Plants unbranched or branched; branches 0-50. Roots diffuse, upper portion not enlarged. Stems nearly spheric to more often cylindric or long cylindric, 5-30 × 5-7 cm, firm; tubercles 5-12 × 3-7 mm; axils woolly, bearing 4-15 bristles (0 in young growth) as long as tubercles; cortex and pith not mucilaginous; latex absent. Spines 14-26 per areole, pinkish or reddish brown to black, glabrous; radial spines 11-22 per areole, usually white, bristlelike, 5-7 mm, stiff; central spines (1-)3-4 per areole, abaxial 1 porrect, hooked, longer, stouter, adaxial central spines ascending with radial spines; subcentral spines 0. Flowers 10-22 mm; outermost tepals entire or short fringed; inner tepals cream, usually with pinkish or reddish midstripes, longer in bisexual flowers, 5.4 mm diam.; stigma lobes yellow to greenish yellow or brownish green, 8 mm. Fruits bright scarlet, clavate or ovoid, 10-25(-35) × 10 mm, juicy only in fruit walls; floral remnant persistent. Seeds black, 0.8 × 0.6 mm, pitted; testa hard; anticlinal cell walls straight (not undulate); interstices conspicuously wider than pit diameters; pits bowl-shaped. 2n = 66.
|California fishhook cactus, strawberry cactus|