Like the saguaro
is a monotypic columnar cactus genus, and the sole species grows mostly in Baja California, but its range extends northwards to the coast and hills around San Diego; one favored location is Point Loma peninsula. This relatively rare cactus forms colonies of many thin stems, up to 3 feet tall and 2 inches across, with a dense covering of golden spines, of which one is noticeably longer than the rest. Spines towards the base become dark brown with age. The plants branch only if the growing tip becomes damaged.