Melocactus douradaensis is one of the many local forms of Melocactus zehntneri (its scientific name is Melocactus zehntneri f. douradaensis). Unlike its classic shape, this variety has much more robust, strong and long spines of a reddish-orange color, that over time become gray. It is a solitary plant with a bright green body, equipped with well-marked deep longitudinal ribs. At a certain age of the plant, when the cactus stops growing, a whitish spherical cephalium develops at the apex of the plant, formed by red bristles, from which small magenta flowers with thin petals bloom. The cephalium tends to grow, not in diameter, but only in height, assuming a characteristic cylindrical shape, that also gives an idea of the age of the plant.