Thiswas introduced into cultivation from Central Mexico. The specific name is in honour of H. Gruson of Magdeburg, owner of a large cactus collection. It is a popular species with cactus growers. The is very large and spherical – up to 80 cm (31 inch) across and 130 cm (51 inch) high. It has about 30 sharp ribs dotted with felt areoles bearing eight to ten straight or slightly curved radial spines up to 3 cm (1 inch) long and coloured pale yellow. The four central spines are up to 5 cm (2 inch) long. The crown is thickly felted. Golden-yellow about 5 cm (2 inch) long and 5 cm (2 inch) across are arranged in several rows in a circle on the crown.
Water fairly freely in summer; themust never dry out. Water sparingly, but regularly, in winter. It does not tolerate strong sun which might cause sun scorch. Propagate only from , which germinates rapidly at a temperature of 25°C (77° F).