A deciduous shrub eventually 8 to 12 ft high, the younger parts consisting almost entirely of greyish-green, terete (i.e. circular in cross-section) spines which are usually distinctly downy and 1⁄2 to 11⁄2 in. long, very rigid and sharply pointed. Flowers waxy, produced in twos or threes on the spines, fragrant like hawthorn, white, tubular, 1⁄8 in. long, the five lobes recurved; anthers standing out visibly from the mouth of the flower. Leaves when present 1⁄8 to 1⁄2 in. long, not so wide, tapered at the base, often toothed, glabrous. Fruit composed of three united roundish capsules each 1⁄8 in. wide and carrying a single seed.
Native of S. Chile in the provinces of Valdivia and Llanquihue; introduced by Messrs Veitch between 1880 and 1884. It flowers between September and December. It is closely allied to C. spinosa Lam., which, taken in a broad sense, is a very polymorphic species of which C. armata might well be considered a variety. Typical C. spinosa does not appear to be in cultivation. C. armata very much resembles C. infausta in its bodkin-shaped spines, but that species has no down on the spines or elsewhere, its anthers are more hidden, and it flowers from March to June.
cv. ‘Rosea’. – Flowers pale rose, deeper in bud.