8 mm thick.