Native to the Atacama Desert of northern Chile and about 26 species. These species vary in form from spherical to slightly columnar and in color from a brownish to blue-green body. The spines may be long and fierce or mostly absent. The roots may be fibrous or huge tubers that are larger than the portion in the ground. Some may form clumps in time. Coloration is also a variable even within the same species from glaucous blue-green to deep green to brown.