Etymology -From the Greek word Pedion - meaning plain - after the Great Plains of the United States where the plants are found.Pediocatus is one of the few genera in the cactus family that is found exclusively North of Mexico. Most other genera have members that extend into Mexico. These plants are often the prize of collectors who can grow them as they typically prove challenging in cultivation -often grafted. One species, P. simpsonii is extremely cold hardy and able to grow in the far northern United States where temperatures of -30F are common.
Plants are usually solitary small globose plants with tubercles and small - rarely exceeding 7 or 8 inches in height. Spines vary and may be dense or almost non-existent. Flowers arise from the top of the stem and may be pink, white, or yellow. Fruit is somewhat fleshy, drying with age and dehiscent.