Formerly Orthophytum rafaelli. A stunning newly described small growing species from the Chapada Diamantina of Bahia Brazil in the vicinity of Palmeira, Serra das Paridas, Cachoeira do Mosquito. A lithophyte living is rock crevices on cliff faces, partly shaded by shrubs. The area is typical of ‘Campos Rupestres’, a seasonally dry, rocky scrubland between rocky hills and plateaus.
A plant to about ten to twelve inches across or less when grown hard, with many narrow, stiff leaves, heavily armed with large, curved spines. Green above and white below, with a heavy dusting of trichomes. Bright light brings out a red blush and the color at anthesis is cherry red with a green center and white flowers. Offsets are produced on stolons. A highly decorative species. Described in 2011 by Elton Leme and named after its discoverer Rafael de Oliveira.