Thisis native to northern Argentina, where it grows in the mountains. It was introduced into cultivation by Kurt Backeberg, the renowned expert on succulents, and soon became a great favourite in collections. The body of this tiny cactus is almost spherical, measuring only 30-35 mm in height and slightly less in diameter. The crown is flat with a marked depression in the centre. There are 24 longitudinal ribs coloured grey-green. The areoles are white-felted and have six soft spines on either side. The , emerging on the upper third of the , are 3.5 cm (l0.5 in) long, large in relation to the body, and range in colour from white to yellow-orange and red, depending on the variety. The stamens, the style and the stigma are yellow. The fleshy fruits measure about 1-1.5 cm and are completely covered with pale reddish-brown hairs.
It is. Keep it cool and dry in winter. Propagate from the readily produced offshoots, either grown on their own or grafted on Cereus stock.