Tall, woody, robust climbers up to 3 m high, young stems twining. Rhizome compact, bearing many long roots with side roots forming ellipsoid tubers ±20 mm long, as well as a large network of white, branched rootlets. Stems firm, smooth, woody, ribbed when young, pale. Spines short, ±10-20 mm long, exserted, recurved, hard. Branches many, close together, fairly equal in length, ±120 mm long; on older branches branchlets appear from knobs above spines and are enveloped basally by a flush of small bracts. Cladodes 10-15 cm a fascicle, terete or ridged, 10-40 mm long, 1.0-1.5 mm wide, apiculate, discoid at the base, glaucous green. Racemes many, placed all along the branches, from basal side buds, usually exserted, simple or with some short branchlets; tepals with the 3 outer perianth segments minutely ciliate, forming a long pericladium, white; pedicels short, subtended by bracts, both persisting after flowers have dropped off. Stamens with orange (or red?) anthers. Ovary dark, contracted below; ovules 10 cm each locule. Berry red.
Spiny climber to 3 m, stems pale and ribbed, spines hooked. Cladodes 4-6 in fascicles, terete. Flowers in racemes.
A common species in the Cape Province, widespread both in western and eastern parts, but not in central Karoo or Northern Cape.