Description: Solitary cacti with
with dens covering of spines, it hybridize easily in habitat and in
cultivation too with other species of the genus Eriosyce.
Stems: Purplish and
globose to short
columnar, 6-18 cm tall, 5-8 cm in diameter;
Ribs:13 to 21 notched somehow depressed between the areoles.
Roots: Large, tuberose yellowish.
Spines:; 15 to 40
radials Very dense, glassy, variable in
colour from blond/white, yellow, brown to almost black, with darker
tips; straight to strongly curled and tangled, some hairlike soft and
flexible, other needle-like and stiff, of variable length, obscuring the
plant body and becoming longer with age.
Central spines: About 20, 30-60 mm long.
Radial spines: 15-40 20-60 mm long.
Flowers: 1-5 (or more) cm long and in diameter, borne at plant
apex on young areoles, tubular
to narrow funnel-form, showing various shades of purple-pink with
clearer throat in the
spring, 2.5-5 cm, 1-3 cm wide; Floral tube with tufts of white wool.
Fruits: elongate to clavate, reddish opening by basal pores at
curled and tangled, some hairlike soft and flexible, other needle-like
and stiff, of variable length, obscuring the plant body and becoming
longer with age.
subspecies, varieties and forms:
ssp. senilis: It has thin twisted spines and flowers with
few bristles and wool. Origin: Rio Choapa.
ssp. coimasensis: It has strong stiff straight spines.
Origin: Las Copimas south to Monte Negro.
ssp. elquiensis: It has thin twisted spines but the
flowers have many bristles and wool. Origin: Elqui Valley.