Leaves subulate, 2–3 mm. long, early deciduous.
Flowers 5–7.5 cm. in diameter; outer perianth-segments yellow, striped or shaded red, inner golden yellow, widely spreading.
Fruit obovoid, 5–7.5 cm. long, 2–4 cm. in diameter, glochidiate, spineless, reddish-purple, with edible pulp.
Erect or sprawling shrub up to 3–4 m. tall, sometimes with a definite cylindric trunk.
Joints usually narrowly obovate, flattened, 10–30 cm. long, 5–12 cm. broad, bright green; areoles densely and shortly woolly; glochids brownish; spines 1–2 per areole (–12 on trunk), stout acicular, up to 7 (–10) cm. long, 1.5 mm. in diameter, one generally conspicuously longer than the other when present, greyish, dark-tipped.