Erect, dense shrublets up to 1 m high, glabrous. Rhizome woody with long, cylindrical, woody roots. Stems rigid, spreading, smooth, shiny dark brown (yellow to green when young). Spines present below axils of branches and branchlets, patent-recurved, hard, sharp, up to 8 mm long. Branches closely beset with short, spineless branchlets bearing cladode fascicles and flowers. Cladodes ±25 cm each fascicle, terete, ±7-10 mm long (thin and longer in shade), subtended by fimbriate membranous bracts; rarely a minute spine may also be present. Flowers solitary or rarely paired beside each cladode fascicle; tepals obovate, ±2-3 mm long, white; stalks ±5 mm long, articulated below. Stamens with red or brownish anthers. Berry with a single seed, pendulous, globose, ±9 mm in diameter, apiculate, red. Flowering mainly March to June, but also at other times.
Erect spiny shrubs to 1.5 m, stems dark brown, glossy, with spreading spines. Cladodes ± 10 in fascicles, terete. Flowers 1 or 2 in axils, tepals and filaments spreading.
Recorded from south-western Cape, east as far as Uitenhage and north as far as Piketberg.