The genus comprises 30 species. The plants are rather small with numerous thin ribs, which are often wavy. The flowers are small, pink, or greenish-pink or greenish-yellow with a short tube. Specimens are sought after by keen collectors.

Stenocactus multicostatus. Mexico. A very interesting species possessing about ioo wavy ribs, each bearing a few areoles producing 6 to 9 spines each, 3 long ones pointing upwards, and 4 to 6 pointing downwards. The flowers are whitish.

Stenocactus crispatus. Mexico. Ribs number about 25. Radial spines number 7 to 8 with only 1 central spine, which is stiff and straight. The pretty flowers have white outer petals with a broad violet-brown stripe and a violet edge. The other petals are violet with a carmine band.

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