Etymology From cephalium a specialized feature on some cacti and Cleistocactus another genus in the family. Hence, a Cleistocactus with a cephalium.
The single species in this genus is similar in most ways to the genus Cleistocactus except as the name implies flowers are produced in a lateral cephalium. Stems are cylindrical columns that branch basally reaching heights of 16 feet (5m). Many shallow ribs are obscured by dense spines. Flowers are yellow tubes with green tips, but may red. Further study may possibly render this species a hybrid.