This small, rounded or pyramidal cactus is highly attractive. The stem is crowned by a concentration of wool and bristles known as a 'terminal cephalium', which may reach up to 10 cm high (2), and is a feature unique to cacti from the genera Melocactus and Discocactus (4). The bristles themselves are hidden by thick, creamy-white wool through which delightful lilac-magenta flowers emerge (2). The stem of this species is a waxy, light blue colour when young, becoming greyish-green with age. The stem is composed of 7 - 15 ribs with widely spaced areoles from which brown-grey spines emerge (2). Deep magenta, or dark red coloured, rounded fruits develop from the fertilised flowers (2).
- Stem height: 13 - 18 cm (2)
- Stem diameter: 12.5 - 24 cm (2)