Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Broadleaf evergreen succulent which forms dense clumps that are nearly 2 ft (0.6 m) tall and 5 ft (1.5 m) wide and made up of 25-40 cm wide rosettes. The leaves are rigid, blue-gray to grayish-green, narrow, to 35 cm long and 3 cm wide, with dark brown marginal 3 mm teeth, and ending in a sharp, black, dark brown to gray terminal spine about 3.5 cm long. When the plant begins to flower the central leaves turn reddish and a slender, dark red inflorescence (flower cluster) emerges and it may grow to a height of 2 m. Flowers are small, gray, green and red. The fruit is dark brown and oblong, 4.5 x 2 cm. Reportedly plants flower at around 15 years of age after which that rosette dies.
- Full sun, or light shade in hot, low desert areas, well-drained soil, little irrigation necessary in coastal gardens but occasional watering is required in warmer inland areas.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 9 (20-30°F) Reportedly it has proven hardy in a Santa Barbara, CA garden and has not been bothered by short duration temperatures as low as 20 °F, though it is listed by most as hardy only to 25° F.
- It is native to northern Oaxaca and also near the town of Tehuacan in the State of Puebla, Mexico.
- macroacantha: with large (macro) thorns or spines (acantha), a reference to the large terminal spine.