Ariocarpus fissuratus var. lloydii is traditionally distinguished from var. fissuratus by its higher, somewhat rounded and more convex stem appearing above the ground.
The Ariocarpus fissuratus is quite variable in shape of stems and tubercles for its wide area of distribution, ranging from USA (Big Bend region of Texas and along the Rio Grande) to Mexico ( Northern and central to southern Coahuila). The typical A. fissuratus found on the northern part of it its range is very different from the southern form found in central Mexico that is characterized by rounder not fissured tubercles; this southern form was early described as A. lloydii. However in habitat this species species displays a continuum of characteristics over its range that make difficult to classify A. lloydii as a separate species. The more of less intermediate form found in northern Mexico ( Cuatro Cienegas in south-central Coahuila and Estacion Marte in southern Coahuila) was early named Ariocarpus intermedius.
The stems are normally flush and well camouflaged with the soil surface resembling limestone chips in shape, colour, and texture, rendering the plants extremely cryptic. They are greyish-green in colour, sometimes taking on a yellowish tint with age. These cacti are difficult to spot in their natural habitat. When they are found, it is usually due to their pinkish flowers.