Trichocereus knuthianus is a plant that can be found in many parts of Peru. As a species, it is much more diverse than the clone that it is mostly reduced to and there are various forms that belong into the context of Trichocereus knuthianus. In addition, there are intermediates with Trichocereus schoenii, Trichocereus tarmaensis and Trichocereus cuzcoensis.
Alternative name: Echinopsis knuthiana
Synonyms: Trichocereus knuthiana, Trichocereus knuthianus, Trichocereus cuzcoensis var. knuthianus, Cereus knuthianus, Azureocereus deflexispinus, Cereus deflexispinus, Trichocereus tarmaensis, Trichocereus peruvianus var. Tarma, Trichocereus crassiarboreus, Trichocereus schoenii, Echinopsis schoenii, Echinopsi tarmaensis (not all, but some of them clearly belong into the knuthianus context as well)
Though Trichocereus knuthianus is still considered a correct species with the name Echinopsis knuthiana, it is closely related to Trichocereus cuzcoensis and Trichocereus peruvianus. There was never any good DNA testing done to verify or question this, which is why it is on our short list of species that we´ll test for our upcoming book on the genus Trichocereus. In my opinion, it is a relative of Trichocereus cuzcoensis. We will find out how related exactly once we´ve ran some tests.
Trichocereus knuthianus was discovered and described by Curt Backeberg on the upper course of the Rio Marañon. The plant was named after Graf F.M.Knuth, who was Curt Backeberg´s co-author in the book KAKTUS ABC and a financier for some of his trips.
Most plants that are available on the open market were originally sourced from Friedrich Ritters Seed list. Ritter´s collection number of Trichocereus knuthianus was FR567, sometimes also labeled as Trichocereus knuthianus f. pachanoi or Trichocereus knuthianus FR 677! This strain can be found in collections throughout the World though it is most common in Australia.
Ritter wrote that it´s probably synonymous with Trichocereus tarmaensis and I agree to a certain degree. In addition, he shared the opinion that Trichocereus knuthianus is actually a variety of Trichocereus cuzcoensis, which is most likely correct as well. Trichocereus cuzcoensis only grows in Cusco, but its close relatives grow all over Peru, e.g. Trichocereus tarmaensis, Trichocereus schoenii, etc.
Curt Backeberg, on the other hand did absolutely not agree with Ritter´s attempt to nullify Backeberg´s species, as it would mean that his newly described “species” would´ve become invalid. Generally speaking, Friedrich Ritter knew that plant very well .
Mature plants of Echinopsis knuthiana in habitat tend to have that tree-like rounded log-shape that you can observe on Trichocereus cuzcoensis too. Most other Trichocereus species do not form such a rounded and tree-like stump, which is another indicator for its genetic proximity to the Cuzcoensis complex.
Trichocereus knuthianus is very widespread and grows in Central Peru and some Departments that surround it.
Title photo: Sams Plants
Above: Fields Knuthianus aka Fields Knuth
This Picture shows FR 677. Unfortunately not a very good pic:
Trichocereus glaucus, also known as Echinopsis glauca, is a Peruvian Trichocereus species described by Friedrich Ritter.
Friedrich Ritter original photo
Trichocereus glaucus – Foto: Friedrich Ritter
Origin of Trichocereus glaucus:
Peru ( South Peru ), Arequipa (Rio Tambo), Chile. In Chile, this plant is closely related to Trichocereus fulvilanus and Trichocereus deserticolus.
Description of Trichocereus glaucus / Echinopsis glauca:
Trichocereus glaucuscan get between 1,5-2 meters tall and is a prostrate/creeping species that you often find hanging down slopes and cliffs. This trait is very distinct in the variety Trichocereus glaucus var. pendens. The color of the skin is very glaucous and small specimens look absolutely like the type of plants that are labeled Trichocereus macrogonus / Echinopsis macrogona today. Spiny, dark blue versions from the complex around T. peruvianus. However, macrogonus grows columnar while this species tends to bend over with age. New growth is very glaucous.
Areoles of Echinopsis glauca:
The areoles are dark brown to gray in color and approximately 2,5 centimeters apart of each other. Similar to other plants related to Trichocereus peruvianus, the plant has a diameter of up to 10 centimeters and the areoles are gray felted. The spines look a bit like the ones on Trichocereus cuzcoensisand old growth has a typical satin white glow that is common on this species. Trichocereus glaucus has 6-9 ribs, 3-6 middle spines and 8-11 radial spines. The middle spines are 5-10 centimeters and the radial spines 1-2 centimeters long. New spine growth is black to brown and turns gray with age.
Flowers of T. glaucus:
White, just like almost every other Trichocereus from this complex. The diameter is very variable and usually is between 15-22 centimeters. Trichocereus glaucus is a night-flowering species with green, round fruits. However, the hairy flowers usually stay open until the next morning.
Fruit of E. glauca:
Round, green, and 3 centimeters thick.
Type locality: Lower part of the Rio Tambo in the department Arequipa.
Trichocereus glaucus is very similar to Trichocereus chalaensisand grows in a similar way. We think that Trichocereus chalaensis might be synonymous with Ritter´s Trichocereus glaucus. Ritter´s field number of Trichocereus glaucus was FR270. We distributed seeds of Trichocereus glaucus various times in the past and all ended up amazingly beautiful. It´s a very nice species.
Buy Trichocereus glaucus seeds:
Trichocereus glaucus aka Echinopsis glauca is extremely rare and most plants on the market will probably come labeled as “Trichocereus peruvianus” or “Trichocereus macrogonus”. It is common occurence for some Peruvian cactus collectors to label all glaucous Trichocereus species with this name. This is obviously wrong and causes chaos. We sometimes have plants of this species in our Trichocereus Facebook group, which can be found here: https://facebook.com/groups/trichocereus
Cultivation of Echinopsis glauca:
Trichocereus glaucus is a very resilient grower and likes to be watered well in summer. In winter, they should be kept as dry as possible at around 10° Celsius. Seed germinates very well and the plant is usually very tough. That´s also caused by its drought tolerance, which is very typical for these kinds of plants. The species will probably tolerate temperatures between -5° to -7° Celsius over very short time, but I would not stress it and this also depends on many other factors, like general health and dryness. I would recommend keeping at no lower than 10° Celsius in winter.
Varieties of E. glauca: Trichocereus glaucus var. pendens. This variety does only grow hanging down cliffs and small hills. This variety only grows at one location in Chile and is extremely rare. This local population is in the south of Arica, Camarca in Chile. Backeberg suggested that this would be his Trichocereus uyumpaensis, but Friedrich Ritter vehemently disagreed with that. More information is necessary about this topic.
Below: Trichocereus Glaucus – Fotos: Auxin
Translation of Ritter´s description (loosely)
This species forms shrubs the size of 1 – 2 meters and often several meters in diameter, sprouting mainly from shoots that lay sideways on the ground. This plant rarely pups from the top or upper parts. The shoots are 5 – 8 inches thick, erect, later lying in the lower parts, the new shoot blue-green, later gray-green.
Ribs: 7-9, very broad, obtuse, 7.5 to 13 mm high, 15-25 mm wide, notched, with transverse furrows that do not reach down to the separating grooves of the ribs,
areoles: grey felted, 1/2-3/4 inches in diameter, 1 to 2 inches free removal, let down by the humps in the notches
Spines: In the new shoot black to brown, becoming gray, straight, rigid
Marginal spines: 7-10, directed laterally, the lower and lateral 8 to 15 mm long, coarse needle-shaped, somewhat flattened, the upper the upper stronger and not sharply separated from the Central spines.
Central spines: 3-6, very spread apart, subulate in the middle, but usually closer to the top edge and almost in the position of an edge of spine, below 1.5 mm thick
Flower: Not far from the apex, 13 to 19 centimeters long, fragrant, opening in the evening, the morning still open,
Ovary: Green with fleshy green, narrowly triangular, 2-5 mm long, pointed scales and large scales raised bases. The flowers are covered with brown/black hairs.
Partition against the nectar chamber 3-4 mm thick, tube-shaped, 13 to 23 mm long, to the stylus 1to 2 mm wide, brownish, almost openly, with nectar
In addition funnel shaped, 40-65 mm long, the top 2 to 3 cm wide, pale green interior, exterior gray-green, with triangular points, 7.5 to 10 mm long, dark green scales and tufts of hair as on the ovary.
Stamens: white, greenish below, insertions missing on the top 2 to 3 centimeters of the tube to a ring on the hem, pouch pale brown, approximately at half height petals standing
Stylus: pale green, white or pale brownish above, 10 to 11 cm in length, with 14 to 18 mm fall on the 13-16 spread pale yellow stigma lobes, between the pouches or outstanding.
German original description / Deutsche Original Beschreibung:
Büsche von 1 meter bis 2 meter höhe und oft mehreren Metern Durchmesser, sprossend hauptsächlich unten von liegenden Trieben, weniger oben sprossend. Triebe 5 bis 8 Zentimeter dick, aufrecht, später in den unteren Teilen liegend, im Neutrieb blaugrün, später mehr graugrün. Rippen: 7-9, sehr breit, stumpf, 7,5 bis 13 mm hoch, 15 bis 25 mm breit, gekerbt, mit Querfurchen, die nicht bis zu den Trennfurchen der Rippen hinabreichen, Areolen: Graufilzig, 1/2-3/4 Zentimeter Durchmesser, 1bis 2 Zentimeter freie Entfernung, , von den Höckern in die Kerben hinabreichend Stacheln: Im Neutrieb schwarz bis braun, , vergrauend, gerade, starr Randstacheln: 7 bis 10, seitlich gerichtet, die unteren und seitlichen 8 bis 15 mm lang, derb nadelförmig, etwas abgeflacht, die oberen die Oberen stärker und nicht scharf von den Mittelstacheln gesondert. Mittelstacheln: 3 bis 6, sehr gespreizt, pfriemlich in der Mitte, aber meist näher dem oberen Rand und fast in der Stellung eines Randstachels, unten 1,5 mm dick Blüte: Nicht weit weg vom Scheitel, 13 bis 19 zentimeter lang, duftend, abends öffnend, morgens noch offen, Fruchtknoten: Grün mit fleischigen grünen, schmal dreieckigen, 2-5 mm langen spitzen Schuppen und großen erhabenen Schuppenbasen. Mit starken schwarzen oder braunschwarzen Wollhaaren. Trennwand gegen die Nektarkammer 3-4 mm dick, diese tubisch, 13 bis 23 mm lang,um den Griffel 1bis 2 mm weit, bräunlich, fast offen, mit Nektar
Röhren: Darüber trichterig, 40 bis 65 mm lang, oben 2 bis 3 cm weit, innen blaß grünlich , außen graugrün, mit dreieckigen Spitzen, 7,5 bis 10 mm langen dunkelgrünen Schuppen und Haarbüscheln wie auf dem Fruchtknoten. Staubfäden: weiß, unten grünlich, Insertionen fehlen auf den obersten 2 bis 3 Zentimetern der Röhre, bis auf einen Ring auf dem Saum, Beutel blassbraun, etwa bei halber Petalen Höhe stehend Griffel: blassgrün, oben weiß oder blass bräunlich, 10 bis 11 cm lang, wovon 14 bis 18 mm auf die 13-16 gespreizten blaßgelben Narbenäste fallen, zwischen den Beuteln oder sie überragend.
Photos of Trichocereus glaucus / Echinopsis glauca
Jeff Alaback / The version of Trichocereus glaucus from Sacred Succulents
Cactus Affinity T. glaucus v. pendens
In comparison to this species, check out closely related species:
Trichocereus lamprochlorus is strange species that needs investigation. There are various species associated with Trichocereus lamprochlorus / Echinopsis lamprochlora, such as Trichocereus purpureopilosus and some forms of Trichocereus candicans that are considered to be synonymous with it. The species was merged into the genus Echinopsis during Friedrich & Rowley´s merger in 1974 and named Echinopsis lamprochlora (Lemaire).
The situation around Trichocereus lamprochlorusis complicated because the original description of Cereus lamprochlorus (Lemaire) and the Trichocereus lamprochlorus that we know today are two different plants. It is unknown what kind of plant Lemaire was describing as Cereus lamprochlorus, but the description differs greatly from our modern Trichocereus lamprochlorus. One of the two plants associated with this name is a medium sized Trichocereus that pups very strongly from the base and grows in groups of many side-arms. The other one is a classical columnar cactus that grows upwards and tends to get a lot bigger than the other type. Both are totally different types of cacti, but were at some point, described as the same plant. The columnar growing type of this plant is the one that´s generally accepted as Trichocereus lamprochlorus today. Trichocereus lamprochlorus belongs to a very variable complex involving numerous closely related or visually similar species. Despite the fact that the two plants known as Trichocereus lamprochlorus are different types of cacti, they might still belong to the same group of plants and just be examples of different forms belonging to different populations. It is also possible that the columnar version is what´s shown on the photos below, and the smaller clumping cactus is the forum that was later described as Trichocereus purpureopilosus. Both of them are related and show visual similarities, but differ greatly in regards to their type of growth.
These pics were shot in Tiatako, Cochabamba, Bolivia. They show a regional form related to the type that we regard as Trichocereus lamprochlorus today. It has up to 15 ribs, strong spines, a reddish touch around the spines, a very bright green epidermis, 10-15 radial spines and 4 middle spines. The flower of the originally described plant was not know.
Britton & Rose already had problems with the two mixed up plants mentioned before and tried to get to the bottom of it. Without success. The other version of Trichocereus lamprochlorus was also described as “Trichocereus neolamprochlorus”. It is a plant that´s very similar and even related to Trichocereus candicans. This plant stays relatively small, pups from the bottom, has a bright green epidermis that later changes to a sickly looking yellow color. The plants can get up to 10 centimeters in diameter, have between 8-12 ribsm, spines with a reddish touch. Its flowers are up to 25 centimeters large, white, covered with black wool. This type originally grows around Cordoba in Argentina and is a different type of cactus, one which is close to Trichocereus candicans. Due to the chaotic history, the nomenclaturic situation around these plants is convoluted.T
The One on the lower left! The one on the right is Echinocactus grusonii! by Christian Bortes!
This is a really roughed up specimen, but it´s one of the few pics I have of it.
Echinopsis macrogona / Trichocereus macrogonus in Matucana II
In this chapter I want to show you some of the wild populations of Echinopsis macrogona from Matucana. The species is partially synonymous with Echinopsis peruviana, which is why there is quite some overlay between these two. The name Echinopsis macrogona has a long and troubled history, because most authors have their own opinion about it. Personally, I consider the name Cereus macrogonus (which resulted in later descriptions as Trichocereus macrogonus and Echinopsis macrogona) to be too problematic to count. Its original description lacks information on crucial details such as the country of origin and this leads to the massive confusion surrounding it. Seed sellers carry various species under the name, e.g. Echinopsis peruviana, Echinopsis pachanoi, Trichocereus werdermannianus (currently seen as form of Echinopsis terscheckii), Trichocereus taquimbalensis, Trichocereus tacaquirensis, Echinopsis lageniformis/ Trichocereus bridgesii, Trichocereus santaensis, Trichocereus terscheckii, Trichocereus schoenii, etc. There´s almost no species that this name hasn´t been slapped on, which makes comparisons between plants from the commercial market completely pointless. If I would get a Dollar every time someone tells me that “x plant can´t be Trichocereus macrogonus because they seed grown plant looks completely different” I would be a made man.
How to differentiate Trichocereus macrogonus / Echinopsis macrogona and Trichocereus peruvianus / Echinopsis peruviana?
In this article we show some photos from Matucana, which is the type locality of Echinopsis peruviana. These plants are often referred to as Trichocereus macrogonus and people who identify these plants tend to identify them as Trichocereus macrogonus due to their spine color. I personally do not think it makes a lot of sense to differentiate between Echinopsis peruviana and Echinopsis macrogona as the whole complex is incredibly variable. Differences between a form from Matucana and one from another Peruvian city do not mean that something has to be a different species. The people who get to choose which differences draw clear lines between two related species are the authors who describe them, and so far I have not read a conclusive argumentation on clear boundaries between Echinopsis macrogona and Echinopsis peruviana and I think DNA testing is the one tool that should be used to decide this. However, since there is no country of origin, type locality or Herbarium piece of the original Cereus macrogonus, which makes it impossible to compare other populations against it. And this is pretty much the crux of the problem.
Echinopsis macrogona / Trichocereus macrogonus Huariquina in Matucana
Below you can see some photos from Huariquina in Matucana. All plants there are very beautiful and among the most visually pleasing Trichocereus species we know. Icaro DNA and Los Gentiles look very much like this. The plants grow columnar, but with a clear tendency to lean over every now and then. They do not really grow prostrate, but they don´t always grow a 100% columnar either.
If you like the articles we write, check out some of our other ones:
Pomolargo is another Peruvianus population that is a glowing example for the beauty of this species.
Echinopsis macrogona / Trichocereus macrogonus Collana Roja in Matucana
Collana Roja is another Matucana population that is typical for Echinopsis macrogona. The spines are brow, sometimes even red, and this is one of the only traits that are somewhat usable to differentiate between Echinopsis peruviana and Echinopsis macrogona. Again, most are mostly synonymous anyways, which is underlined through the fact that Echinopsis macrogona was never found again, from the time on that Britton and Rose wrote their description of Trichocereus peruvianus. That alone speaks volumes and the reason is that all the plants which were formerly identified as Cereus macrogonus were later attributed to Britton and Rose´s name. There are differences between the two descriptions, but they are rather small-
Copyright: Chavin Herbalists
Echinopsis macrogona / Trichocereus macrogonus Collana Pichu in Matucana
Collana Pichu is very similar in regards to the phenotype and gets very close to Collana Roja.
Copyright: Chavin Herbalists
Echinopsis macrogona / Trichocereus macrogonus Sucro in Matucana
In Sucro we´ve seen some plants that were relatively short spined or even spineless. There´s quite a few regional forms of this species that is spineless, but these plants are usually very spiny as seedlings and only lose their spines later on. In particular, we´ve grown some seeds of Collana Roja, which are quite spiny as seedlings and we hope they will lose their spines later on.
Trichocereus peruvianus or Echinopsis peruvianais a columnar cactus that can get up to 4 meters long and reaches 20 centimeters in diameter. It´s also called the PERUVIAN TORCH cactus and is native in Peru. Britton and Rose – The Cact. II, S.136 /192
Photos of Trichocereus peruvianus
Trichocereus peruvianus / macrogonus from Matucana Red Spines
Most regional forms belonging to this species have a frosted blue color and grow between 6-9 ribs. Its flowers are white, though there are some close relatives that have a different flower color (Trichocereus tulhuayacensis). It usually grows upright, but sometimes grows prostrate hanging down from cliffs and rocks. The size and color of the spines varies greatly, but most of them have about 6-8 honey-colored to brown spines that can reach about 4 centimeters in length. The areoles are brown to beige-felted and up to 2,5 centimeters distanced from each other. The Spines do NOT have a knobbed Base. The spine color is one of the key traits if you attempt to tell it apart from Trichocereus macrogonus. We write more on Trichocereus macrogonus in that particular chapter.
A Peru at the type locality in Matucana.
Echinopsis peruviana flowers very easily as soon as it reaches a certain size and the plant is very easy to cultivate. Some of them have a distinct V-Notch above the areoles, but not all and it´s not a trait that is reliable for identification.
Cultivation of Trichocereus peruvianus / Echinopsis peruviana:
Trichocereus peruvianus can be grown from seed 0r propagated by cuttings. Seeds need to be sprinkled on top of the soil because they require sunlight to germinate. The seeds are tiny and only a few mm large and have a long viability. Usually, the seeds can stay viable for up to 10 years or above, though that depends on many factors. The Seed needs to be stored in a dry and cold environment to guarantee maximum viability.
Los Gentiles (Noah Reams)
The cactus can also be propagated through cuttings and it´s very easy to root. But make sure that the cuttings are not smaller than 20 centimeters because that stunts the growth tremendously.
The flower of Trichocereus peruvianus / Echinopsis peruviana:
The flower is white and reaches as size of up to 25 centimeters. Trichocereus peruvianus is a night flowering species.
Type locality of Trichocereus peruvianus / Echinopsis peruviana:
Peru (around Matucana). Trichocereus peruvianus is the dominant Trichocereus species in Matucana.
Plants that are closely related or are synonymous with Trichocereus peruvianus:
Trichocereus tacnaensis, Trichocereus puquiensis, Trichocereus santaensis (some of the plants around the Santa Valley belong to Tr. pachanoi though), Trichocereus tarmaensis (closely related to Trichocereus cuzcoensis as well), Trichocereus macrogonus, Echinopsis macrogona, Trichocereus f. Ancash, Trichocereus sp. Ayacucho, Trichocereus giganteus, Trichocereus longispinus, Trichocereus sp. Pamacoche, Trichocereus sp. Matucana, Trichocereus rosei,
Trichocereus peruvianus and Trichocereus pachanoiare sister species and closely related. Some field botanist considered them one large and variable species and there are countless intermediates and hybrids that could be placed in either species. Around 1950-1980, some authors came up with a large number of unnecessary species names and most of these plants would fit into the description of Trichocereus peruvianus as well.
Some commercial names that we sometimes see in combination with Trichocereus peruvianus.
Please note that these are not officially accepted varieties and we only list them in this form because they were listed by wholesale:
Trichocereus peruvianus var. (H14192), Huntington, EE.UU. Trichocereus peruvianus var. huancabamba, Piura, northwest Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. huancavelica (KK242a), west central Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. cuzcoensis (KK340), Huachac, Cuzco, southeastern Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. huancayo (KK338), west central Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. ancash (KK1688), San Marcos, Ancash, northwest Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. matucana (KK242) Lima, central west Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. puquiensis (KK1689), Puquio, Apurimac Region, southwestern peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. trujilloensis, Trujillo, La Libertad, northwestern Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. tarmensis (KK2148), Tarma, Junin, west central Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. Rio Lurin (KK2147), Rio Rimac, Lima, west central Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. ayacuchensis (KK2151), southwestern Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. huaraz (KK2152), Ancash, northwestern Peru.
Culture of T. peruvianus:
The culture of Trichocereus peruvianus is not very hard. The plant has very similar requirements as other Trichocereus species like Trichocereus macrogonus or Trichocereus pachanoi. Trichocereus peruvianus is an extremely frost resistant plant that can thrive in the most difficult environment. Some of its forms grow columnar while some others are creeping/prostrate. In their natural habitats, they even hang down on hills or rocky slopes. When watering cacti, the soil should not stay wet for more than a couple of hours because it greatly increases the probability of rot. Cacti need a substrate that dries out fast and too much water is often deadly for them. Apart from a little bit of water here and there, you should only water Trichocereus peruvianus when it´s warm. During the hot growth-season, they can take daily or weekly watering and like to be fertilized on a 7-14-days schedule. I even fertilize weekly during the main season, but that also depends on your personal way of growing cacti. It’s best to use a mineral substrate like Pumice or Lava, with additives like Coir, Sand, Sowing Soil, Expanded Clay etc. Just make sure to add in a very small part of Coir or Humus because it helps to solidify the soil and increases the cactus ability to take in nutrients. I personally love Lava and Pumice and the plants enjoy it very much! Echinopsis peruviana aka Trichocereus peruvianus likes a sunny place in half-shade, but not full sun. They can take it if they are used to it, but it increases the risk of sunburn. Especially directly after the winter period when they are not used to it yet.
Winter & Frost Protection: Trichocereus peruvianus is a relatively frost hardy cactus. It’s usually not a problem for it to take take a little night frost here and there and is tolerant down to -9° Celsius. But that’s really the limit and I would not be comfortable to push it below that. There are always plants are less frost tolerant than others and you never know where the limit for your plant is going to be. A plant that spent its life in a heated greenhouse, will die very soon if you suddenly start exposing it to cold winter frost. The cacti need to be hardened up and in a good general health. In my greenhouse I overwinter Trichocereus at 1° Celsius between December and March.
Minimum average winter temperature:
The ideal average winter temperature for Trichocereus peruvianus is 10° Celsius. That´s close to their natural winter period in habitat. Trichocereus peruvianus can compensate short frosts down to 15.8° Fahrenheit every now and then but you should take care that it has an average temperature of around 50° Fahrenheit.
Winter storage & Winter Protection for Trichocereus:
Trichocereus peruvianus needs fresh air during the wintertime if you want to overwinter the plant inside. It also needs light and the soil has to be completely dry, to make sure that the rootstock does not rot. This is important because that’s exactly what happens in the habitat during the winter time. Trichocereus peruvianus can deal with low temperatures as long as its dry. Of course all those overwintering-rules only apply of you live in a country with hard winter frost down to -20° celsius and lower. If you live in a warmer country such as Australia, this certainly is not a problem for you and water or high air humidity are the bigger problem then. I also know many growers from the CA area in the USA, and they usually get their plants over the winter without problems, if they do nor get surprisingly cold frosts. Leave your Trichocereus peruvianus in a bright room, give it a little bit fresh air every now and then and make sure to keep the temperatures below 10° Celsius. As soon as you put them in a heated room, they will require regular waterings and light or they will die quickly. In addition they will etiolate. If kept dry, the water requirements during the winter are minimal though. The minimum temp in Fahrenheit is 50° Fahrenheit. No water should be given between late autumn (October-early May) unless you grow them in a heated place, eg greenhouse or house. If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse, you can take out most Trichocereus in early March, but you should also check the maximum frost tolerance of the species you take out. There are many cacti that need higher temperatures to stay healthy.
Germinating Trichocereus peruvianus seeds:
Just like Seed of other Trichocereus species, Trichocereus peruvianus seeds need light to germinate. I usually prepare a mix of Pumice, Lava, Coir, and Sand and and sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil. Make sure not to knock off the sowing container/pot because that would probably bury the seeds and that’s never a good thing. Buried seeds often do not germinate due to the lacking light or they germinate deep inside the soil and die. So yeah, sprinkle them on top of the soil and make sure that the temperatures are between 26° and 30° Celsius. Make sure to add in enough water to start the germination process. However, it does not take a lot of water to kick start the germination and it’s always better to give very little water early on because you can always add in some more. But if you add too much water in the beginning, it cannot be undone without risking to wash or soak away the seed with the excess water. With a syringe, excess water can be removed from the sowing container. Put the sowing containers in a bright and warm place and be patient. A window sill works perfectly. You can also use a LED lamp to give them enough light to germinate and I can recommend that very much because it increases the germination rate. Adding a decent LED Lamp (like 100 Watt and above) will increase germination rates dramatically and the plants are healthier and grow faster.
Germination of seeds and why some seeds don’t germinate
The problem with seeds is that some shops resell seed from South America wholesalers that sell over-aged seed. So the shops might not know about the bad germination rates that their seeds have and that´s a real problem with Trichocereus peruvianus seed on the market. If you did everything I just mentioned and your seed does not germinate within like 2-6 weeks, it´s most likely old garbage. It does not help to keep it wet for longer than that because that’s not how germination of cactus seeds works. Instead, you let it dry and start another cycle once the soil is completely dry. It does not help to keep dead seed in germination chambers for 6+ weeks. You will just grow Algae and Moss. Another problem that you can get with commercial seed is that there´s a lot of misidentified seeds of this species available on the market. The people who collect these seeds usually don´t have access to literature and that´s why the misidentification rate is extremely high. . Many Trichocereus cuzcoensis are sold as Trichocereus peruvianus and that´s a big problem for the seed market.
My best recommendation is that if you can get in touch with the seed producer, send them a message and ask about a pic of the mother plant. That way, you can minimize the risk of getting mislabeled seed.
Seed Viability of Echinopsis peruviana/ Trichocereus peruvianus:
The seed of Trichocereus peruvianus is viable for many, many years. I sometimes successfully germinate seeds that are more than 5-10 years old but it always depends on the storage and the seed. Some are dead within a couple of months while some can even stay viable for decades, like Ariocarpus seeds. The bigger the seed, the longer they are viable btw. Rebutia are dead within a couple of weeks, Trichocereus & Echinopsis 5-10 years, Ariocarpus 10+ years, Echinocereus (5-10 years), Lophophora (2-5 years at max).
How to differentiate Trichocereus peruvianus and Trichocereus cuzcoensis?
The swollen spine bases of Trichocereus cuzcoensis are the main trait that Britton and Rose used to tell them apart. Trichocereus peruvianus does NOT have swollen spine bases. There are many intermediates and forms in between the two, but in regards to the original description that’s the most important trait. In addition, Trichocereus cuzcoensis only grows in Cuzco. There are relatives of Trichocereus cuzcoensis that can be found in other parts of Peru however, e.g. Trichocereus knuthianus, Trichocereus schoenii, etc
How to differentiate Trichocereus peruvianus and macrogonus
Both species are probably synonymous. Trichocereus macrogonus was used for plants with dark brown or red spines, while plants with different spine color were seen as Trichocereus peruvianus. The original description of Trichocereus macrogonus is ancient, lacked important traits or information such as country of origin and the original plant was never found again afterwards. Technically, Trichocereus macrogonus is the older name and might replace Trichocereus peruvianus as official name one day (IF the problematic description will be accepted). Some authors have already started to use this system, but is unclear if it will be accepted officially. Modern taxonomy moves towards fewer species, with a larger number of subspecies or varieties and I completely support that.
Trichocereus peruvianus from Lurin Valle / Lurin Valley
Trichocereus peruvianus from Ayacucho
Trichocereus peruvianus intermediate
Trichocereus peruvianus Apurimac KK1689
Trichocereus peruvianus ‘Rosei 1’ (Rodni Kisar)
Backeberg´s Description of Trichocereus peruvianus
Trichocereus peruvianus Br. & R. — The Cact., II : 136. 1920 Cereusrosei Werd., in Backeberg, „Neue Kakteen“, 101. 1931. Entweder ± aufrecht oder überliegend bis hängend, 2—4 m lang; Tr. bis 20 cm ∅, anfangs bereift; Rippen über den Areolen etwas eingesenkt und ± höckerig erscheinend, breit-rund; Areolen bis 2,5 cm entfernt, ziemlich groß, braunfilzig; St. zuerstbraun, ca. 10, einigebis 4 cm lang, stark undsteif, Basis nicht verdickt; Bl. weiß, groß, zum Teil zahlreich nach dem Scheitel zu entwickelt. — P e r u (bei Matucana; nach Rauh bis oberhalb von Matucana bzw. bei Tamboraque ander Lima—Oroya-Bahn bis auf 2800 m) (Abb. 1059—1060, Tafel 76). Britton u. Rose bilden mit ihrer Fig. 197 einenbaumartigaufrechten Cereus ab, Rauh dagegen einen hängenden; ichselbstfand die Art anfangs ± aufrecht, dann überliegend bisniederliegend. Es kommenbei Matucana aber auch Exemplare des aufrechten T. santaensisvor, den Britton u. Rose wohlnicht als besondere Art erkannten. Die Identifizierung dieser Art mit Tr. macrogonus (Kkde., 20. 1941) kann ich nicht aufrechterhalten.
Friedrich Ritter´s Description
T R I C H O C E R E U S (BERGER) RICCOBONO 1909 TRICHOCEREUS PACHANOI BR. & R. 1920 The Cactaceae, Bd. 2, S. 134 und TRICHOCEREUS PACHANOI FORMA PERUVIANUS RITT. comb. nov. syn. TRICHOCEREUS PERUVIANUS BR. & R. 1920 The Cactaceae, Bd. 2, S. 136 Für TRICHOCER. PACHANOI geben BR. & R. als Typusort an CUENCA, Ecuador, für TRICHOCER. PERUVIANUS MATUCANA, Peru. In Wahrheit liegtnur eine Art vor. ROSE war jedenfalls ungenügend orientiert Über die große Variationsbreitedieser Art in Bestachlung und Areolengröße. Man kann TRICHOCER. PERUVIANUS nur als eine Form der PACHANOI ansehen, die entweder allein oder mit letzterer an gleichen Stellen wächst von Ecuador bis Mittelperu, und zwar mit Übergangsformen in einander. Für die Form PACHANOI sind typisch Ar. von 3-5 mm Dm., feine Rst. vonwenigen mm Länge und meist nur 1 Mst. von wenigen mm bis zu etwa 2 cm Länge. Oft fehlen die St. völlig, oder sie sind nur an jüngeren Pflanzen vorhanden undfehlen an älteren Köpfen. Formen, welche Ar. von etwa 5 bis nahezu 10 mm Dm. haben und stärkere St., von denen der mittlere meist über 2 cm Länge hat und selten bis über 10 cm Länge erreichen kann, wird man als FORMA PERUVIANUS bezeichnen. Die Zahl der St. kannbei beiden Formen bis auf etwa 10 gehen, die Anordnung der St. und das Größenverhältnis zwischenRst. zuMst. ist bei beiden Formen dasselbe, Mst. sind nur einer vorhanden, seltener 2-3. Die St. beider Formen sind nur unterschieden durch Länge und Dicke; es mag also vielleicht für beide Formen nur je ein Allel eines einzigen Gen vorliegen, so daß eine Weiterführung des Namens PERUVIANUS als forma wohl nur aus Tradition zu rechtfertigen ist, wegen der Zweiteilung der Art durch Br. & R., denn solche Erbformen pflegt man an sich nicht taxonomisch zu benennen. Da eine genaue Bl.-Beschreibung nie erfolgte, gebe ich hier eine solche von einer Bl. (mit Foto) eines Exemplars östlich von SAMNE, Prov. OTUSCO, Depart. La Libertad, wo beide Formen mit Übergängen zusammen wachsen. Bl. seitlich, nicht sehr weit unter dem Triescheitel, ziemlich waagerecht vom Trieb abstehend, 21 cm lang, mit einer Weite zwischen den äußersten Krbl. vonca 20 cm. Über dem Frkn. ist die Rö. leicht nach oben gebogen, während die Öffnung der Rö. wieder leicht nach unten gebogenist. Frkn. 22 mm lang und dick, grün, gehöckert, mit schmalen grünen Schuppen von unten 1 mm bis oben ca 4 mm Länge und mit reichlichen schwarzbraunen Wollhaaren. N.-K. 23 mm lang, aber nur etwa 5 mm weit um den Gr., blaß bräunlich, mit etwas Nektar. Rö. darüber 8 cm lang, Öffnung 4,5 mm weit, mit 6 mm (unten) bis 25 mm (oben) langen graugrünen Schuppen und schwarzen, 15-25 mm langen Wollbüscheln. Stbf. blaßgrün, nach den Enden hellgelb, der Rö. aufliegend, 8-10 cm lang, die des Saumes 4,5 cm lang, Insertionslücke 4 cm lang unter dem Saum, Beutel brauncreme, 2,5 mm lang, 1 mm breit, Pollen weiß. Gr. blaßgrün, 19,5 cm lang, wovon 3 cm auf die 15 hellgelben, überragenden Narbenlappen kommen. Innere Krbl. weiß, 9-10 cm lang, 3,5-4 cm breit, bei etwa 2/3 Länge am breitesten, oben gerundet mit aufgesetzter hellgelber Spitze; äußere Krbl. 8-11 cm lang, 14-18 mm breit, fast von unten ab zugespitzt, nach unten hellgrün, nach den Enden rotbraun, stark nach außen gebogen. Einige Samenangaben siehe unter TRICHOCER. KNUTHIANUS. Nr. FR 567 (Form PACHANOI) und Nr. FR 155 (Form PERUVIANUS). Abb. 1186.
Videos of Trichocereus peruvianus / Echinopsis peruviana
Trichocereus huarazensis is a columnar cactus from Huaraz in Peru. It is not an official species and it is a commercial name that goes back to Karel Knize. Knize sold seeds and plants from a wild population in Huaraz. A Trichocereus grower in the United States obtained a cutting from Mr. Knize, which was the start for this rare clone in the Trichocereus community. Today, Trichocereus huarazensis is used in many different hybrid crosses of the US breeder Misplant, and it was also used by crosses of the US breeder Nitrogen.
There is also a wild collection of Trichocereus seeds from Huaraz that was collected by Chavin Herbalists. The collection is called Huarazino and it is probably from the same plants that Karel Knize collected his seeds from too.
The origininal Trichocereus huarazensis clone
Trichocereus huarazensis in the wild, also called Huarazino, from chavin Herbalist.
Trichocereus macrogonus, also known as Echinopsis macrogona, is a columnar cactus.
The first description about it was made using the name Cereusmacrogonus SD. Cact. Hort. Dyck.Cult.
Currently valid name name:
Echinopsis macrogona, the name is disputed by some authors and re-described as Trichocereus macrogonus by others. The whole genus Trichocereus is currently being revised and it´ll take a good 10 years till this is somewhat resolved. Echinopsis macrogona / Trichocereus macrogonus is at least partially synonymous with Echinopsis peruviana / Trichocereus peruvianus and it is difficult to clearly divide them. Both are contending names and due the older age of Trichocereus macrogonus (back then it was still called Cereus macrogonus, which was the name from the first description by Salm-Dyck), it´s possible that Trichocereus macrogonus / Echinopsis macrogona will replace Trichocereus peruvianus / Echinopsis peruviana as main species name for this group of plants.
T.macrogonus and its connection to Trichocereus peruvianus
Trichocereus macrogonus is an alternative name for some forms of Trichocereus peruvianus and many authors support this theory. These days, some Peruvian Trichocereus strains with brown spines and dark blue epidermis are usually sold as Trichocereus macrogonus by seed sellers, but these plants are not really different enough to justify treating them as correct species.
Trichocereus macrogonus is a very old name and since Britton and Rose came along with their description of Trichocereus peruvianus, the plants that used to be called Macrogonus were then treated as T. peruvianus. Due to the old age of the species name Trichocereus macrogonus, it is possible that it will be given priority over the newer name T. peruvianus IF the original description of T. macrogonus will be considered to be correct. Right now, this hasn’t been decided yet, but there’s a chance that this will happen. However, many people want to keep the old name Trichocereus peruvianus just because it has a lot of history and traditions attached to it. The future of this species s is unclear and will be decided in the next years. Personally, I consider the name to be extremely problematic due to the many problems associated with it, eg no type locality, no flower description, unclear origin, not being found again in nature, etc.
Synonyms of T. macrogonus:
Cereus macrogona, Echinopsis macrogona, Trichocereus macrogona, Trichocereus glaucus (sometimes. Trichocereus glaucus is a species related to T. chalaensis. However, many seed sellers offer certain strains from the T. peruvianus/macrogonus group as Trichocereus glaucus, eg KK336). Echinopsis glauca, Trichocereus glauca, many strains that belong to T. peruvianus.
Below you can find some photos of plants with this name from the commercial market. They differ greatly and not all belong to Trichocereus peruvianus. There are plants with the label Trichocereus macrogonus being sold that belong to T. bridgesii, T. pachanoi, T. peruvianus, T. werdermannianus, T. taquimbalensis, T. tacaquirensis, T. santaensis, T. bridgesii and Trichocereus cuzcoensis. Because of this, it makes no sense to use plants from the commercial market as standard for this species.
European Macrogonus clone. Very old clone and one of the oldest ones associated with the name.
Different clone that was sold as Trichocereus macrogonus
European Trichocereus macrogonus clone
The photos below show Trichocereus macrogonus in the Huntington Botanical Garden
Trichocereus macrogonus in the Huntington Botanical Garden by Richard Hipp
Origin of Trichocereus macrogonus:
Unkown. Possibly Bolivia but the species could never be found in Bolivia again. Originally, it was assumed that the plant came from Brasil and Borg wrote that the plant came from Bolivia or Argentinia but that could not be verified. Rauh found a Trichocereus in 1954 (collection number K68-1954) that may have been the wild Trichocereus macrogonus. That plant was found around the Mantaro Area in the middle of Peru.
This is the plant in question, and judging by its looks, it could actually be the originally described Trichocereus macrogonus. Back then, the plant was described as Cereus macrogonus (Salm-Dyk) and I know a very similar plant that was distributed by Karel Knize.
Backeberg´s and Rauh´s Photos
And this pic is from Backeberg´s description and shows a plant that is very common in European collections!
Echinopsis macrogona or T. macrogonus is a columnar cactus that is very close to Trichocereus peruvianus or Echinopsis peruviana. Echinopsis macrogona is most likely synonymous with a certain, long-spined type of Peruvianus. The typical epidermis of Trichocereus macrogonus has a frosty, blue color. Trichocereus macrogonus grows columnar and can get up to 3 meters tall and 3-5 centimeters in diameter. Some very large species can even reach a higher diameter. It has 6-9 radial thorns and 1-3 middle thorns that are up to 10 centimeters long.
Spines of Echinopsis macrogona:
The spines are dark brown, black or gray in color. New spine growth can also be yellow. The problem is that there are countless types that are called “Trichocereus Macrogonus”. Some definitely belong in the Trichocereus Cuzcoensis complex while some others are a very frosty type of Trichocereus Peruvianus from Matucana.
About 2 centimeters apart from each other and 5-10 mm in diameter. Brown-felted.
Flowers:White, near the top and up to 18 centimeters long. Trichocereus Macrogonus is a night flowering species.
Fruit: Round fruit, shiny segmented fruit, black or dark brown in color.
Trichocereus Macrogonus is self sterilewhat means that you need two different species´to get seed.
Culture of Trichocereus macrogonus:
The culture of Trichocereus Macrogonus is very easy. Basically, it has exactly the same requirements as Trichocereus Pachanoi (San Pedro Cactus) or Trichocereus Peruvianus (Peruvian Torch). It is a very hardy plant that forgives a lot and as long as you treat it like a cactus instead of a swamp plant, it will pay you back with healthy growth every year. The cactus only needs water during the hot, growing seasons. That means that in summer, you can water it every week or even days as long you allow the soil to dry up between waterings.
You can improve the drainage o
The importance of providing drainage
f your soil by adding purely mineral substrates like pumice, clay substrates like Seramis or simply sand. However, you should add a very small part commercial cactus soil because you want the substrate to be able to store nutrients and purely mineral substrates like sand tend to wash out nutrients very easily. Trichocereus Macrogonus likes a place with half-shade that gets a fair amount of sunlight every day. However, you should make sure not to burn the hell out of it. You need to adapt your plants slowly to sun light and if necessary you need to provide a shade cloth.
Winter & Frost: Trichocereus Macrogonus is a very hardy cactus that can take short night frosts down to -9° Celsius as long as the general health of the plant is ok. However, it requires a minimum average temperature of 10° celsius. That means it can take short frosts down to 15.8° Fahrenheit as maximum frost temperature. The average minimum temperature in Fahrenheit is 50° Fahrenheit.
Winter storage & Winter Protection:
Trichocereus Macrogonus likes a bright spot with lots of fresh air during the wintertime. If you have the luck to live in a country with very little frost, like Australia or the hotter parts of the USA, you wont have the problem of winter storage because you can grow your plants outside but most people in other parts of the world are not able do that.
Fresh air to tackle fungal problems
It´s best to store cacti in a very bright room with fresh air supply to prevent mold. The minimum temperature should be around 9° celsius/50° Fahrenheit. For this type of winter storage, the plants need to be kept dry, without any waterings in between October and April. If you have a greenhouse, you can start taking out the plants by May, but be careful about late night frosts because some south american species that take frost very well. For Trichocereus Macrogonus, this should not be a problem though.
Germination of Trichocereus macrogonus seeds:
The seeds of Trichocereus Macrogonus are like most other Echinopsis & Trichocereus seeds. They need light to germinate and should be sprinkled on top of the soil. They require a minimum germination temperature between 25° and 30° celsius and seedlings need to be watched carefully to prevent heat damage, because though temps up to 30° celsius increase germination rates, everything above can kill the young seedlings in an instant. Watch out for mold or fungus gnats. However, Trichocereus Macrogonus seedlings are actually tough.
Where to get seed:
There are many seed suppliers that sell seed of Trichocereus macrogonus. However, be cautious because there one or two south american wholesalers that sell over aged seed. Please not that there are some extraordinarily good Seed distributors from South America so there is no general rule of thumb. That´s how life is and I would recommend you to test the seed you are offered before you buy a substantial amount of it. I have seen people tank hundreds of dollars for seed that produced one or two seedlings.
Seed Viability, Trichocereus macrogonus:
The seed is viable for many years. This is something that most Trichocereus have in common and the seed is probably viable for at least 5-10 years, though you get the best results within the first year.
Commercial strains, clones or field numbers associated with the name:
KK923 Trichocereus Macrogonus (Cieneguillas, Bolivia), KK1422 (Villa Abecia, Bolivia), KK2151 (Ayacucho, Peru), KK2175 Apurimac Pachachaca (Bolivia), KK2176 Ayacucho, Tr. macrogonus H1306 from the Huntington Botanical Garden, Trichocereus cv. Neon Palm, Trichocereus sp. Luther Burbank, Trichocereus SS01, Trichocereus cv. Oklahoma, and many more. List will be updated. If you know some more, let me know. But the fact that you could as well list all of those as Trichocereus Peruvianus makes this kinda pointless. Both types are synonymous and I just added this page because I dont want to leave it out.
Trichocereus macrogonus for sale
Trichocereus macrogonus is rarely available for sale. The species name is very old and the plants on the commercial market that you get with this label belong to all kinds of species. Most Trichocereus macrogonus for sale are Knize sourced Trichocereus werdermannianus, Trichocereus peruvianus, Trichocereus bridgesii etc.
Trichocereus macrogonus seeds
This is a completely informational page and we do not sell seeds or plants of this species. Like mentioned before, you can get Trichocereus macrogonus seeds from the commercial market. Since it is not known how the original Cereus macrogonus looked like, you can get all kinds of plants under this name though. Trichocereus macrogonus and Trichocereus peruvianus are at least partially synonymous and sellers use both names interchangeably.
This here is what grows out of Köhres or Knize Trichocereus Macrogonus Seed:
Trichocereus macrogonus ‘Fields’
The Fields Macrogonus is an old Australian Trichocereus macrogonus clone that came to Australia through Blossfeld´s first South America expedition. Harry Blossfeld was a cactus collector that financed his expeditions by selling cacti to financiers, and that´s how it probably was with the Fields Macro.
European Macrogonus Clone
Different phenotype, associated with Trichocereus macrogonus.
Red or brown spines are an important way to differentiate between them.
Aerial roots of Trichocereus macrogonus
Good example of a Bolivian Trichocereus macrogonus sourced from Karel Knize. The plant is almost certainly a relative of Trichocereus werdermannianus or taquimbalensis.
Trichocereus macrogonus / Echinopsis macrogona ‘MG Red Spine’ (Rodni Kisar)
Trichocereus Macro hybrid Amun-Re with red flower
European Macro clone
Wild populations from Matucana that may or may not count as Echinopsis macrogona.
Videos on how to differentiate between certain T. peruvianus and T.pachanoi
Hey guys, just wanted to give you a preview of the upcoming Trichocereus Matucana strains.
Huariquiña, not far away from Matucana. There are also some photos from that site from the Sacred Succulents Field Trip. Overall, this is a fantastic strain with beautiful plants that grow prostrate at times. 100% authentic and genuine Trichocereus peruvianus. Available soon. If you want to be notified about it just subscribe to the newsletter at trichocereus.net/newsletter and you get a message when they become available.
New Trichocereus photos from
Parque de Las Leyendas Peru
Hey guys, wanted to show these new photos from the Parque de Las Leyendas in Lima, Peru. They are from my friends Aynor and Arthur and I am glad to show them here. Many Trichocereus pachanoi, but also some other interesting plants that deserve to be seen. Thanks again for providing the photos and for making advertising for these glorious plants. Muchas Gracias. 😉
Trichocereus pallarensis, also known as Echinopsis pallarensis, is an obscure species from North Peru that was discovered and described by Friedrich Ritter. It belongs into the same context that Trichocereus santaensis / Echinopsis santaensis belongs to.
Trichocereus pallarensis is a species that was described by Friedrich Ritter and listed in his WINTER catalogs starting in 1961! I do have most of the old Winter catalogs, but I unfortunately not the ones after 1960. But that´s not a problem as I have a whole lot of other information about Trichocereus pallarensis.
Ritter wrote about this species numerous times. He basically called this plant a “variety of Trichocereus pachanoi”, but described it as a new species just in case. Back then, it was common that botanists or taxonomists wrote new descriptions only based on minor differences, that would only be seen as a regional form by today´s standards.
Trichocereus pallarensis has 3 – 6 radial spines (15 – 50 mm long). Those are brown or honey colored and relatively thin compared with the ones on Trichocereus peruvianus and Trichocereus pachanoi. The middle spines are often missing or there is only one very strong and long middle spine. It is very similar to Tr. pachanoi in regards to the spination and most of the spines are only few millimeters long. The areoles are often very small and those packed areoles usually tend to miss the one middle spine as well.
Flowers of Trichocereus pallarensis:
Friedrich Ritter was not able to get a good description of the flower and I am working on one myself. The plant is very rare and if you happen to have a flowering sized one, please let me know so we can improve the flower description. With that said, it comes from the Pachanoi group and is probably almost identical to the one of Tr. pachanoi. The flower is definitely white, but I´d love to measure it some more.
Fruit of Echinopsis pallarensis:
The fruit of Trichocereus pallarensis is 5 cm long and 4 cm thick. Covered with GRAY wool. Seeds: The seeds of Trichocereus pallarensis are identical to the ones on other Tr. pachanoi types.
Origin/ Type locality of T.pallarensis:
Trichocereus pallarensis grows in Llancora, near Cajamarca. Near Pallar (that´s where the name comes from) and east of the cordillera Blanca. Department Ancash at 2.500 – 3.000 meters altitude.
Where to buy Trichocereus pallarensis seeds and plants:
Trichocereus pallarensis is very rare and only a few shops have them in stock. If you want to buy seeds of Trichocereus pallarensis, please join my seed list and I´ll let you know next time I have some. You can also get some fresh seeds from Sacredsucculents.com every now and then. They have a beautiful number of crosses that they produce every year. You might also be able to get some from Cactusaffinity and Misplant.
Trichocereus pallarensis FR1468 Locality: Machar, Peru (Ritter)
There is huge confusion around this species but as far as i can tell it from the first Pic, this is absolutely correct. Please note the similarity to Trichocereus spachianus.
The plant that Ben and his colleagues were visiting in Cochabamba in Bolivia is a very big deal, given the fact that this is actually one of the few locations where Trichocereus lamprochlorus grows in nature. Trichocereus neolamprochlorus is similar and closely related. This plant does not grow as columnar as this one and is close to the group forming Trichocereus candicans. These days, Trichocereus neolamprochlorus is no longer regarded as a good species.
The plant on the following photos is what the modern taxonomy understands as Trichocereus lamprochlorus. It is different to the Trichocereus neolamprochlorus mentioned before.
Unfortunately, there is no pic of the flower but it should flower in white.
Sacred Succulents collected some Seeds and assigned the collection number BK10508.4 T. lamprochlorus, but so far, i haven’t seen any plants grown from this seed yet.
Trichocereus huanucoensis goes back to a nursery owner called Harry Johnson senior, who brought this plant into the USA in the 1950s. Unlike popular belief, Trichocereus huanucoensis is NOT an official species. There is no official description and very little information about the plant. According to Herbarium pieces, its place of origin is Huanuco. It is a beautiful town directly beside Chavin de Huantar and the plants that can be found there are Trichocereus santaensis and intermediate forms between Trichocereus santaensis and Trichocereus pachanoi. The same applies to Trichocereus huanucoensis too. It is fairly typical of Backeberg´s species Trichocereus santaensis and the place of origin underlines that. If you want to see similar plants, check out the posting about Chavin de Huantar.
Trichocereus huanucoensis has very wide ribs, which give it a similar look to Trichocereus santaensis and Trichocereus bridgesii. The original site where Johnson collected his seeds is unknown, but the plants grown from them are common to be found in some parts of the USA. In California, quite a few larger plants were planted outside. Apart from its occurrence in cactus nurseries and collected in the USA, it is very rare in Europe. This underlines the suspicion that Mr. Johnson was indeed the source and distributed this plant among his friends and customers.
Trichocereus huanucoensis tends to be extremely fat and has a very bloated look. Its spine length is extremely variable and the specimens can have no spines or long spines but it usually has very few spines per areole. The spines are usually golden, but lack a swollen spine base. This is a key similarity to the plants from Chavin de Huantar as well.
Though the obvious lack of a description, it is a very attractive plant that deserves to be propagated. It is commercially available from Sacred Succulents or Misplant but it is still a rare plant.
One specimen of Trichocereus huanucoensis is also growing in the Huntington Botanical Garden in California. The specimen that Sacred Succulents use for their Huanucoensis crosses was originally from Ed Gay, who was a close friend of Johnson & Huntington. Some people tend to believe that Trichocereus huanucoensis is a Bridgesii relative, but the flower morphology pretty much rules that out right away. Its flowers and flower buds are typical for a Peruvian San Pedro, especially T. santaensis.
There is a variety of this plant on the market labeled H80361, which probably originated from Johnson also. There might have been the chance to find out more about the origin of the plant in the Huntington Botanical Garden but unfortunately, they do not have any info on where some of their older plants came from. At some point, their ID cards were stolen or lost, what makes it more difficult to find more information on the plant´s origin other than that it came from Huanuco.
Photos of Trichocereus and Echinopsis pachanoi in Ecuador!
Trichocereus pachanoi in Ecuador is rare, but there definitely are a lot of them to be found there.
The original type locality of Trichocereus pachanoi (the San Pedro cactus) is in Ecuador. Though it is much more common in Peru these days the most typical specimens to the description can be found in Ecuador. Those Ecuadorian Pachanois are rare, but they can be found and have a long history. I will use this page for all my Ecuadorian Pachanois. There are many, but it´ll take a while for me to get everything up to date.
Those photos from Trichocereus pachanoi were made by Neil Logan during the Sacredsucculents.com Field Trips!
Vilcabamba (N. Logan)
Another cool Planting from the SS Field Trip in 2008! Pic: Neil Logan + Ben Kamm sacredsucculents.com! Please try to support this great company!
Those photos were provided by Chavinherbalist.com. Thanks a lot to them…check their shop out!
This is KK339 Trichocereus pachanoi, which is an Ecuadorian Trichocereus that goes back to Karel Knize. Those photos were provided by Rodni and Delia Kisar by Trichocereus.com.au!
Trichocereus Parque de las Leyendas:
The Parque de las Leyendas is located in the San Miguel district of Lima and was founded as the first Zoo of Peru. Peru is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world and the park is home to countless amazing plants and creatures, including some interesting Trichocereus species.
There are many cool San Pedros in the Parque de las Leyendas in Peru. Ben Kamm and his friends from Sacredsucculents.com visited the park during various field trips, collected some seeds and made some photos. Here are some of the pics:
BK08611.4 Trichocereus , Jardin Botanico, Trichocereus Parque de las Leyendas, Lima, Peru
BK08611.5 Trichocereus Parque de las Leyendas, Lima, Peru
Another Trichocereus Pachanoi from the park! Same Location, different Plant.
And this is a plant that was grown from the Sacred Succulents Field Trip seed. Copyright: Stillman.
The very long spines are really interesting because they are nothing like the almost spineless appearance of the mother plant. Nonetheless, it´s actually quite common for old plants to be pretty spineless. It´s also interesting because the plant has very few ribs and a large distance between the areoles.
BK08611.6 Trichocereus, Jardin Botanico, Parque de las Leyendas, Lima, Peru
As far as I know, Ben also visited those Trichocereus pachanois during the 2014 Field Trip! So in case you bought some Pachanoi seeds starting with BK14, it´s very possible those are the mother plants!
Apparently Sacred Succulents visited the same plant shown in the photo before again in 2014. This plant should be the same mother plant, but from a different year. Ben sent me a photo of this type and I am super happy to share it with you! The copyright of the photo is BEN KAMM, Sacredsucculents.com!
Trichocereus pachanoi, also known as Echinopsis pachanoi, is columnar cactus with a long history of being grown as a crop and ritual plants. Today they can be found in every South American country. It is endemic to Peru and Ecuador, where the type locality can be found.
Please note that this is a purely informational article and we do not sell any plants or seeds of Trichocereus pachanoi.
The official and currently valid name is Echinopsis pachanoi, which came up when Friedrich & Rowley made a poorly thought out merger of the genus Trichocereus with Echinopsis! Trichocereus and Echinopsis are closely related, but there are so many differences in regards to the flowers and the body that it makes no sense to use Echinopsis for all kinds of different plants, while the same authors support the differentiation of even closer genera like Loxanthocereus and Borzicactus. I would jokingly call the chaos around the Echinopsis names the dark ages of Trichocereus taxonomy. Now after numerous cladistic studies that pointed out that the genus Echinopsis needs to be changed again, the opinion of many authors have shifted and experts like Joel Lodé went on to use Trichocereus again. The genus Trichocereus is not officially back yet, but it would be highly unlikely if it wouldn´t be brought back within the next 10 or 20 years.
Echinopsis pachanoi aka Trichocereus pachanoi is a VERY variable cactus. It is not easy to differentiate Trichocereus pachanoi from other atypical Trichocereus types, such as a short-spined Trichocereus peruvianus or very spiny specimens of Trichocereus scopulicola. One of the most common strains of Trichocereus scopulicola, FR991, is very similar to Trichocereus pachanoi. It´s actually not really important, but I want to include this interesting little piece of information to point out what other and extremely similar plants can be out there-
Echinopsis pachanoi, aka Trichocereus pachanoi,is a very fast-growing columnar cactus native to the Andean Mountains, where it grows between 2.000 and 3.000 meters altitude.
It´s natural habitat includes Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru but the plant can also be found in countless cactus collections all across the world. It is very similar to its relative Trichocereus peruvianus, now called Echinopsis peruvianus/peruviana or Peruvian Torch. Some growers, including Friedrich Ritter considered them to be synonymous and I tend to agree with that opinion because I’ve seen how extremely variable this whole group of cacti can be. Its general appearance depends on the environment and the overall health of a specimen. Trichocereus pachanoi is a very important plant for the Peruvian natives and has been used for all kinds of purposes.
Traditional names of Trichocereus pachanoi:
Achuma, Wachuma, Aguacolla, Huachuma, Hahuacollay, San Pedro,
Description of T. pachanoi:
Trichocereus Pachanoi naturally occurs in Ecuador and Peru, but can also be found planted all across Peru, because it was considered a sacred plant for the Peruvian natives. Its stems are light to dark green, sometimes glaucous and have a diameter of 5 to 20 cm and usually 5–8 ribs, depending on the size. The white or gray areoles can produce numerous spines, that can get up to 2 cm long or more, depending on the environmental conditions it is grown in. As already mentioned before, the plant can be totally spineless. The areoles are spaced evenly alongside the ribs, and between 1 and 2 centimeters apart.
Trichocereus pachanoi grows like a tree and reaches sizes of up to 6 meters and in some rare cases, even more. The plant pups from the base and grows columnar, unlike the smaller, clumping species of Echinopsis. Trichocereus pachanoi is a textbook example of a columnar cactus. It is one of the most beautiful cacti that are out there. The skin color can vary greatly and while some of the Ecuadorian Trichocereus pachanoi have a bright green color, there are many glaucous types. Most collection plants lack the spines while the specimens in the habitat usually tend to have more spines. There even are forms which are said to be the wild, spiny form of Trichocereus sachanoi and which was probably brought into cultivation by Karel Knize. I once bought some of those “wild Pachanois” and they had very long and yellowish spines.
Flowers: White, coming out at the upper parts of the Columns. Trichocereus pachanoi is a night flowering and self-sterile species. That means it needs another pollen donor to produce seed. The flowers are very large and attractive, usually around 18–25 cm long and with a diameter of up to 21 centimeters. It produces green fruits that are up to 7 cm long.
The flowers produce a very pleasant smell. The sepals have a brownish/reddish color while the petals are white. The stylus has a green base. The tube is covered with gray/black hairs.
Type location: Ecuador, Chan Chan Valley.
In the original description, Rose mentioned that Trichocereus Pachanoi comes from the higher areas of the Andes, where it grows at 2000-3000 meters altitude. Britton and Rose considered Cuena in Ecuador as the location of the type. That means that the plants that can be found there are the most typical for their description. Trichocereus Pachanoi grows all across Ecuador, from the Chan Chan valley down to the large Armatocereus populations in the south. In addition, the plant can also be found all over Peru and those plants are usually wild forms.
Trichocereus Pachanoi was named in honor of the well-known cactus collector and taxonomist, Pachano.
Commercial names and synonyms
Trichocereus sp. Torres & Torres, Trichocereus huanucoensis, Trichocereus, Tom Juul´s Giant (which is probably just an Ecuadorian Pachanoi), TPM, Trichocereus HBG 53196, Loehmans monstrose Trichocereus, Trichocereus OST 90641, KK2150 Trichocereus, and so on.
Cultivation: Trichocereus pachanoi is very easy to cultivate. It’s a plant take can take a fair amount of frost and that´s relatively frost hardy for a cactus. Short night frosts and short temperature spikes down to minus 5° Celsius shouldn’t be a problem for them, but it also depends on the general health of the plant. I do not recommend to leave it in wet soil for long if the temperatures are low. This is one of the plants that takes a lot of water when the temperatures are high. In summer, I water them weekly and fertilize them once a month. And they love it. They need to reach a certain before they will flower, but if you give them a large enough pot and sufficient nutrients, they will even flower without free root run. I can recommend a sandy, acidic soil that dries up very fast. That ensures that the plant is dry once you bring it inside to the winter storage. In some warmer countries, Trichocereus sp. can be grown outside and they usually take it very well. I saw beautiful specimens in Australia or California. The Only thing you need to be careful about is rain because they don’t like getting wet feet for a long time. They take it for a couple of days, but it´s best if to give them some rain protection and a covering sail to prevent them from being overgrown by moss and algae. During the growth season, Trichocereus Pachanoi can grow very fast if watered on a regular basis.
Ecuadorian Specimens of Trichocereus pachanoi
Trichocereus pachanoi can be found on all kinds of witches markets in Peru and Ecuador. Ecuadorian Pachanoi tend to have a distinct, bright green color and are among the most sought after Trichos that are. In general, Trichocereus Pachanoi makes a great grafting stock, because of its fast growth and frost hardiness. Below you can find photos of plants that are typical for the Ecuadorian phenotype. The plants are often surprisingly spiny, with rounded ribs and 1-3 longer spines on white felted areoles.
Photos of Ecuadorian T. pachanoi
Photos below are from the Sacred Succulents Field Trips and show plants in Vilcabamba Ecuador. Note the dark glow.
Below Trichocereus pachanoi ‘Zeus’ (Philocacti)
Photo below T.pachanoi KK339 (Rodni Kisar)
Below: Echinopsis pachanoi photo of KK339 by Karel Knize
Diseases and how to avoid them
They are fairly resilient and don’t suffer from many diseases. They can suffer from bacterial or fungal rot every now and then and there are various pests & infections that growers can encounter. Black rot is usually benign and heals up after a while. There are fungal infections that can infect all plants from the genus Trichocereus, for example Witches Broom Disease, Damping Off or some other forms of orange rot. In many cases, fungal infections kill the plant within short time and infected plants should be removed from the collection immediately. Another common pest are root mealies, which are often brought into the collection through bought plants from online marketplaces and it’s hard to get rid of them once and for all. Chemical pesticides like Imidacloprid work very well but because they have a very bad impact on the beneficial insects like Bees and worms, I wouldn’t recommend it. Neem or Neem Oil works very well against all kinds of pests, including the hardy spider mites, Root mealies or scale. Scale can also be scrubbed off if the outbreak is not very bad. Trichocereus pachanoi should get a soil without too much humus because it tends to attract rot. Another natural pesticide that is used in organic farming is sulfur, which works against Spider mites and infections. Some growers also like to use diatomaceous earth to get rid of minor pests. Generally speaking, Trichocereus pachanoi is one of the easiest cacti that you can grow and most beginners shouldn’t have a problem to grow them.
Frost tolerance of Echinopsis pachanoi:
Trichocereus pachanoi is able to take short night frosts, down to -9° Celsius, which is 15.8° Fahrenheit. The minimum average temperature is around 10° Celsius or 50° Fahrenheit. Using Valerian flower extract is beneficial and can help to improve their resistance against frost.
General recommendations of things to avoid
A common thing that new growers like to do is taking too many cuttings to get a lot of plants very fast. I really hate because that will slow down the general growth dramatically. Very large plants grow much faster than small cuttings. If you really want to produce a lot of them them (to get grafting stock, for example), make sure not to cut too small segments. The minimum length should be at least 30 centimeters long. That ensures that your cutting is growing fast and vigorously. Cutting a Trichocereus promotes pupping; but only if you don’t cut away too much. Small stumps will often struggle to survive if they werent in a great general shape when the cut was taken and it´s just something that I see a lot. Don´t mess too much with the pH level of the soil, because it can kill the plant if the pH is too high or low. They usually like slightly acidic soil. Don´t use regular plant soil because it contains WAY too much Humus or wood products for them. They might like it in summer but as soon as the temps drop, your plant might rot away because the roots take forever to dry. Don´t leave water standing in the pot because it will spoil the roots. Don´t spray them with oil and leave them in the sun directly after the treatment, because the sun will probably burn it. Only apply oil or alcohol in the evening when the sun cannot burn the plant and make sure not to directly expose plants that spent the winter in the house to the burning sun, because it will give it a sunburn.
Getting Trichocereus over the Winter: Most Trichocereus species can be overwintered in a bright place with a temperature between 10° Celsius/50° Fahrenheit. As long as the plants are in winter storage, they don’t require water because they go into dormancy. Because of that, they should be kept completely dry between October and April. Otherwise, the soil might spoil, what often leads to the death of the plant. Please note that this only applies to growers in Europe or similar country, where the strong night frosts and rain periods would kill the plants outside. Make sure to give them enough fresh air to reduce the risk of fungal infection. Most Trichocereus tolerate cold winter storage very well. Besides, this cold storage is the same that happens to them in nature and it increases their general ability to flower. Plants that are kept too warm all year round have trouble to produce flowers.
Just like the other plants from the genus Echinopsis, Trichocereus pachanoi is very easy from seed. But only if you know what you´re doing. I can recommend the takeaway-tech, which is a development of the Fleischer Tec. Mr. Fleischer was a cactus enthusiast that invented a technique in which he germinated cactus seeds in small glass jars with a closed lid. Now, there are those 250 ml Salad containers that can be used in a similar way and they work with many cacti. Now, the seeds need light to germinate. So you don´t cover the seeds with soil but sprinkle them on the soil. The seeds of Trichocereus Pachanoi are very tiny. As a soil, I can recommend a mix of standard sowing soil (not regular plant soil because sowing soil does not spoil so easily) and sharp coarse sand. This way, the chances for fungal infections are rather slim. In addition, you can add a fungicide right when you add the seeds. There are various fungicides available on the market. Just make sure to not use Sulfur or copper during the germination process. Sulfur works great to get rid of infections on adult plants; but it can kill every single seed in a sowing container. So don´t use it if you intend to germinate seed. You can ask your pharmacist about potential fungicides.
Now, after you mixed the soil, you put it in the small see-through container and make sure to even out the soil layer by slightly stomping the soil with another growing container. This is to avoid that the seeds fall into little cracks. The soil level needs to be straight to ensure that the seedlings have enough stability later on. After you consolidated the soil, you can sprinkle the Trichocereus seeds on top of the soil. Then, you get yourself a water sprayer, add in some fungicide or antibiotic solution (but only one that doesn’t kill seeds) and spray the whole thing very lightly. Trichocereus Seed does not take a lot of water to germinate. Make sure not to add too much water, because it WILL 100% kill them if the soil looks like a swamp. Besides, make sure to get yourself VIABLE seeds. There are many crappy seeds available on the market and many of them are not viable anymore. Trichocereus seed usually stays fresh for 5-10 years, but the germination rates are best during the first year. After you’ve sprayed the whole seed/soil mix, you can close the lid and take it to a bright spot, like a window or under an LED lamp. Light increases germination rates dramatically and I can only recommend you to get yourself an LED lamp. But I’d recommend you to get one that uses High Power LEDs and that has at least 150 Watt. From all the things I got myself, this was the thing that increased the germination rates the most. Don´t bake the seeds though; a light spot on the window is absolutely sufficient. Ideal germination temperature is between 25 and 30 degree Celsius. If the seed was viable, you will get some germinations within 2-3 weeks. If you get white mold on the seeds, they are probably dead. It does not help to leave seed wet for more than 6 weeks in order to “wait for germinations”. It’s rather counterproductive so if you don’t get germinations within 4-6 weeks, take off the lid, let everything dry out and then, restart again. Difficult or half-dead seed can be treated with Gibberellic acid to wake it up from dormancy. Besides, cycles of drying out and watering can help to bring back zombie seed to life. If you get mold inside the container, take off the lid asap and water away the mold. At this point, you´ll have to leave the lid open and grow them without a lid. If you do that, they need to be sprayed with water on a regular basis to stay alive. Like, twice a day. But don’t keep them wet for long and ensure that the soil can get dry between the watering cycles. Otherwise, you might get fungus gnats, which look like tiny, see-through worms. In that case, let the soil dry out.
The small seedlings have enough nutrients to survive for a couple months, but it helps to fertilize them IN A VERY DILUTED CONCENTRATION every now and then. Don’t use the regular dose that adult plants get or they will die. Besides, don’t expose the seedlings to DIRECT sunlight or they will get sunburn and die. Well yeah, after one year, they should be big enough to re-pot them and single them out. If you encounter problems in your culture, just let me know and I´ll try to help you!
The flowers of Trichocereus pachanoi:
The flowers are large, white, hairy and covered with scales. The color of the hairs is usually black or brown, while the color of the hair on the buds or flowers on the PC clone is mostly white and similar to that of Bolivian species like Trichocereus bridgesii.
Photos of T. pachanoi
A typical specimen with relatively short spines.
Another very beautiful strain. The spine length is around 2 cm and this is not very uncommon.
Trichocereus pachanoi ‘Yowie’
Rather spine specimen, which might actually be an intermediate between T. peruvianus and T. pachanoi
Trichocereus pachanoi ‘Rod’
This picture shows one of the plants that Curt Backeberg sold, also known as Backeberg Pachanoi. He used to recommend the plant for grafting in the 50s and sold huge amounts of em through his cactus nursery.