It is a very slow growing caudiciform succulent. It can reach the height of 1.2 meters, depending on the climate conditions. It produces long thorny branches with narrow dark green leaves. Its stunning star-shaped flowers are white to pink in color with a purple central streak. P. succulentum is able to grow at sub-zero temperatures in winter, if the soil is dry. In its caudex it stores water to survive during periods of drought. In the dormant period, from January to May, it loses its leaves.