|The obovate or oblong, flattened, greyish-green joints have purple leaves that drop off quickly. The 10 to 15 white to reddish spines of 1 inch, extend from multiple white areoles while yellow glochids cover the surface. In summer the large vivid red flowers are borne singly and then produce small top shaped red fruit. This genus has the largest membership of sun loving species. Australia has even banned a few species because of their rapid growth.