This rare Japaese cultivar has raised tubercles along the ribs edges, in fact its areoles stick out with large notches between them, giving them a bumpy look. The furrows which appear transversely on the ribs cuts the continuity of the ribs and the plants appears decorated with a geometrical design which is raised above the surface. When viewed from above these plants resemble a tortoise-shell hence the Japanese word 'Kitsu-kow' that means "Turtle shell" but at a first glace (especially the nude form) resembles some chinned cacti particularly some Gymocalyciums. Usually the young seedlings appears nothing special and looks like normal asterias, and barely shows any trace of raised tubercles, but they start to produce the distinguishing indentation and turn into an amazing adult as they get 3 to 7 years old. In general the bigger the "teeth" are and the rounder and flatter they are, the better. All species of Astrophytum (excluded Astrophytum caput-medusae) have their particular "kikko" variants.