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Plant Form: Succulent prickly shrubs or small trees.
Size: Up to 10 m tall.
Stem: Jointed, succulent, usually flattened, cylindrical, club shaped, or compressed, with stout spines.
Leaves: Scale like on new growth and short lived.
Flowers: Usually solitary or stalkless, showy and large. With colourful petal-like tepals.
Fruit and Seeds: Dry or juicy, attached to the flattened stems, sometimes in chains, sometimes spiny.
Habitat: Wide ranging but generally open and dry grasslands and woodlands.
Distinguishing Features: Clusters of detachable bristles in spots on stem segments distinguish from other Cacti (Cactaceae).