Shrubs or trees to 4-5 m; trunks 15-20 cm diam. Stem segments linear to narrowly obovate, some-times slightly falcate, (10-)15-35(-50) × 5-15 cm; areoles 2-3+ cm apart, 2-5 mm diam.; wool tawny, whitening with age. Spines usually absent or 1(-3), particularly on older pads, straight or curved, brown, aging gray, stout, to 2 cm. Glochids inconspicuous. Flowers 4-7 cm; inner tepals spatulate; crowded pink filaments and white style much longer than tepals, to 15 mm; nectar chamber elliptic to obconic. Fruits ellipsoid, 25-40 × 20-25 mm; areoles well distributed. Seeds tan to gray, 3-5 × 1.5-3 mm, slightly pubescent. 2n = 22 (Mexico, Puerto Rico as an escape).
Stout shrubs to 4 m. tall, the older trunks broadly cylindric, to 2 din. thick, the young stem joints elliptic-oblong, to 5 dm. long, green, the areoles without spines or nearly so. Flowers pink to deep red, the perianth segments erect or nearly so, the outer 0.5-1.5 cm. long, deltoid, the inner broadly oblong-obovate, 1.5-2.5 cm. long, the hypanthium naked, broadly campanulate or urceolate, 1.0-1.5 cm. long, about 1 cm. broad at the orifice; staminal filaments 2.5-3.5 cm. long, pink; ovary 2-3 cm. long, about 1.5 cm. broad, oblong-turbinate, truncate and deeply concave, tuberculate, the areoles unarmed. Berry oblongoid-turbinate, about 5 cm. long, deep red when ripe.
|Nopal chamacuero, cochineal nopal cactus, tunita|
|Palmatória, Palma, Palma-miuda, Palma-doce||Portuguese|