Plants typically forming clumps. Roots tuberous, to 20 cm (7.9 in) long. Stem segments unbranched, globose to pear shaped, grayish purple to brown to olive green, with conspicuous rhomboid tubercles, 2-3 cm (0.8-1.2 in) long, 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 in) in diameter. Glochids few, inconspicuous. Central spine one, sometimes absent, erect, to 5 mm long. Radial spines 6, pectinate, whitish to brownish, 2-5 mm long. Flowers borne terminally, pearly white with light pink tint, 4-5 cm (1.6-2 in) in diameter. Fruits borne laterally, dry, globose, 2-2.5 cm (0.8-1 in) in diameter. Distribution: San Juan and Mendoza, Argentina.
Pterocactus tuberosus (Pfeiffer) Britton & Rose 1919 Opuntia tuberosa Pfeiffer 1837 Pterocactus kuntzei K. Schumann 1897 Pterocactus decipiens Gürke 1907
Plants with several prostrate stems. Roots large, tuberous. Stem segments cylindrical, not tuberculate, brown or greenish brown, 7-20 cm (2.8-7.9 in) long, 0.5-1.5 cm (0.2-0.6 in) in diameter, with vertical violet lines below the areoles. Spines 8-12, whitish, 5-10 mm (0.2-0.4 in) long. Flowers lemon yellow to brownish yellow to coppery, 3-5 cm (1.2-2 in) in diameter. Fruits not known. Distribution: throughout much of northern Argentina from Salta south into Neuquén and Rio Negro.
Pterocactus valentinii Spegazzini 1899 Pterocactus pumilus Britton & Rose 1919
Plants little branched, bearing areoles without wool. Roots tuberous, relatively small, 2-4 cm (0.8-1.6 in) long. Stem segments cylindrical, green, 4-8 cm (1.6-3.1 in) long, 1-1.5 cm (0.4-0.6 in) in diameter. Spines 25-30, not differentiated as centrals and radials, radiating, glassy, 4-5 mm long. Flowers yellow to coppery. Fruits to 2 cm (0.8 in) in diameter. Distribution: Chubut, Neuquen, and Mendoza, Argentina. Pterocactus valentinii is poorly known.
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