Plants shrubby, spreading, 1-1.5 m (3.3-4.9 ft) high. Stems 3-4 cm (1.2-1.6 in) in diameter. Ribs about 13, wavy. Areoles close set, brown, then gray. Spines dark reddish brown, later gray, straight, needle-like, stiff, erect. Central spines usually 2-5, 20-50 mm (0.8-2 in) long. Radial spines 8-12, 2-12 mm (to 0.5 in) long. Flowers purple, to 7.5 cm (3 in) long and 0.5 cm in diameter. Fruits globose, red, to 2 cm (0.8 in) in diameter. Distribution: Ayacucho and Apurimac, Peru. Cleistocactus pungens is poorly understood; it appears to be closely related to C. morawetzianus.
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