clumping plants with greyish-green bodies, sometime with up to 40
stems in a single cluster.
Stem: Soft, blue-green or grey-green
epidermis that tinge in pink in bright sun up to 5(-6) cm wide,
globose to depressed
conical when growing in
habitat. While cultivated plant have (frequently)
Tubercles: Prominent, rounded, usually
depressed, somewhat united with adjacent ones almost into ridges, not
grooved, juicy but not milky. Axil slightly woolly, without bristles.
Spines: All whitish with a darker brown tip.
Radial spines: 9-15 (usually 8-9), very regularly
spaced and they stand out well, almost enough to act as a recognition
character. They are up to 12 mm long, stout and glabrous in adult
specimens. ( In very young seedling the radial spines are approx 10 to
11 feather like with long spreading hairs, in one year seedling simply
Central spines: 1 (occasionally 2 or 3) one of which
usually strongly hooked, pure white below, but tipped very dark brown
from the start.
Flowers: Relatively large
(2,5-4 cm in diameter) near the top of the plant, funnel shaped,
long-tubed, purplish pink, showy, nearly as large as the plant bodies,
presumably attractive to hummingbirds. Segments about 10, lanceolate,
acuminate, with long narrow spreading
stigmata, stigma lobes 6, linear, green, stamens numerous, erect,
shorter than style, slender erect and pale.
Blooming season: Summer. This
is quite early for a
and start fowering
when still very young, it
usually produces the first blooms in the second year of a new
Fruits: Slightly protruding from the stem,
sunken and circumscissile, in a cup
between the tubercles, short and dull in colour.
Seeds: Dull black, pitted, whith a large depressed scar, less
than 1 mm long.