The name comes from the Greek word "aria" meaning "rowan tree", and "karpos" meaning "fruit", referring to the fact that these plants have fruit similar to those of rowan trees. In nature they grow in semi-arid areas. They are slow-growing, spines-free, rock-like plants, characterized by rosette-like stems, surrounded by fleshy, grayish-brown tubercles. The flowers are arranged in a corolla, amd bloom on the top or in the center of the plant. This is a rare endangered species that is highly desired by green collectors.