This is one of strangest of all cacti with strongly armed prostrate stems except for their slightly raised tips. They grow about up to 3 m long, 4-8 cm in diameter and take root as they creep, ramifying further and eventually covering a huge area. Sometimes plants separate from the parent stem and spread out around it, leaving it to die. Stems have 12 ribs; large areoles, 2 cm apart; 1 central and flat spine much wider than the others, 3 cm long, and around 20 light grey or whitish radials of unequal length. Outer ones are short and subulate; inner ones are larger and flat.