@iann, Tony, peterb: This really is a good topic for the succulent people also. The diversity
of surface structures is yet to be reached by cacti.
(nevertheless I personally like cacti more somehow
@snowfella: I once had an astrophytum that started to look like that -and was dead a couple of month laterdue to some kind of rot. I just had dried out from the inside in the end. I do very much hope that yours will do better....