It is a solitary cactus of a globular shape, which sometimes becomes cylindrical with growth. Generally it is of a purple color, equipped with toothed longitudinal ribs, furrowed by downy areoles. Very particular spines sprout from these areoles, they are thick and long, with a glassy and flexible appearance. Untypically for this genus, on the same specimen it is possible to see some strongly curled and tangled, flexible, hair-like spines, together with rigid and more straight ones. A very extravagant and beloved feature of this species is the color of the quills, which varies from yellowish-white to black, creating an extremely particular contrast, that gave it the name of 'multicolor'. It is also a very popular cactus, because of its large funnel-shaped flowers, that bloom at the top of the plant, decorating it with wonderful and showy magenta shades!