This plant may look like a cactus, but it's actually a succulent shrub, with fleshy grey-green stems that are covered with long bright red spines. A structural (particularly when the stems start to branch out towards their tips) and colourful plant, it looks really great in a simple pot - and it's very easy to look after!
Home care:Place it in a bright spot and in spring and summer, water when the soil gets dry, but make sure it never sits in excess water for any length of time. In autumn and winter cut back on the watering. Avoid a humid atmosphere (no bathrooms or steamy kitchens) and in the warmer months, open a window or door occasionally so it can enjoy the fresh air. Repot every year or two into a slightly larger pot using cacti compost. You will find it easier to tackle if you concertina a couple of sheets of newspaper and then fold these around the spines, leaving a 'tail' that you can use to lift the plant out of one pot and into another. Otherwise invest in some thorn-proof gloves!