Hamata means hooked, an apt specific name for this species with its recurved tubercles.
The plants often form dense, much-branched clumps up to about 50 cm tall and 60 cm or more in diameter with a thickened main stem.
The flowers (cyathia really) are surrounded by green or yellowish to red bracts and they appear from April to September.
One can find this species from Luderitz in southern Namibia to SE of Worcester in the Western Cape, usually on stony slopes.
Attractive, rounded, succulent shrub, up to 450 mm high, much-branched from the base.
Branches 6-13 mm in diameter, obscurely 3-angled, with distinctive fleshy, conical, often recurved tubercles that carry sessile, folded leaves when young; tubercles sharp just after leaves fall, becoming progressively blunter with age.
If potted, plants as arms grow down the sides and make a good hanging pot.
But if trimmed back, the plant can also make a nice-looking caudiciform with short, somewhat twisted limbs. Flowering can be prolific in late fall and mid-winter. Cyathia sit in a bright, deep green cup of carpals.
Inflorescence sessile, solitary, terminal cyathium, carried above showy yellowish to reddish bracts forming a cup-like structure.
Glands yellow, sometimes tipped red, with fringed margin.
Flowering winter to spring.
Capsules sessile, about 6 mm in diameter when mature, subglobose, smooth.
This species, which occurs in south-western Namibia and the Northern and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa, is usually found on rocky koppies and would make an attractive subject for succulent rockeries, as it does well in cultivation.
In areas outside Namibia it has been observed that cattle browse it.