Trees or shrubs, densely branched, 0.5-3 m. Stem segments green, sometimes purple tinged, 6-10.5 × 0.5-1.3 cm; tubercles narrowly elongate, appearing as wrinkles when dry, 1-2 cm; areoles circular, 2-3 mm in diam.; wool tan to brown, aging gray to black. Spines 0-2(-3) per areole, sparsely distributed along stem, usually deflexed, pale yellow or red-brown aging black, stout, the longest 0.8-3.5(-5) cm; sheaths loose fitting, yellowish brown. Glochids in adaxial tuft and marginal, encircling areole, pale yellow. Flowers: inner tepals green- or orange-bronze, spatulate, 17-20 mm, apiculate; filaments dark green-bronze; anthers yellow; style whitish basally to light orange apically; stigma lobes very pale green. Fruits green, becoming yellowish apically, sometimes tinged red to purplish at areoles, commonly sterile, then narrow, tuberculate, to 2.5 cm, fertile ones stipitate, obconic, 20-50 × 15-35 mm, fleshy, becoming smooth, spineless; umbilicus 3-4 mm deep; areoles 15-17(-34). Seeds pale yellow, angularly circular to oblong, thick, 3-5 mm diam., lumpy; girdle smooth, broad, not protruding. 2n = 66.
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