This species occurs in central Madagascar.
The deciduous leaves are a medium green with a slightly lighter middle vein. The plant body is smooth with a light green silver tint. The spines are conical. Brevicaule is best described as a low growing mound. It starts as a round seedling and spreads out with maturity. This species flower has a yellow petal and is set on short peduncles with several flowers. Flowers will set in the second year in good conditions. Flowers on small specimens are fairly common. Brevicaule should be given full light and plenty of water during the warmer months and considerably less water in the cool months. Do not let this specimen sit damp in cool weather. It is definitely tender and should not be exposed to frost. Seedlings grow fairly slowly except when grafted on to lamerii stock. It is definitely more hardy as a graft than it is on its own root base.