This species is the largest of the genus, young plants are rounded with older plants forming a tall column to 2 feet tall or more. The green body can be partially obscured by sparse to dense, white flecks. Even the densest flecking on a young plant will become more distant as the plant ages, revealing more of the green body on the larger plant. Long golden yellow spines and large, pure yellow flowers just add to the beauty of this species.
Astrophytum ornatum var. mirbelli is sometimes recognized by collectors as a form with dense flecking and brilliant golden yellow spines. Originally from the Rio Moctezuma valley in southern Hidalgo and Queretaro, and is usually found growing on steep limestone slopes and cliffs.