The variegated shape of this cactaceae presents the typical yellow zones in the exact points where the chlorophyll is absent; such zones will never be identical from one plant to another, thus making each specimen absolutely unique and, for this reason, very sought after by collectors. It has a green-greyish body of spherical shape, slightly depressed at the apex. It is equipped with deeply grooved longitudinal ribs, from which emerge light grey spines slightly curved and rather robust. Once the plant is mature, when the cactus stops growing, at the apex it develops a whitish spherical cephalium formed by bristles on the shades of red, from which bloom small light or dark magenta flowers with thin petals. The cephalium will then tend to grow, not of diameter but only in height, assuming characteristic cylindrical shape that gives an idea of the age of the plant.