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Category: 1c Trichocereus Species Q – Z

Trichocereus tarijensis / Echinopsis tarijensis

Trichocereus tarijensis / Echinopsis tarijensis

The species trichocereus tarijensis, also known as Echinopsis tarijensis or Trichocereus poco, is a columnar cactus. Today it is separated through various subspecies that all count as part of Trichoereus tarijensis.

Currently valid names

Echinopsis tarijensis +

Echinopsis tarijensis ssp. herzogiana / Trichocereus herzogianus

Echinopsis tarijensis ssp. tarijensis / Trichocereus tarijensis

Echinopsis tarijensis ssp. totorensis / Trichocereus totorensis

In addition the species Trichocereus poco / Echinopsis poco is seen as part of Trichocereus tarijensis as well.

Trichocereus tarijensis is a massive and spiny Trichocereus species. Its many forms make it difficult to clearly separate some regional forms, which is why the whole complex should rather be seen as a group of very similar regional forms that ll belong to the same species. It is partially synonymous with trichocereus totorensis, Trichocereus bertramianus and Trichocereus poco.

Type locality

The type locality is Tarija in Bolivia and it grows throughout southwest and south Bolivia, parts of Argentina and the Andes.


Trichocereus Poco, Helianthocereus poco, Cereus tarijensis, Lobivia formosa ssp. tarijensis, Trichocereus herzogiana, Helianthocereus herzogiana, Helianthocereus tarijensis, Trichocereus totorensis, Helianthocereus totorensis, Trichocereus narvaecensis, Trichocereus narvaezensis, Trichocereus bertramianus, Echinopsis bertramiana, Echinopsis narvaecensis, Trichocereus orurensis, Echinopsis orurensis, etc.

Description of T.tarijensis

Typically, Trichocereus tarijensis has 15-25 ribs, can get up to 40 centimeters in diameter with spines that can get 1-10 centimeters long. Spines yellowish in color. 1-5 Middle thorns and up to 45 radial thorns. The spines are usually long and are pointing downwards, what gives Trichocereus tarijensis a great protection against anything trying to eat it. The diameter can reach a stunning 40-50 centimeters. Young specimens are very similar to Trichocereus pasacana, but are a lot more spiny, especially later on.


Red to pink to milky white and over 10 centimeters in lenght. Green fruits, up to 5 centimeters in lenght. 3 centimeters in diameter. There is great variation within the look of the flowers and while some can be more rose-colored, some others look more reddish.

And also the rest of the plant can be greatly variable, which is the reason that this species caused a lot of confusion due to numerous descriptions of plants that somehow seem to belong into the same complex. A lot of the species inside Backeberg´s genus “Helianthocereus” belong into the Tarijensis group, that now consists of a handful of subspecies, instead of varieties. That is a fine but very important difference and I tend to agree that this is exactly the right way to classify this group of impressive giants that can be found all over the Andes.

Photos of Echinopsis tarijensis


Pic: Prier

Trichocereus poco Trichocereus tarijensis ssp. poco Echinopsis tarijensis 2

Trichocereus Tarijensis Poco350

Trichocereus poco Trichocereus tarijensis ssp. poco Echinopsis tarijensis 6

Trichocereus poco, which is probably synonymous with Tr. tarijensis

Trichocereus Tarijensis Poco352

Trichocereus Poco, which is probably synonymous with Trichocereus Tarijensis

This is a herbarium specimen, Copyright: Ben Kamm, Sacredsucculents.com

Trichocereus poco Trichocereus tarijensis ssp. poco Echinopsis tarijensis


Trichocereus poco Trichocereus tarijensis ssp. poco Echinopsis tarijensis 12

Jujuy- by Marian ocecowski QuebradaDeHumahuacaEvasaco Jardin_Botanico_de_Altura-Tilcara-Jujuy

by Evasaco Jardin_Botanico_de_Altura-Tilcara-Jujuy

Trichocereus poco Trichocereus tarijensis ssp. poco Echinopsis tarijensis 14

Young specimen of Trichocereus poco, also known as Trichocereus tarijensis v. poco. You can perfectly see the similarity to Trichocereus Pasacana and Terscheckii. The plant is a lot more spiny though and that´s exactly how you can differentiate it.

Trichocereus Herzogianus ssp Totorensis367This plant was labeled Trichocereus Herzogianus ssp. Totorensis. It is also the same plant called Trichocereus Totorensis, Helianthocereus Totorensis or the new name Trichocereus Tarijensis ssp. Totorensis.

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Trichocereus validus

Trichocereus pachanoi

Trichocereus chiloensis

Trichocereus thelegonus / Echinopsis thelegona Friedrich & Rowley

Trichocereus thelegonus / Echinopsis thelegona Friedrich & Rowley

Trichocereus thelegonus, also known as Echinopsis thelegona, is a columnar Trichocereus species from Argentina.

Trichocereus thelegonus / Echinopsis thelegona Friedrich & Rowley 1
Pic: Noah Reams


Argentina, Tucumán, Salta, 5500-1100 meters altitude


Trichocereus thelegona, Trichocereus thelegonus, Echinopsis thelegonus, Echinopsis thelegona, Cereus thelegona, Cereus thelegonus

Trichocereus thelegonus is a branchy & creeping cactus that only produces a handful of shoots. It can reach a maximal height of approximately 2.2 meters and can get up to 10 centimeters in diameter. But that´s only the case on very old plants and most of them get 6 – 8 cm in diameter. The plant has 12-13 ribs and is characterized by its very dominant areoles that sit in top of some extremely hexagonal warts. It´s look is very typical and once you got used to the plant, it´s very hard to overlook or misidentify it.

Trichocerus thelegonus has rounded areoles and yellow to dark/brown spines. There also are regional types that rather have a reddish spine color instead of the brown one. Old growth tends to change its color to a more blackish tone, similar to how it can be observed on Trichocereus cuzcoensis. That said, both are really not very similar and this interesting plant from Argentina rather resembles a hanging basket cactus, than a classic columnar. Tr. thelegonus / Echinopsis thelegona usually has one and, in some very rare cases, two middle spines and between 5-8 radial spines that can reach up to 2,5 centimeters in length.


Trichocereus thelegonus is a night flowering species, with flowers than can stay open until the early morning. The flower is white and gets up to 22 centimeters long and I measured a staggering 17 centimeters in diameter.
Apart from the size, the flower is very beautiful and has a wonderful scent!


The fruits of Trichocereus thelegonus are round and have reddish brown hairs. The fruits are reddish and can reach 6 centimeters in diameter. It does not produce as many seeds as other plants from the same genus. Trichocereus thelegonus / Echinopsis thelegona is self-sterile and it needs pollen from other plants to produce seed.

Trichocereus thelegonus cristata / crest:

There also is a crested clone of this plant that is extremely cool and resembles a monstrose Cereus. I´ve been lookingf or this crest for years, but wasn´t able to find one yet. Luckily, there are some pics from a Botanical garden:

Buy seeds or cuttings of Trichocereus thelegonus / For sale:

This species is kinda rare, but I sometimes get viable seeds of Trichocereus thelegonus. The problem isn´t that there aren´t any seeds available; but most of the ones that were, did not germinate. I am working on putting the type in my shop and if you want to be up to date about my fresh seeds, please subscribe to my newsletter at: trichocereus.net/newsletter.


Trichocereus thelegonus / Echinopsis thelegona Friedrich & Rowley by daderot Echinopsis_thelegona_(Washington_DC)Echinopsis Thelegona Cristata by Daderot

Trichocereus thelegonus / Echinopsis thelegona Friedrich & Rowley 3 Trichocereus thelegonus / Echinopsis thelegona Friedrich & Rowley 5by Emoke denes Echinopsis_thelegona

Trichocereus thelegonus / Echinopsis thelegona Friedrich & Rowley 7bernard loison Trichocereus thelegonus / Echinopsis thelegona Friedrich & Rowley

bernard loison Echinopsis_thelegona

by dick culbert Trichocereus thelegonus / Echinopsis thelegona Friedrich & Rowleyby Dick Cullbert

Echinopsis Thelegona Flower Trichocereus thelegonus / Echinopsis thelegona Friedrich & Rowley

Echinopsis thelegona kaktus cactus

Trichocereus Thelegonus Trichocereus thelegonus / Echinopsis thelegona Friedrich & RowleyPics: Noah Reams

Trichocereus thelegona samen

Echinopsis Thelegona Blüte Trichocereus thelegonus / Echinopsis thelegona Friedrich & Rowley

Trichocereu Thelegona Echinopsis Thelegona

Trichocereus thelegonus / Echinopsis thelegona Friedrich & Rowley Flower Bluete

Pics: Noah Reams

Trichocereus thelegonus Echinopsis thelegona spines

Trichocereus thelegonus / Echinopsis thelegona Friedrich & Rowley 222

If you liked this article, check out our Trichocereus database pages about Trichocereus peruvianus or Trichocereus bridgesii.

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Trichocereus werdermannianus / Echinopsis werdermanniana

Trichocereus werdermannianus / Echinopsis werdermanniana

Trichocereus werdermannianus, also known as Echinopsis werdermanniana, is a columnar Trichocereus species from Bolivia. It is a close relative of Trichocereus terscheckii and I consider it an intermediate species between the large Andean Trichoereus terscheckii and Trichocereus taquimbalensis.

Original name:

Trichocereus werdermannianus Backeberg & Knuth, Kaktus ABC

Trichocereus werdermannianus is an old name that is debatable because it is so genetically close to Trichocereus terscheckii and might as well be seen as a regional form of it. The plant was discovered and described by Curt Backeberg, who named it after the German Botanist Erich Werdermann.

Trichocereus werdermannianus is a species that is difficult to identify, and its similarity to Trichocereus terscheckii make it difficult to distinguish it from it.

Apart from T.werdermannianus being mislabeled as T. terscheckii, they are also often labeled as Trichocereus taquimbalensis or tacaquirensis. For example, there are a few seed & plant distributors that sell cacti labeled Trichocereus werdermannianus, and the plants we grew from them ended up being all kinds of species. Trichocereus werdermannianus was sold as Trichocereus terscheckii, Trichocereus taquimbalensis, Trichocereus pasacana, Trichocereus peruvianus and Trichocereus macrogonus.

A very constant trait in all Trichocereus werdermannianus plants is the dark green to blue gray green color of epidermis, that is very typical for this species. Most if not all specimens I ever saw had a very dark green epidermis and a spination that looks like a mix of Trichocereus taquimbalensis and Trichocereus terscheckii.

I included the Description from Backeberg´s Book below. Backeberg acknowledges Trichocereus werdermannianus´genetic proximity to Trichocereus terscheckii and Trichocereus validus, but mentions that its flowers usually emerge from the top of the plant, while the two species mentioned before would have flowers that appear at lower regions of the plants body. Based on these observations, we think that it should merely count as a form or variety of Trichocereus terscheckii. That is if we even go so far to split a species up based on such criteria.

Flowers of Trichocereus werdermannianus:

White, flowering from the apex, flowers similar to the flowers of E.terscheckii.

The trees reach a size of 5 meters and a maximum diameter of 65 centimeters. Young plants have 10+ ribs while adult specimens can have 14+ ribs. The plant has ten spines that are between 5 and 10 centimeters long, color between yellow and yellowish brown. Many flowers that arise around the apex of the plant. The flowers can get up to 22 centimeters long, but the whole complex is very variable in this regard. The fruit is up to 4 centimeters in diameter and has many white or black hairs.

Trichoecreus werdermannianus seeds

The seeds of this species are usually 1,4 mm large, but that is also influenced by other factors such as region, plants that grow in direct neighborhood.

Origin of E.werdermanniana:

Bolivia, the type location is in the Charcoma Valley east of Tupiza. However, the species is also present around Potosi. Backeberg suspected that Trichocereus taquimbalensis from the region around those aforementioned locations is actually Trichocereus werdermannianus. It is obviously related to Trichocereus taquimbalensis, but there are substantial differences between these two species.

The first Two Pictures are in Fact the plant that Backeberg understood as Trichocereus werdermannianus. Pictures from the unspeakable Thunderhorse! 😉 In Front on the lower left: True validus! Please note that some pics on this page actually show plants labeled Trichocereus werdermannianus, but get very close to Trichocereus taquimbalensis.  It´s probably not that easy to draw a firm line between these two species sometimes.

Trichocereus werdermannianus Echinopsis werdermanniana Trichocereus werdermannianus Echinopsis werdermanniana 2

Trichocereus werdermannianus Echinopsis werdermanniana Taquimbalensis

Trichocereus werdermannianus Echinopsis werdermanniana 77

Trichocereus werdermannianus Echinopsis werdermanniana KK1094 mutant

KK1094 Trichocereus werdermannianus Mutant

The three pics above show seedlings that were raised from KK1094 Trichocereus werdermannianus seed. Please note that those seedlings actually ended up being Trichocereus taquimbalensis var. wilkae instead
Knize used this number for two plants. First, Trichocereus giganteus and then Trichocereus werdermannianus. Maybe he wasn’t sure about the ID, called it Tr. giganteus and changed it to Tr. werdermannianus later on. Both plants are collected in Otavi, Bolivia. Giganteus at 3200 Meters and Werdermannianus at 3500m.  Pics: MUTANT.

I own a Trichocereus giganteus KK1094, which ended up being a completely typical Trichocereus werdermannianus.

Trichocereus giganteus KK1094 Trichocereus werdermannianus Echinopsis (2)Trichocereus giganteus KK1094 Trichocereus werdermannianus Echinopsis (2) 2Trichocereus giganteus KK1094 Trichocereus werdermannianus Echinopsis (3)Trichocereus giganteus KK1094 Trichocereus werdermannianus Echinopsis (24)

This is Trichocereus Werdermannianus KK917 from Karel Knize. Pic from Rodni Kisar!

Werdermannianus KK917

This One is Trichocereus werdermannianus in the Botanical Garden in Adelaide. Pic from ZED! Thank you Bro! The plant is very close to Trichocereus taquimbalensis.

Trichocereus werdermannianus Echinopsis werdermanniana Adelaide GusTrichocereus werdermannianus Echinopsis werdermanniana Adelaide Gus 2Trichocereus werdermannianus Echinopsis werdermanniana Adelaide Gus 4Trichocereus werdermannianus Echinopsis werdermanniana Adelaide Gus 6

Orignal description of Curt Backeberg in German:

Trichocereus werdermannianus Backb g. — Backeberg & Knuth, Kaktus-
ABC, 206, 412. 1935
Bis 5 m hoch; Stamm bis 1 m hoch und bis 60 cm ∅; Rippen ca. 10, später 14
und mehr, 2 cm hoch; Areolen 2,5 cm entfernt; St. am Jungtrieb ca. 10, mittlere

kaum unterschieden, bis 7 cm lang, gelblich bis bräunlichgelb bzw. hornfarbig;
Bl., wenn zahlreich vorhanden, ± kranzförmig um den Scheitel oder scheitelnah;
bis 20 cm lang; Gr. weiß, kaum die Staubb. überragend; N. 15—19; Fr. kugelig,
3,5 cm ∅, lange, aber nicht sehr zahlreiche schwarze und weiße Haare tragend;
S. 1,3 mm groß, mützenartig, rauh punktiert. — B o l i v i e n (von mir, als Typort,
im Charcoma-Tal, östlich von Tupiza gefunden, von Cardenas auch in den
trockenen interandinen Tälern der Departements Potosi und Chuquisaca, auf
ca. 2600 m Durchschnittshöhe der Vorkommen) (Abb. 1054—1055). Während Trichocereus validus und T. terscheckii seitlich ± weit herab blühen,
ist T. werdermannianus durch seine nur hochsitzenden Bl. eindeutig unterschieden.
Sie alle scheinen nach den viel längeren Bl. und der sich nie verändernden
Stachelbildung an den Spitzen großer Pflanzen echt trichocereoide Riesenformen
zu sein, die (zum Teil) auch nachts geöffnete Bl. zeigen, wie ich zumindest an zwei
Arten beobachtete.
„Trichocereus pasacana“ dagegen scheint die größten Formen der Helianthocereus-
Formengruppe zu bilden, mit kürzeren Bl., gedrungeneren Röhren und an
alten Exemplaren bzw. solchen an hohen Standorten mit borstenartig elastischen
St., wie sie den Hochlands-Helianthocereus-Arten eigentümlich sind. Ich habe
daher Trichocereus pasacana auch zu Helianthocereus gestellt. Er ist zudem Tagblüher, soweit bekannt.

Trichocereus werdermannianus / Echinopsis werdermanniana 33

Trichocereus werdermannianus

Trichocereus werdermannianus / Echinopsis werdermanniana 55

Trichocereus werdermannianus / Echinopsis werdermanniana Friedrich Ritter

Trichocereus werdermannianus / Echinopsis werdermanniana Pedro

Trichocereus werdermannianus / Echinopsis werdermanniana Pedro 3

Cactus AffinityTrichocereus werdermannianus / Echinopsis werdermanniana Tricho Nest 2

Trichocereus validus / Echinopsis valida

Trichocereus Validus Monv. aka Echinopsis Valida

Trichocereus validus, also known as Echinopsis valida, is a columnar cactus that´s closely related to Trichocereus terscheckii. I consider it a form, variety or subspecies of Echinopsis terscheckii. Which one´s exactly the case will have to be decided by DNA testing .


Cereus validissimus, Echinopsis valida, Echinopsis validus, Echinopsis robbinsoniana, Cereus forbesii, Trichocereus forbesii, cereus forbesii, Echinopsis rhodotricha, Trichocereus rhodotricha, Trichocereus terscheckii, Trichocereus terscheckii

Trichocereus validus grows like a tree and can get up to 40 centimeters in diameter. It doesnt get quite as thick as Trichocereus terscheckii, which is a close relative of it. The origin of Trichocereus validus is not know, was but it was probably Bolivia. In Bolivia, there are various Andean Trichocereus species from the Trichocereus terscheckii complex that this species could have come from. There´s populations of Trichocereus werdermannianus and Trichocereus tacaquirensis, which are both very similar in appearance. My personal impression is that Trichocereus validus is just one particular type of Trichocereus terscheckii.


10-12. Older specimens have a higher rib count, which is pretty typical. There are very little spines around the upper half of the body, what makes it look like a nearly spineless version of Trichocereus terscheckii.

The areoles are 2,5 – 3,5 centimeters apart of each other. 5-10 radial spines that are up to 4 centimeters long with a very typical outwards pointing spine, which is actually the lowest on the areole. In addition, Trichocereus Validus has approximately 1-2 middle spines. 5-10 centimeters long.  Spines have a very small but visible rounded spine base. The spine color is yellow, similar to the one on Trichocereus Terscheckii.

Flower of Trichocereus validus:

White. Similar to Trichocereus terscheckii and between 10-15 centimeters long and up to 15 centimeters in diameter. Gray-brown hairs on the flower and white petals.

Fruit of T.validus:

Round fruit with wool & hairs on top of it.

The original description of Trichoecreus validus was written after a bad photo, and there was no flower photo or description originally. However, a flower description could be made eventually after a plant that grew in the Botanical Garden in De Cedres and the photos we saw did show a very close relative of Trichocereus terscheckii. While it has pretty unique spination, it´s still pretty obvious that the plant was some variety of Trichocereus terscheckii.

Sources for Seed & live cuttings of Trichocereus validus:

I am very proud that some of the members from our SAB forum were able to relocate this long lost plant in Australia and make it somewhat available. There were a few growers that received cuttings of this remarkable plant and we sometimes have cuttings available in our Trichocereus Facebook Group.

Another breeder who offers some seeds of Trichocereus validus is Misplant.net! He has a plant that roughly belongs to the same complex, but which isn´t quite the same mother plant to make a couple crosses every year and you can buy seed through his Seed store on Misplant! Misplant´s Trichocereus validus belongs somewhere in the relationship of it and Trichocereus uyupampensis, another rare Trichocereus that is considered (by some) to be synonymous with Trichocereus validus. Whether or not this is the case is currently not clear.

In Australia,  this plant was made available through the Fields Family and collection, who owned two large mother plants before the collection was donated to the Melbourne Botanical Garden.  In addition, you can get seeds of Trichocereus validus from Sacred Succulents but I haven’t seen their mother plant yet. I will add new sources for this plant in this article but at the moment, I do not know more.

Cultivation & frost tenderness of E.valida:

Trichocereus validus is very similar to Trichocereus terscheckii and everything I wrote about the cultivation of it applies here too. These large Andean giants can take slight night frosts, but it should not go over -5° to -7° Celsius or it will get dangerous. The plants need to be dry and the average minimum temperature should be around 10° Celsius during the cold winter months. Trichocereus validus is extremely thick and it needs a large, deep pot if you ever want to see it flowering.

Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida Robbinsoniana Backeberg

trichocereus validus flower Echinopsis valida Robbinsoniana Backeberg

The Plant here was found on ebay and has many similarities to Trichocereus Validus. Chances are, it´s just some Terscheckii with a similar Spination. But since Trichocereus Validus is most likely nothing else than some Terscheckii Variety it´s not really possible to clear this up.

Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida Terscheckii

Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida Terscheckii 2

Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida Terscheckii 3

Now the next Plant is really interesting. It is what many growers call the FIELDS Validus. It grows on a private property in Australia and the Owner originally bought some Seeds of Friedrich Ritters Collection of Trichocereus Validus and grow it out into a gigantic Monster of Awesomeness! The Plant is identical with the Plant shown in Backebergs Cactaceae and IS most likely the Terscheckii Variety that is known as Trichocereus Validus.

Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida Terscheckii Fields

Rodni Kisar

This Plant grows in the Huntington Botanical Garden and is labeled Echinopsis Robinsoniana . It is actually the plant that came to fame as Trichocereus Validus. It´s probably a variety of Trichocereus Terscheckii and chances are that there are seeds labeled as that available on the market. So whenever you encounter Echinopsis Robinsoniana or Terscheckii varieties from Bolivia, it might be the plant that was once called Trichocereus Validus. I am beyond doubt that Trichocereus Validus didn´t suddenly cease to exist in cultivation but simply carries another label these days.

Echinopsis Robbinsoniana Trichocereus validus Echinopsis Robbinsoniana Trichocereus validus 3 Echinopsis Robbinsoniana Trichocereus validus 3Trichocereus validus – Huntington Botanical Garden – by Richard Hipp

Echinopsis robinsoniana Numen Nudum (Trichocereus validus)

This Plant is labelled Echinopsis robinsoniana and looks very much look the Trichocereus validus pictured in Backebergs CACTACEAE. Personally, I am absolutely sure that Echinopsis robinsoniana is just a synonym for Trichocereus validus. This plant grows in the Huntington Botanical Garden, but this species has not been found outside the Botanical Garden and most plants that are found in the wild are identified as Trichocereus terscheckii or one of its associated species. It is definitely possible to come across this plant on the botanical market, labeled as Trichocereus terscheckii, Trichocereus werdermannianus, trichocereus validus etc. There are countless forms and intermediates that belong to this complex and there is a great amount of variety within the large Andean Trichocereus species. Trichocereus pasacana is another closely related species.

Echinopsis Robinsoniana Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida

Echinopsis Robinsoniana Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida a

Echinopsis Robinsoniana Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida c

Echinopsis Robinsoniana Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida d

Echinopsis Robinsoniana Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida 67

Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida

Jordan Caleija

Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida 2

Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida 3 Fields

Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida 55

Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida 666

Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida Fields

Rodni Kisar

The Garden Trichocereus validus Fields Echinopsis valida

The Fields Garden Validus, photo by Terrapin

Shed Validus Trichocereus validus Echinopsis valida Fields

The Fields Shed Validus, photo by Terrapin

If you want to buy some Trichocereus validus seeds, check out our shop

Trichocereus tarmaensis / Echinopsis tarmaensis

Trichocereus tarmaensis / Echinopsis tarmaensis

Trichocereus tarmaensis Rauh & Backeberg – Deser. Cact. Nov. 20. 1956

Trichocereus tarmaensis is a close relative of Trichocereus cuzcoensis that was described as a separate species. There are various differences between Trichocereus cuzcoensis and Trichocereus tarmaensis, and some forms of Trichocereus knuthianus are considered to be synonymous with Trichocereus tarmaensis as well.

Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Trichocereus tarmaensis

Trichocereus tarmaensis reaches a size of 2 meters and is pupping from the base. It has 7-9 ribs that are approximately 2 centimeters wide, rounded at the top and with very distinct V-notches above the areoles. The areoles are approx. 2-2,5 centimeters apart with a diameter of 9 millimeters. Young growth areoles have a very fine brown wool that changes it´s color to a darker brown. It has 3-6 radial spines that are between 1 and 3 cm long. It often has one very large downward pointing spine that is up to 10 centimeters long. The plant usually has one of those middle spines. Old spine growth changes its color very soon to a gray, similar to what we know from Trichocereus cuzcoensis.

Flower of E.tarmaensis:

White, very similar or identical to some of the spiny forms of Trichocereus cuzcoensis or  Trichocereus peruvianus. The tube has brown hairs and the fruit reaches a maximum diameter of 5 centimeters.

Type location:

Central peru, Tarma in Peru at around 3000 meters.

Trichocereus tarmaensis looks very similar to Trichocereus tulhyacensis and both species are hard to distinguish if do not have the luck to observe them during the flowering phase . The flower of Trichocereus tulhuyacensis is pink, which is something that does not apply to any other Trichocereus species from this complex. If your Trichocereus has a reddish to pink flower, it´s not Trichocereus tarmaensis but Trichocereus tulhuyacensis or another close relative. Both Trichocereus tarmaensis and Trichocereus tulhuayacensis are very rare and mislabeled anyways. Karel Knize is selling seed of this type under the name KK2148 Trichocereus tarmaensis .

Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Trichocereus tarmaensis  2

Backeberg´s photo Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Trichocereus tarmaensis

This picture shows a seedgrown specimen that was sold through the SAB shop in Australia.

SAB Trichocereus Tarmaensis KK2148 Echinopsis tarmaensis knize

When looking at this pic, it gets obvious that this type is VERY similar to some types of Trichocereus cuzcoensis, and even has similarities to a KK242. I do not think that specimens of KK2148  could be recognized as such without knowing the label. They are simply synonymous with some types of Trichocereus cuzcoensis. This species grows at around 3000 meters altitude.

Trichocereus tarmaensis Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma  Photo: S. Preiss

Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Trichocereus tarmaensis  Trichocereus.net

Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Trichocereus tarmaensis  Trichocereus.net 2

Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Trichocereus tarmaensis  Trichocereus.net 3

Below: Some photos from Tarma. The first one does not show a Trichocereus, but the others show some of the wild forms in between Trichocereus tarmaensis and Trichocereus knuthianus.

Columnar Cactus Cacti Tarma

Trichocereus tarmaensis Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Knuthianus

Trichocereus tarmaensis Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Knuthianus 2

Trichocereus tarmaensis Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Knuthianus 5





Trichocereus knuthianus (Echinopsis knuthiana)

Trichocereus knuthianus (Echinopsis knuthiana)

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.

Rio Maranon Peru Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana

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


Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana Fields

Above: Fields Knuthianus aka Fields Knuth

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana hybrid

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 44

This Picture shows FR 677. Unfortunately not a very good pic:

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana FR 677 Ritter



Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana FR 677 Ritter 2

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 65

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 677

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 68

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 69

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 70

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 71

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 72

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 73

Rodni Kisar

Fruit Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 77

Photos below: Delia and Rodni Kisar

Photo Echinopsis knuthiana Trichocereus knuthianusPhoto Echinopsis knuthiana Trichocereus knuthianus 2Photo Echinopsis knuthiana Trichocereus knuthianus 3

Trichocereus skottsbergii / Echinopsis skottsbergii (T. chiloensis)

Trichocereus skottsbergii / Echinopsis skottsbergii (T. chiloensis)

Trichocereus skottsbergii Backeberg, also called Echinopsis skottsbergii, is a columnar cactus that is closely related to Trichocereus chiloensis / Echinopsis chiloensis. Under current taxonomy it is placed as a subspecies below Trichocereus chiloensis with Echinopsis skottsbergii as currently accepted name.

The species was described by Curt Backeberg and named after Mr. Carl Johan Fredrik Skottsberg. Friedrich Ritter noted that it grows together with Trichocereus chiloensis without forming zones of hybridization. The easiest way to differentiate Tr. skottsbergii from Trichocereus chiloensis is by comparing the number of ribs. Echinopsis skottsbergii has 16-21 ribs, while Trichocereus chiloensis only has 16-18 ribs.

Curt Backeberg gives the form T. skottsbergii v. breviatus as a valid variety, but it was probably just a regional form of the same species. In the past, there were many unnecessary descriptions made that would not stand today. In my personal opinion, all the Chilean Trichocereus species are so closely related that it might not be a bad idea to consider them as one, very big and variable species. The same treatment works well with the whole group of species around T. peruvianus.

In Chile, the variability of the genus Trichocereus is just as big as the variability of Trichocereus species in Peru or Bolivia. E. skottsbergii is extremely close to Trichocereus litoralis, also known as Trichocereus chiloensis ssp. litoralis as well. It is very difficult to distinguish them and descriptions are absolutely necessary.

Trichocereus skottsbergii Trichocereus chiloensis Pedro Lopez Artes JN 380 Highway Fray Jorge, Coquimbo, Chile 269m 

Trichocereus skottsbergii Trichocereus chiloensis Pedro Lopez Artes JN 380 Highway Fray Jorge, Coquimbo, Chile 269m (2)

Trichocereus skottsbergii Trichocereus chiloensis Pedro Lopez Artes JN 380 Highway Fray Jorge, Coquimbo, Chile 269m

Trichocereus chiloensis ssp. skottsbergii Friedrich Ritter

Original photo by Friedrich Ritter

Pato novoa Trichocereus skottsbergii Echinopsis_skottsbergii_—_Pato_Novoa_001

Trichocereus skottsbergii Pato novoa Echinopsis_skottsbergii_—_Pato_Novoa_001


Trichocereus skottsbergii Echinopsis chiloensis skottsbergii Ulrich Hörner (4)

Ulrich Hörner (4)

Trichocereus skottsbergii Echinopsis chiloensis skottsbergii Ulrich Hörner

Trichocereus skottsbergii Echinopsis chiloensis skottsbergii Ulrich Hörner (2)

Ulrich Hörner (2)

A hybrid between Trichocereus deserticolus x T. skottsbergii (Pedro Lopez Artes)

A hybrid between Trichocereus deserticolus x Trichocereus skottsbergii Pedro Lopez Artes

Ulrich Hörner (below)

Trichocereus skottsbergii Echinopsis chiloensis ssp. skottsbergii Ulrich Hörner (4)Trichocereus skottsbergii Echinopsis chiloensis ssp. skottsbergii Ulrich Hörner (5)Trichocereus skottsbergii Echinopsis chiloensis ssp. skottsbergii Ulrich Hörner (223)Trichocereus skottsbergii Echinopsis chiloensis ssp. skottsbergii Ulrich Hörner (2)Trichocereus skottsbergii Trichocereus chiloensis Ulrich Hörner 2Trichocereus skottsbergii Trichocereus chiloensis Ulrich Hörner

Pedro Lopez Artes (Below)

  Trichocereus skottsbergii Trichocereus chiloensis Pedro Lopez ArtesTrichocereus skottsbergii Trichocereus chiloensis Pedro Lopez Artes (2)Trichocereus skottsbergii Trichocereus chiloensis Pedro Lopez Artes (3)Trichocereus skottsbergii Trichocereus chiloensis Pedro Lopez Artes (4)Trichocereus skottsbergii Trichocereus chiloensis Pedro Lopez Artes (5)Trichocereus skottsbergii Trichocereus chiloensis Pedro Lopez Artes (6)Trichocereus skottsbergii Trichocereus chiloensis Pedro Lopez Artes (7)Trichocereus skottsbergii Trichocereus chiloensis Pedro Lopez Artes (8)Trichocereus skottsbergii Trichocereus chiloensis Pedro Lopez Artes (9)Trichocereus skottsbergii Pedro Lopez Artes (2) Echinopsis chiloensis skottsbergii

Ulrich Hörner (below)

Trichocereus skottsbergii Echinopsis chiloensis skottsbergii Ulrich Hörner (3)

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Trichocereus smrzianus / Echinopsis smrziana

Trichocereus smrzianus / Echinopsis smrziana

Backeberg described Trichocereus smrzianus / Echinopsis smrziana in his KAKTUS ABC, a book that did not get a very wide release. Besides the description is highly controversial because it basically re-describes various forms of Echinopsis schickendantzii / Trichocereus schickendantzii and Trichocereus walteri that are barely on the level of a regional form.

Synonyms: Trichocereus smrzianus, Soehrensia smrziana, Soehrensia smrzianus, Echinopsis smrzianus, Echinopsis smrziana, Trichocereus schickendantzii, Echinopsis schickendantzii, Trichocereus walteri, Echinopsis walteri, etc.

Origin of Trichocereus smrzianus:

Argentina, Salta

Description of Echinopsis smrziana:

This species grows alone or in groups of larger clusters. It has a large, round body and reaches a maximum diameter of 2 meters and can get up to 60-70 centimeters tall. The plant is extremely variable and can grow like a clustering cactus like Trichocereus schickendantzii or in a columnar way, very similar to Trichocereus spachianus. It has 10-15 ribs and only grows at one location, which was also described as the type locality. T.smrzianus is extremely rare, though it is sometimes available on the commercial and sometimes shows up in cactus collections. The fact that the plant has so many ribs, makes it distinguishable from plants like Trichocereus candicans or Trichocereus spachianus. Young plants can look almost identical though, which is why identification of this species should not be done on juvenile plants. The bigger the plants, the broader the ribs are, what gives it a very typical Soehrensia look and it looks much closer to Soehrensia than to Trichocereus.

Spines of T.smrzianus:

The very thin spines are usually yellow to white. Plants have 8-15 spines on one areole, but Trichocereus smrzianus is extremely variable, what makes it so hard to ID. If you encounter the plants in the field it should be fairly easy to identify because it only grows on one location in Chachipampa, Argentina. It has 1-4 middle spines that are up to 3 centimeters long.

Flowers of E.smrziana:

Trichocereus smrzianus has white flowers, almost identical to the ones on T. schickendantzii. Overall it is a form of the latter, which means it is very hard to distinguish it from it. The plant flowers from the upper part of the body, what you can see on the featured image very well. The flowers get between 10-20 centimeters long and look very similar to the ones on Trichocereus tarijensis.


Trichocereus smrzianus has a round, green fruit that is between 2-5 centimeters in diameter and tastes very nicely. The name is a really bad example of how a name should not be. Not sure how it sounds in your language but in mine it sounds like having a seizure while biting your tongue off.
The taxonomic status of this group of plants was very inconsistent and due to the fact that there is a relationship to the genus Soehrensia, taxonomists have moved them back and forth from Trichocereus to, Soehrensia and Echinopsis now. After the merger with Echinopsis, taxonomy went full circle and re-declared Soehrensia as an accepted genus and it seems like it might stay like that. However, the plant is definitely close to Trichocereus schickendantzii and it´s definitely possible that Trichocereus smrzianus is just a natural hybrid between Trichocereus schickendantzii and a different species like Trichocereus tarijensis, or a regional form of the Trichocereus schickendantzii group.

Trichocereus smrzianus, Echinopsis smrziana Emőke Dénes Schickendantzii Kew_Gardens_1Emőke Dénes Echinopsis_smrziana_-_Kew_Gardens

Trichocereus smrzianus, Echinopsis smrziana Schickendantzii Oslo Sukkulentforening Soehrensia_smrzianaOslo Sukkulentforening Soehrensia_smrziana

by Michael Wolf Trichocereus smrzianus Echinopsis smrziana Schickendantzii

by Michael Wolf Echinopsis smrziana

by Michael Wolf Trichocereus smrzianus Echinopsis smrziana Schickendantzii

Photos below: Trichocereus smrzianus by Leanne Kelly

Trichocereus smrzianus Echinopsis smrziana Leanne Kelly (4)

Leanne Kelly

Trichocereus smrzianus Echinopsis smrziana Leanne Kelly (4)

Leanne Kelly (4)

Trichocereus smrzianus Echinopsis smrziana Leanne Kelly (3)

Leanne Kelly (3)

Trichocereus smrzianus Echinopsis smrziana Leanne Kelly (3)

Leanne Kelly

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Trichocereus riomizquensis RITTER (Echinopsis)

Trichocereus riomizquensis RITTER (Echinopsis)

Trichocereus riomizquensis is a Bolivian Trichocereus species that is closely related to Trichocereus bridgesii. I count it as a close relative and potential regional form of Trichocereus bridgesii, which is only endemic to one site in Bolivia near the Rio Mizque.
The species was discovered and described by the German cactus field botanist Friedrich Ritter, who gave Chuyllas as the type locality and described it growing on steep slopes in the province Campero.

His Field Number was FR 856. Friedrich Ritter was one of the leading Cactus experts of his time and successfully ran a seed shop, in which he sold this species as seed to people all over the world. Trichocereus riomizquensis was also visited during the Sacred Succulents Fieldtrips and they found a couple of different types growing around that area.

In Ritter´s book, he published a photo of this species. Unfortunately this photo is not very good and it is one of the species that are rare in cultivation. Almost all labels on plants grown from Ritter´s seeds are lost, but the plant is definitely available. On the market, it sometimes shows up labeled as Trichocereus bridgesii, or probably also labeled as Trichocereus PC. Please note that there is a wide variety of plants from this site and the range is very big, ranging from spiny to completely spineless plants.

Ben Kamm published some photos of a Herbarium specimen that was very close to Trichocereus bridgesii as well.

Where to buy seeds and plants of Trichocereus riomizquensis?:

Though Trichocereus riomizquensis is common in cactus collection in the USA, it is usually mislabeled. Sacred Succulents were giving away seeds after their Field Trips and some plants might have gotten into the hands of collectors. They are also selling live plants grown from their collected seeds sometimes.

Description of Trichocereus riomizquensis:

This is partial description of Friedrich Ritter´s original description, including remarks on how to keep it apart from T. scopulicola.

Trichocereus riomizquensis is 6-8 centimeters thick (while Trichocereus scopulicola is 8-10 centimeters thick), it has 5-6 ribs, (T. scopulicola: 4-6), its flanks are 2 centimeters wide (Scopulicola 3-4 cm wide flanks), the flanks are less rounded than the ones on Tr. scopulicola. It has rounded areoles (while the ones on T. scopulicola are usually oval). The areoles have a very visible fluff with a diameter of 2-3 mm. The 1-5 spines are honey-colored and between 1-3 mm long. Sometimes they are even missing.
The flower of Trichocereus riomizquensis is 20 centimeters long (while the flowers of T. scopulicola are 16-20) and covered with dark brown/white wool with large scales. The fruit looks knobby.

Type locality: Chuyllas near the Rio Mizque, on very steep rock walls in the province Campero, Bolivia. Discovered from Ritter in 1958 – FR 856.

Trichocereus riomizquensis Ritter

Ritter´s original photo of his Trichocereus riomizquensis. It is possible that this plant is the same strain as the American PC clone, which gets very close to this plant´s phenotype.

Trichocereus PC clone Predominant cultivar

In comparison to Ritter´s plant, check out the PC Trichocereus clone above. (Forest and Kim Starr)

Trichocereus riomizquensis Herbarium, Cochabamba, Bolivia 2010 copyright B

Trichocereus riomizquensis Herbarium, Cochabamba, Bolivia 2010 232

This is one of the plants from the Sacred Succulents Field Trips:

Trichocereus Riomizquensis BK10508Copyright Ben Kamm, Sacredsucculents.com


Trichocereus Riomizquensis BK 10.08.7

Trichocereus Riomizquensis BK 10.08.7

BK10512.1 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora, Cochabamba, Bolivia

Trichocereus riomizquensis is one of the most interesting species from the Sacred Succulents Field Trips because of its incredible range. Some plants look like the Trichocereus bridgesii-type plants with long spines from the Field Trips and some other ones look like the short spine versions that Friedrich Ritter´s description was about.

If you take a close look at the whole appearance of this plant, you can see that it has a similar areole shape to the areoles on the well known Trichocereus PC clone, also known as predominant cultivar or predominate cultivar.  The flower and the overall appearance are so similar that everything else would be extremely surprising. Despite the fact that there are some very spiny plants at this site, there are some other which get extremely close to Ritter´s original photo. Though this will probably never be proven, there´s definitely reasonable doubt that this PC clone is actually a Trichocereus pachanoi.

There is a lot variation within the populations the original site near the Rio Mizque. This population is one of the most interesting Trichocereus populations out there and DNA testing should absolutely be made to look into its relationship to Trichocereus bridgesii.

Where to buy seeds or cuttings of Trichocereus riomizquensis:

Well, Ben and Sacred Succulents would be my starting point if I were in the USA. They don´t ship plants internationally, but if you have the luck to be in the country you might be able to get some cuttings. Apart from this, I do not know any sources for this species. Most of Ritter´s old plants have lost their labels meanwhile, which makes getting one even harden. I am sure that some of them show up on online market places labeled as Trichocereus bridgesii every now and then.

BK10512.1 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora, Cochabamba, Bolivia 1
Copyright: Ben Kamm, Sacredsucculents.com

BK10512.1 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora, Cochabamba, Bolivia 2

BK10512.1 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora, Cochabamba, Bolivia 3

BK10512.1 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora, Cochabamba, Bolivia Echinopsis BK10512.1 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora, Cochabamba, Bolivia Echinopsis 5  BK10512.1 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora, Cochabamba, Bolivia Echinopsis 6

BK10512.4 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora,  Cochabamba, Bolivia 2010

BK10512.4 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora,  Cochabamba, Bolivia Echinopsis Rio Mizque

This photo here looks really unspectacular, but shows the area of the Rio Mizque. It is the place of origin of this rare species and most of the plants that can be found there are obviously Bridgesii related.

BK10512.4 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora,  Cochabamba, Bolivia Echinopsis Rio Mizque 2

BK10512.4 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora,  Cochabamba, Bolivia Echinopsis Rio Mizque 4

Trichocereus santaensis / Echinopsis santaensis descriptions

Trichocereus santaensis / Echinopsis santaensis descriptions

Trichocereus santaensis is columnar cactus and species described by Curt Backeberg and Werner Rauh. It is endemic to the Santa Valley in Peru. There are many different forms that belong into the larger context of T. santaensis, e.g. Trichocereus sp. Chavin de Huantar also known as El Lanzon, Trichocereus huanucoensis, Trichocereus pallarensis and many others.

Trichocereus santaensis Chavin de Huantar Echinopsis Chavin Herbalists

Echinopsis santaensis Trichocereus santaensis Rio Santa Peru Valley

Origin of Trichocereus santaensis

Northern Peru, the valley around the Rio Santa, Puente, Bedoya, Huayanca

Can be kept apart from Trichocereus cuzcoensis by the absence of swollen spine bases. It also has a more frosted blue skin color, has fewer spines and shorter middle spines. Unlike Trichocereus peruvianus, it grows always columnar and does not grow prostrate.

trichocereus santaensis Huntington Botanical Garden Echinopsis santaensis HBGTrichocereus Santaensis – Huntington Botanical Garden – by Richard Hipp!

Description of Trichocereus santaensis Rauh & backb g -. Descr. Cact. Nov. 20, 1956

Trichocereus santaensis can get up to five meters high and branches from the bottom. The stems are blue-green to a glaucous green. It has 7-9 ribs that are similarly broad than the ones on Trichocereus knuthianus aka Echinopsis knuthiana. There is a distinct furrow above the areoles. This distinct V-Notch is very strong in young pups. The areoles have a diameter of approximately 1 centimeter and Trichocereus santaensis has between 1-3 radial spines. Spines medium long to short. In addition, Trichocereus santaensis has one very long middle spine, which is up to 5 centimeters long.

Flower: The flower is white and gets up to 22 centimeters in length. It has a similar flower than other San Pedro types, which is another indicator that Trichocereus santaensis is just a regional form of another species, e.g. T. pachanoi or T. peruvianus.

Origin/Habitat: Rio Santa, Puente, Huayacana, Bedoya.

Trichocereus santaensis is very similar to Trichocereus cuzcoensis and is constantly confused with it. However, it does NOT have rounded, knobby spine basesBesides, the spination is less strong and grows always columnar instead of creeping. Today, the species would probably not be considered to be correct and extensive DNA testing is necessary to look into the limits of this species and where other species begin.

Please note that T. santaensis is very variable due to the high number of regional forms. Some of which have red spines, some with yellow spines and some where the spines are completely absent.

trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis santaensis Rio Santa


In the Chapter of Trichocereus peruvianus, Backeberg wrote about its growth type:

I even found the Type initially growing erect, then lying or hanging . But near Matucana (Sic!), there also are upright growing varities of Trichocereus santaensis, which probably weren´t recognized as a seperate species.
The identification of these species with Tr. macrogonus (KKDE., 20, 1941) i cannot agree with. 
However, I definitely think that some of the more spiny forms of T. santaensis could´ve been the lost T. macrogonus. Some of them are extremely spiny.
 trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis backeberg Echinopsis cactus
This is Backebergs Key for Trichocereus santaensis
Branches to 10 cm
Blue green shoots
Ribs 7, very broad, strongly furrowed,
Not flattened furrows
Spines gray-brown, brighter towards the base
Middle spines:
1 spine is longer, spines up to 4 cm long

Friedrich Ritter´s description of Trichocereus santaensis

1958, s. 361
Differences from TR. Pachanoi (data for the latter in parentheses):
Body gray-green (grass green to bluish green). Ri. 6-7, usually 6 (5-8, in
Peru medium to 10 and even higher), on the Areoles a slight v-shaped
Notch (little cross notch). Ar. 3-5 mm Dm
Spines: few or absent,Rsp. to 3, a few mm to 3 cm long,
Middle Spines. usually one, often it is the only Spine, a few mm to 4 cm long.
Flower. Near the apex, about 18-19 cm long, about 12 cm wide open (up to 20 cm wide between the
outer petals), obliquely upward (about protruding horizontally), just
(with two slight curves). Nectar Chamber 19 mm long (slightly longer), without
significant gap (small space), with little or no
Nectar (with some nectar). Tube about ca 6 cm long with 2.5 cm further
Opening (longer and wider). Petals slightly shorter and narrower, the outer
almost adjacent to the interior Ones (strongly bent outwards),
SANTA Valley at 2000 m and about Depart. Ancash; only here. No. FR 567a.
Fig. 1,188,

Trichocereus santaensis Friedrich Ritter Echinopsis santaensis

Trichocereus santaensis / Echinopsis santaensis at the Rio Santa (Riley Flatten)

Trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis santaensis Rio Santa Riley FlattenTrichocereus santaensis Rio Santa Santa Valley Echinopsis santaensis Riley Flatten

Echinopsis santaensis Trichocereus santaensis Rio Santa Riley Flatten

Photos below Trichocereus santaensis / Echinopsis santaensis in Chavin de Huantar, El Lanzon (Riley Flatten)

Photo Trichocereus Chavin de Huantar El Lanzon Trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis Riley FlattenPhoto Trichocereus Chavin de Huantar El Lanzon Trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis Riley Flatten 2Photo Trichocereus Chavin de Huantar El Lanzon Trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis Riley Flatten 3Photo Trichocereus Chavin de Huantar El Lanzon Trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis Riley Flatten 4Photo Trichocereus Chavin de Huantar El Lanzon Trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis santaensis Riley FlattenPhoto Trichocereus Chavin de Huantar El Lanzon Trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis santaensis Riley Flatten 2Photos Trichocereus santaensis Chavin de Huantar El Lanzon Trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis santaensis Riley FlattenPhotos Trichocereus santaensis Chavin de Huantar El Lanzon Trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis santaensis Riley Flatten 22Photos Trichocereus santaensis Chavin de Huantar El Lanzon Trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis santaensis Riley Flatten 3Photos Trichocereus santaensis Chavin de Huantar El Lanzon Trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis santaensis Riley Flatten 4El Lanzon Photo Trichocereus santaensis Chavin de Huantar El Lanzon Trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis santaensis Riley FlattenCactus photo Trichocereus santaensis Chavin de Huantar El Lanzon Trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis santaensis Riley FlattenCactus photo Trichocereus santaensis Chavin de Huantar El Lanzon Trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis santaensis Riley FlattenCactus photo Trichocereus santaensis Chavin de Huantar El Lanzon Trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis santaensis Riley Flatten 3Cactus photo Trichocereus santaensis Chavin de Huantar El Lanzon Trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis santaensis Riley Flatten 2Cactus photo Trichocereus santaensis Chavin de Huantar El Lanzon Trichocereus santaensis Echinopsis santaensis Riley Flatten 5Trichocereus santaensis El Lanzon San Marcos Chavin de HuantarTrichocereus santaensis El Lanzon San Marcos Chavin de Huantar 2Trichocereus santaensis El Lanzon San Marcos Chavin de Huantar 3Trichocereus santaensis El Lanzon San Marcos Chavin de Huantar 4Trichocereus santaensis El Lanzon San Marcos Chavin de Huantar 5


Trichocereus scopulicola / Echinopsis scopulicola

Trichocereus scopulicola / Echinopsis scopulicola

Trichocereus scopulicola is a Bolivian Trichocereus species.

Trichocereus scopulicola FR991 Rod

Trichocereus scopulicola FR991 (Rodni Kisar)

Synonyms of Trichocereus scopulicola:

Echinopsis scopulicola, Trichocereus cv. Super Pedro, Trichocereus scopulicolus, Trichocereus scopulicola NMCR, Trichocereus cordobensis, Trichocereus crassicostatus, Scop,


Trichocereus scopulicola was discovered by Friedrich Ritter during one of his expeditions to Bolivia in 1959. The location of the type is Tarija, Bolivia. More precisely, Ritter gave Tapecua as the location and assigned the collection number FR991 and sold seed of his discovery through his legendary Winter Seed lists. Because of that, he helped spreading the plant all over the world, despite the fact that Trichocereus sScopulicola is really rare in nature. There are very few collections of this plant in nature and I am always interested in obtaining seed from new scopulicola types. The plant grows in Tarija in the province O Connor. And no, this has nothing to do with Sarah Connor from the movie TERMINATOR. Trichocereus scopulicola grows in the cactus forests around the Department Tarija at around 1000-1500 meters.

Description of Trichocereus scopulicola:

Trichocereus scopulicola grows columnar like a tree and pups from the base. But it´s actually rare for this plant to produce numerous shoots and most plants don´t have any side shoots. Trichocereus scopulicola can get up to 4 meters tall though most specimens are smaller. The columns are between 5-10 centimeters in diameter and have a nice, dark green epidermis.


Trichocereus scopulicola can have 4-6 ribs though most specimens have five. The areoles are furrowed. The areoles are sunk in and have very little white fluff/wool on top of them. The areoles are rounded or oval and are between 1-4 mm long and 1-2 mm broad, which is very small for a Trichocereus. The distance between the areoles is between 15 and 30 mm. Areoles that form flowers have 4-5 mm diameter. Large, adult plants often lack the spines, while very young seedlings look remarkably similar to a Trichocereus pachanoi and can only be differentiated by the weird rib shape of Trichocereus scopulicola. Adult plants have (if they have any) 3-6 spines that are very small and up to 1.5 mm long. Seedlings have 6-7 ribs, areoles up to 2 mm in diameter and 3-5 mm away from each other, 7-14 needle-like spines (2-3mm long), of which two are central spines.

Flower of Echinopsis scopulicola:

Trichocereus scopulicola flowers from the apex but there are plants where the flowers come out from lower points on the plant. The flower is white and between 15-22 centimeters long. Trichocereus scopulicola is a night-flowering species but the flowers stay open until the late morning.


The fruit of Trichocereus scopulicola is green and can get up to 6 centimeters thick.

Friedrich Ritter considered this species to be very close to Trichocereus bridgesii, which is one of the plants that grow in the neighborhood of Trichocereus scopulicola. And it´s very likely that Tr. scopulicola is some kind of natural hybrid involving Trichocereus bridgesii or Trichocereus pachanoi.

In addition, Ritter wrote that Trichocereus riomizquensis is related to it, but not as closely related as Trichocereus crassicostatus is. These days, Trichocereus crassicostatus is generally seen as a synonym of Trichocereus scopulicola or Tr. pachanoi. So far, I´ve not been able to track a specimen down but they are certainly out there. If you grow one, let me know.

Cultivation of Trichocereus scopulicola:

Trichocereus scopulicola is similarly tough as Trichocereus bridgesii. The reason is simple; both come from Bolivia and are used to the same conditions. Bolivian Trichocereus species are very drought resistant, but can also deal with strong rainfalls in summer pretty flawlessly. However, they should not be watered when it´s cold and they prefer a purely mineral soil mix because that dries up a lot faster. During the hot summer season, they can be watered every few days when the soil has dried up again. Don´t water them when it´s cold or rainy because that can cause rot.

Winter protection and Minimum Temperature:

Scops are relatively hardy and can short night frosts of down to -5° Celsius and maybe even lower than that, but I would not test it out because low temps weaken the plants. The minimum average temperature should be around 10° Celsius and they should be completely dry over winter if you take the plants inside. If the get wet over a prolonged period of time, it can cause root rot or other infections.

Seed & live cuttings:

I get seeds every now and then and I know a couple of growers who actively breed with Scops. There sometimes are some available at SAB and the SAB forum. Besides, Misplant makes a couple Scop Crosses a year. This year, he made a pretty cool cross between a Scop and a colored Grandiflorus, which I can wholeheartedly recommend you because it might produce Scop seedlings with a colored flower.

Trichocereus scopulicola can be used as a grafting stock. It is a great stock that accepts graftings very easily.

Trichocereus scopulicola _ Echinopsis scopulicola flower

Trichocereus scopulicola FR991 (above)

Trichocereus scopulicola Super Pedro Fruit

Trichocereus scopulicola ‘Super Pedro’ above
Trichocereus scopulicola _ Echinopsis scopulicola flower 6

Trichocereus scopulicola _ Echinopsis scopulicola flower 5


Trichocereus scopulicola _ Echinopsis scopulicola flower 3

Trichocereus scopulicola _ Echinopsis scopulicola flower 32

Sausage Plant x Trichocereus scopulicola _ Echinopsis scopulicola (Below)


Trichocereus scopulicola Echinopsis scop scopulicola fruit

Trichocereus scopulicola cordobensis Lance

Trichocereus scopulicola ‘Cordobensis’ aka Trichocereus cordobensis

Scop Scopulicola Trichocereus Cordobensis Lance

Trichocereus scopulicola FR991 Australia Jon

Trichocereus scopulicola (Jon Nicholls)


Trichocereus scopulicola Misplant Echinopsis scopulicola

Trichocereus cordobensis Trichocereus scopulicola Echinopsis

Trichocereus Super Pedro Cactus Country
Trichocereus scopulicola ‘Super Pedro’ a hybrid by Cactus Country LHB2444

Trichocereus scopulicola 'Super Pedro' Echinopsis scopulicola

Trichocereus scopulicola ‘Super Pedro’ Echinopsis scopulicola (Rodni Kisar)

This is Friedrich Ritters German, original description of his own discovery: 

Körper: Aufrechte Säulen, nicht oder nur gering vom Grund sprossend,
3-4 m hoch, 8-10 cm dick, dunkelgrün. Ri. 4-6, meist 5, fast höckerlos,
breit und stumpf, die etwas gewölbten Planken ca 3-4 cm breit, Trennfurchen
gerade. Ar. etwas eingesenkt, gering weißfilzig, rundlich oder
oval, 1-3 mm lang, 1 mm breit, 15 bis fast 30 mm freie Entfernung;
Blühareolen ca 4-5 mm Dm., rund, St. an großen Pflanzen fehlend oder
3-5, pfriemlich und nur ca 1 mm lang; Sämlinge haben 6-7 Ri., Ar. von
1-1,5 mm Dm. mit 3-5 mm freier Entfernung und 7-13 nadelförmige, weißliche
oder braune, 2-5 mm lange St., davon 1-2 zentral. Bl. meist nahe
dem Scheitel, zuweilen auch tiefer, 16-20 cm lang, duftend, nachts
öffnend, in den kühleren Morgenstunden noch offen. Frkn. grün, groß
gefeldert, Felder ca 1 cm Dm., oben auslaufend in grünliche dreieckige
Schuppen von 1-2 mm Länge, mit weißen, oben dazu auch schwarzen Wollhaaren.
N.-K. bräunlichweiß, tubisch, sehr eng um den Gr., ca 2 cm
lang, mit Nektar. Rö. darüber trichterig, 65-85 mm lang, innen und
außen hellgrün, die grünen Schuppen nach oben bis ca 25 mm Länge und
15 mm Breite an Größe zunehmend; Obergänge in die Krbl. rotbraun, Haare
sehr krauswollig, schwarz mit weiß. Stbf. unten blaßgrün, nach oben
gelblich, 7-9 cm lang, die des Saumes 4-5 cm lang; Insertionslücke
ca 4 cm; Beutel bräunlich. Krbl. 6-8 cm lang, 2,5-4 cm breit, mit
schmaler Basis, Enden gerundet mit oder ohne Spitzchen, nahe oben am
breitesten, weiß, die äußeren schmaleren weiß mit grünem Mittelstreif.
Gr. blaßgrün, 14-18 cm lang, wovon ca 2 cm auf die 12 hellgelben ausgebreiteten
Narbenlappen kommen. Fr. grün, 4-5 cm lang und dick, gefeldert
und bedeckt wie Frkn., wohlschmeckend, Sa. 1,8 mm lang, 1,3 mm
breit, 0,8 mm dick, fast nierenförmig, Testa glänzend schwarz, etwas
gehöckert, Hilum oval, bräunlich, sehr schief.
Die Art ist verwandt mit TRICHOCEREUS BRIDGESII, noch näher mit TR.
CRASSICOSTATUS. Heimat Felsenhänge und Blockhalden von Gebirgswäldern
des Depart. Tarija in etwa 1000 bis 1500 m Höhe. Typusort TAPECUA,
Prov. O’Connor, von mir entdeckt 1959, Diese Art ist eine vorzügliche
Pfropf unterläge. Nr. FR 991. Abb. 443.


Trichocereus shaferi (Echinopsis shaferi)

Trichocereus shaferi (Echinopsis shaferi)

The name Trichocereus shaferi was described by Britton and Rose in the 1920s and lacked some important information. However, there were some later descriptions by Friedrich Ritter, Curt Backeberg/Rauh and Werdermann that went more into detail.

Trichocereus shaferi pups from the base and reaches a size of 1-1,5 meters. The plant grows halfway prostrate or leaning over and has between 15 and 20 ribs. Britton and Rose gave an average number of 12 ribs, which is dramatically different from the data that were given in later descriptions. The maximum diameter is 5-12 centimeters and the color is a gray/dark green, which you can very well see on the pictures that were provided by Trout. The ribs are 0,5-1 centimeters high and there are substantial furrows .

The areoles on Trichocereus shaferi are white felted and 1-6 mm in diameter and up to 1,2 centimeters apart of each other.

Spines: The spines of Trichocereus shaferi are yellow, very fine and needle-like with a slightly dark-brown tip. It has 7-10 radial spines (up to 1 cm long) and 1-3 middle spines (1-2 cm).

Flower: Very round flower. White. Trichocereus shaferi flowers from the upper part/apex and Britton and Rose gave a size of 15-18 cm.

Fruit: The fruit has very dominant white hairs, as you can beautifully see on the second picture. The edible fruit is round and 3-5 cm in diameter. Green in color with reddish/green scales.

Origin: Ritter encountered this plant near Leon near Jujuy at around 1500-1800 meters growing on rocky slopes. Britton and Rose gave San Lorenzo in the provence Salta at 1800 meters as the location of the typus. Ritter considered his collection in jujuy to be a regional variety but didnt really follow up on it. His collection name was FR41 and there is a large number of seeds that gotten into the collections of cactus fans all around the world.

Where to buy seeds and plants of Trichocereus shaferi? Well, it´s rare and you might come across them on eBay. Like I already mentioned before, I bought a large plant with this name a few years ago and we´re waiting for it to flower next year. Some seed stores and cactus nurseries have them in stock every once in a while, but it´s a rather rare species and it´s not available from South America. I am sure there are some collectors that offer seeds from their collections sometimes, but it´s probably a little bit hard to find and luck has a lot to do with it. If I´d be looking for this species, I´d write emails to Kakteen Haage, Kakteen Uhlig, Succeed, Sacred Succulents and hope for the best. You can also try making a post in our Trichocereus Facebook group but I´ve never really encountered one there. But it cant hurt to ask.

Trichocereus shaferi Echinopsis shaferi

Trichocereus shaferi Echinopsis shaferi 2


Trichocereus schoenii / Echinopsis schoenii

Trichocereus schoenii / Echinopsis schoenii

Trichocereus schoenii , also known as Echinopsis schoenii under current nomenclature, is a south Peruvian Trichocereus species that Backeberg described and named after E. Schön, who assisted him financially on his trips. Mr. Schön was from Arequipa, which is where one of the most important habitats of this species is. However, the species is not limited to that area and grows nearby other South Peruvian Trichocereus species. Trichocereus schoenii usually grows in the company of some Corryocactus species and there are also some other Trichocereus species that grow at the same sites.

Trichocereus schoenii resembles Trichocereus santaensis, but differs from it by the long central spine and a slightly different areole shape and rib shape. You need to look very closely to tell them apart, and it´s usually the typical spination that allows you to recognize it as what it is. It´s a very rare and beautiful species which is very rare in cultivation. The plants that are available are usually mislabeled and are usually identified as Trichocereus cuzcoensis or Trichocereus knuthianus.

Trichocereus schoenii is a plant that roughly belongs to the Trichocereus cuzcoensis complex, but there are many differences and I hope to see some cladistic studies about this species one day. The species usually has seven ribs (as seen in the photos) and the spines can get up to 8 centimeters long. You can read a more detailed description including some habitat photos in my book.

Trichocereus schoenii / Echinopsis schoenii photos from South Peru
Photos: Mark Harvey

Copyright: Mark Harvey



Trichocereus schoenii Echinopsis schoenii

Trichocereus strigosus / Echinopsis strigosa

Trichocereus strigosus / Echinopsis strigosa

Trichocereus strigosus is a plant from the genus Trichocereus. Its status is questionable and it is sometimes also listed as Soehrensia strigosa. I treat it as a correct species in the genus Trichocereus. It is closely related to Trichocereus vatteri and only differs from it by the flowers. Visually, both species are very hard to differentiate and are mostly synonymous.

Synonyms: Cereus strigosus, Echinopsis strigonus, Cereus myriophyllus, Trichocereus strigonus,

This plant grows in direct neighborhood of Trichocereus candicans and was cataloged by Gilles in 1833. But back then, the plant was not described until 1834 when Salm-Dyck took the effort to write a complete description. Trichocereus strigosus and Trichocereus candicans both grow around Mendoza. The original name was Cereus Myriophyllus (Gilles) but it was changed to Trichocereus strigosus because it was based on a nomen nudum and that´s why Salm-Dyck´s description has priority over the older name Cereus Myriophyllus.

Flower: Up to 20 centimeters large, white. Trichocereus strigosus is a night flowering species. It also is self-sterile, what means that you need pollen from another donor to produce seeds. Please not that there is a white form of Trichocereus strigosus. The white flowering variety of this plant grows at around 1600 meters altitude. The plant is pupping from the base and only reaches around 60-65 centimeters in height.

Ribs: Trichocereus strigosus has 15-20 ribs and the shoots have a maximum diameter of 5-8 centimeters.

The areoles are white/beige felted and reach a maximum diameter of 5 mm. Every areole are approximately 3-6 mm apart from each other.

Spines: Yellow, very thin and fine spines, up to 3 centimeters long, 10-15 radial spines and 2-5 middle spines that can get up to 5,5 centimeters long. The plant has very long and fierce spines.

In addition, there are some other forms/varieties. One of them was originally known as Trichocereus strigosus var. flaviflorus and only occurs in Famatina, Province La Rioja in Argentina. This type has a yellow flower and is day flowering. The flowers are between 12-14 centimeters large. The yellow flowering variety grows a couple hundred meters below the white flowering one. In addition, the yellow flower is shorter.

Cultivation: The species is very rare in cultivation, though it sometimes shows up in cactus collections all around the world. The plant should be kept relatively dry, though it can be watered in the summer when it´s pretty hot. As it grows in the neighborhood of Trichocereus candicans, it requires similar conditions. Trichocereus strigosus likes getting a fair amount of sun light but shouldn´t be baked in full sun all day long. They usually grow in semi-shade and can form amazing clusters.

Winter protection and frost tolerance: Trichocereus strigosus is able to take a light amount of frost but everything lower than -5° Celsius is dangerous and can lead to permanent damage or death. Plants need to be kept completely dry if the temperatures drop below 10° Celsius/50° Fahrenheit and it´s best to keep them in a bright, well ventilated area. The minimum average temperature is 10° Celsius.

Seed germination: The seed germinates very easy, if it´s actually fresh. Especially with those rarer Trichos, there are problems regarding the viability of the seeds. I think Succeed has them in stock too and if possible, ask the seller in advance if he knows how old the seed is. That´s a good rule of thumb anyway and these days, I do it for all my seed orders.

Trichocereus strigosus / Echinopsis strigosa Ryan Somma“Echinopsis strigosa” by Ryan Somma

Echinopsis_strigosa_(8417473500)Vela de la Virgen, Trichocereus strigosa, La Rioja desert – Picture “Echinopsis strigosa by Dick Culbert –


Echinopsis strigosa” by Ryan Somma – Echinopsis strigosa


Photo Credit: Pam Fray

Trichocereus strigosus strigonus Echinopsis strigosa Trichocereus strigosus strigonus Echinopsis strigosa 3Trichocereus strigosus strigonus Echinopsis strigosa 4


Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana

Trichocereus peruvianus or Echinopsis peruviana is 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

Red Spine Trichocereus peruvianus / Trichocereus macrogonus

Trichocereus peruvianus / macrogonus from Matucana Red Spines

Trichocereus peruvianus Trichocereus macrogonus Pomolargo
Trichocereus peruvianus Trichocereus macrogonus Pomolargo

Trichocereus peruvianus Collana Pichu Peru Echinopsis macrogona

Description of Trichocereus peruvianus:

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.

Trichocereus macrogona / Echinopsis macrogona aka T. peruvianus

Trichocereus peruvianus Matucana Echinopsis peruviana
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.

Trichocereus peruvianus Los Gentiles Echinopsis peruviana
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.

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Rosei flower photo Prier

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 pachanoi are 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.

Photos Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana

Short Spine Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis macrogona PhotoShort Spine Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis macrogona Photo 2

A short spine version of Echinopsis peruviana / macrogona

Short Spine Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis macrogona Photo 4Short Spine peruvianus Trichocereus macrogonus Echinopsis macrogona PhotoShort Spine Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis macrogona Photo 6Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus by Kakteen Haage

This type of plant is usually treated as Trichocereus macrogonus / Echinopsis macrogonaa

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus by Kakteen Haage 3
Another one that is treated as Trichocereus macrogonus / Echinopsis macrogona.

Trichocereus macrogonus Echinopsis macrogona Knize

Another one that is treated as Trichocereus macrogonus / Echinopsis macrogona.

Short Spine Trichocereus macrogonus Echinopsis PhotoShort Spine Macro Photo Trichocereus


Trichocereus peruvianus flower photo Trichocereus budsby Randy

T.peru Roseii1 Flower_2

Trichocereus peruvianus photo Woolunda Flower_1

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Woolunda Flower_2

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Rosei2 flower

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana peru Rosei 1_1

This is one of Misplant´s mother plants. You can get some seed here!

trichocereus Peruvianus misplant Echinopsis peruviana photo Peru-3

Another one of Misplant´s mother plants. You can get it´s seed here!

trichocereus Peruvianus misplant Echinopsis peruviana photo Peru-4



trichocereus Peruvianus misplant Echinopsis peruviana photo Peru-5

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Sharxx Blue Matucana

Photos below: Simon Maddern

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Australian Garden Photos

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Australian Garden Photos 2

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Australian Garden Photos

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Australian Garden Photos 4

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Australian Garden Photos 5

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Australian Garden Photos 6

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Australian Garden Photos 7

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Australian Garden Photos 8

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Australian Garden Photos 9

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Macro Jo flowers

Photo: Joachim Podschadel

Trichocereus peruvianus from Lurin Valle / Lurin Valley 

Trichocereus peruvianus from Lurin Valle / Lurin Valley 

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana from Lurin Valle / Lurin Valley 

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Ayacucho

Trichocereus peruvianus from Ayacucho

Trichocereus peruvianus intermediate Trichocereus peruvianus intermediate Echinopsis peruviana

Trichocereus peruvianus intermediate

Trichocereus peruvianus Apurimac KK1689

Trichocereus peruvianus Apurimac KK1689

Trichocereus peruvianus 'Rosei 1' (Rodni Kisar)

Trichocereus peruvianus ‘Rosei 1’ (Rodni Kisar)

This is Backebergs Description:

Trichocereus peruvianus Br. &
R. — The Cact., II : 136. 1920
Cereus rosei Werd., in Backeberg,
„Neue Kakteen“, 101.
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.
zuerst braun, ca. 10, einige bis 4 cm
lang, stark und steif, 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 an der
Lima—Oroya-Bahn bis auf 2800 m)
(Abb. 1059—1060, Tafel 76).
Britton u. Rose bilden mit ihrer
Fig. 197 einen baumartig aufrechten
Cereus ab, Rauh dagegen einen
hängenden; ich selbst fand die Art
anfangs ± aufrecht, dann überliegend
bis niederliegend. Es kommen bei
Matucana aber auch Exemplare des
aufrechten T. santaensis vor, den
Britton u. Rose wohl nicht als besondere
Art erkannten.
Die Identifizierung dieser Art mit
Tr. macrogonus (Kkde., 20. 1941)
kann ich nicht aufrechterhalten.

And Friedrich Ritters:

TRICHOCEREUS PACHANOI BR. & R. 1920 The Cactaceae, Bd. 2, S. 134
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 liegt nur
eine Art vor. ROSE war jedenfalls ungenügend orientiert Über die große
Variationsbreite dieser 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. von wenigen 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
und fehlen 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. kann bei
beiden Formen bis auf etwa 10 gehen, die Anordnung der St. und das
Größenverhältnis zwischen Rst. zu Mst. 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. von ca 20 cm. Über dem Frkn. ist die Rö. leicht
nach oben gebogen, während die Öffnung der Rö. wieder leicht nach unten
gebogen ist. 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.

Trichocereus terscheckii (Echinopsis terscheckii)

Trichocereus terscheckii  (Echinopsis terscheckii)

Origin: Trichocereus terscheckii  is a variable species that is a catch-all name for a variety of different forms, some of which form intermediates with other species like Trichocereus atacamensis, Trichocereus taquimbalensis, Trichocereus validus and others.

Trichocereus terscheckii grows around the south of Bolivia, North Argentina (Catamarca, Tucuman, La Rioja, Jujuy, San Juan, Salta) and there are many intermediates between Trichocereus terscheckii, Trichocereus atacamensis, Trichocereus pasacana and Trichocereus validus and some of the lesser known species. The genuine Trichocereus validus is probably just a Bolivian form of Trichocereus validus, but unfortunately it is not often found in nature.

Trichocereus eerdermannianus is actually an intermediate species in between Trichocereus taquimbalensis and Trichocereus terscheckii. Overall, this is a very complex and highly controversial group of plants and only DNA testing can help to clean up the family tree that is hidden inside those beautiful tree-like plants. Personally, I think that all those Andean Trichocereus species are members of a very variable group of plants that belong together and should be treated like that.

Below you can find a description of Trichocereus terschecki, but since there are so many regional forms, there can be plants that don´t fit perfectly, but which still belong to that complex somehow. In addition, there are many natural hybrids and Trichocereus terscheckii hybridizes relatively easy.

Synonyms: Echinopsis terscheckii, Cereus terscheckii, Pilosocereus terscheckii, Cereus fulvispinus, Trichocereus validus, Echinopsis valida, Trichocereus werdermannianus, Cereus werdermannianus, Echinopsis werdermannianus, Cereus validissimus. Besides, some forms of Trichocereus pasacana and Trichocereus atacamensis are synonymous with Trichocereus terscheckii too.

Varieties: In the past, there were descriptions of a plant called Trichocereus terscheckiioides which differed in regard to the phenotype and Trichocereus terscheckii var. montanus.

Cultivation: Trichocereus terscheckii is an amazing plant in culture. They grow very slow compared to other Trichos and don’t require a lot of water. I usually try to give them as much free root run as possible, what is important for their ability to flower. Their growth rate depends on many things, like how they are grown, hoch much water & fertilizer they get, and so on. Plants in habitat grow very slow and sometimes take 50 years to reach a good size. Their mature form is totally different to what they look like as seedlings.

Description: They start off as typical columnar cacti that are pretty fat for their small size and get very big and tall later on. It takes many years till this species produces its characteristic side arms. Trichocereus terscheckii can reach a size of 10-15 meters and a diameter of up to 60 centimeters.

Ribs: 8-15

Areoles: Approx. 2 centimeters in diameter and up to 3-4 centimeters apart from each other.

Spines: 10-16 spines, yellow and up to 10 centimeters long

Flower: White, 15-22 centimeters long, 14 centimeters wide, petals up to 8 centimeters. Tube covered with brown, woolly hair. The variety Trichocereus montanus was said to be less branchy and grew more like a typical columnar. Besides it had a larger diameter. I personally do not accept any varieties because I think that this is just a crazily variable species.

Trichocereus terscheckii and Frost: Trichocereus terscheckii is quite cold hardy and even survives in some areas in the United States. Personally, I would recommend a minimum average temperature of 10° Celsius/50 Fahrenheit, but they are known to survive short night frosts without a problem. However, temperatures should never go below -9°/15.8 Fahrenheit, especially not when they have wet feet. It is also important to keep away rain and moisture during the cold months, because the rain is probably a bigger problem that the cold temperatures. Those plants can stand the cold, but as soon as it´s cold and wet, it´s starting to get dangerous.

Trichocereus terscheckii from Seed: This species is very easy from seed. It requires the same treatment as any other Trichocereus species, but keeping the seed cold over night can help to break up the dormancy. The seed is usually viable for many years and I am sure you can get some Germination as long as the seed does not get older than 10 years. But you get the best germination rates within the first year. Make sure not to sow out too many of them at once, because they become quite fat and need enough space.

Trichocereus terscheckii Seed & live cutting sources: This plant sometimes shows up on Ebay as live cuttings, plants or seeds. You can get a nice strain of Trichocereus terscheckii here in my shop:

Trichocereus Terscheckii Intermediate

The photo above shows a T. werdermannianus, which is an intermediate between T. terscheckii and T. taquimbalensis.


Pic: Peter A. Manfeld

Trichocereus_terscheckii_(close-up) (1)


Pic: Pangopaso


Trichocereus terscheckii

Trichocereus terscheckii (KD Botanics)


Trichocereus purpureopilosus Echinopsis purpureopilosa

Trichocereus purpureopilosus Echinopsis purpureopilosa

Trichocereus purpureopilosus was originally described by Weingart. Friedrich et al. integrated the species in 1974 into the species Echinopsis lamprochlora. This was a highly questionable decision and I treat it as a correct species here. Joel Lodé lists it as a correct species in his book TAXONOMY OF THE CACTACEAE and I fully agree.

The plant on this pictures is what was known as Trichocereus purpureopilosus. It is a very attractive plant and was used extensively in hybrid culture. The flower is purple and looks amazing. The modern taxonomy placed this plant in the messed up species Trichocereus lamprochlorus and though I dont really agree with it being synonymous with lamprochlorus, I will definitely add this piece of information on this page.

Origin: Argentina, Sierra de Cordoba

This type of Trichocereus is pupping from the base and can grow upwards or laying sideways/creeping. It can reach a size of up to 60 centimeters and has a maximum diameter of 7 centimeters. The color of the epidermis is a very dark, wet green and has a shiny texture. It can reach up to 12 ribs and has 18-22 very thin radial spines that are up to 8 mm long. Besides, it has up to 5 middle spines that are yellow in color and have a slightly swollen base.

Flower: The flower is white with a pink undertone. More than 20 centimeters large with an ovary that is up to 2,5 centimeters long. The sepals are up to 5 centimeters long and have a dark red color. The petals are double-rowed, up to 5 centimeters long and between 1-2 centimeters wide. The stamens are yellow-green. Please note that there are many hybrids around that have all kinds of flower colors.

This species is used for Hildewintera hybrids (now Cleistocactus), Trichocereus candicans hybrids and some more Echinopsis hybrids.

Synonyms: Trichocereus spachianus “Hungaricus”, Trichocereus spachianus (only some forms), Trichocereus Imperalis (which is a hybrid between Trichocereus and Echinopsis involving Trichocereus purpureopilosus, created by a well known breeder called Fonteyne)

Please note that those plants are extremely common on the commercial market, especially among hybrid breeders. And every hybrid can be different.

Trichocereus purpureopilosus Echinopsis purpureopilosa

Trichocereus purpureopilosus Echinopsis purpureopilosa

As a comparison, here is a pic of Trichocereus brevispiulosus on Trouts website. They are definitely close, but they are probably closer to Trichocereus thelegonus than to T. purpureopilosus. I consider them to be a Trichocereus thelegonus x Trichocereus purpureopilosus hybrid or something like that, but that´s just speculation.

(It is obvious that it involves Trichocereus purpureopilosus though. Either as a father, or a mother, which was already indicated by the earlier version of this article. I am editing it again because someone must´ve overlooked when I wrote that “I CONSIDER THEM TO BE A TRICHOCEREUS THELEGONUS x PURPUREOPILOSUS HYBRID”, so I need to underline that again. )

You can see the typical Thelegonus-like edging, but without it´s typical spines. I will also include this plant on the page about Trichocereus thelegonus because it seems to be very closely related to it. The flower is also very typical to Thelegonus and it´s probably a thelegonus hybrid. However, there are many Purpureopilosus hybrids that have a much more distinct thelegonus-like edging than the one in the first two Purpureopilosus pics on this page and I will add some more to show how variable that whole group is. That variability is probably caused by hybrid culture though:

Trichocereus purpureopilosus Echinopsis purpureopilosa

Trichocereus spachianus / Echinopsis spachiana

Trichocereus spachianus / Echinopsis spachiana 

Trichocereus spachianus aka Echinopsis spachiana is a columnar cactus that originates in Argentina.

Soehrensia_spachiana Elia Scudiero

Synonyms: Trichocereus shaferi, Trichocereus santiaguensis, Cereus spachianus, Echinocereus spachianus, Cereus santiaguensis, Echinopsis santiaguensis, Trichocereus manguinii, Trichocereus trichosus, Trichocereus spachianoides

If you want to buy seeds of Trichocereus spachianus, you can find some here:

The history of Trichocereus spachianus is very confusion and most taxonomists have their own opinion on how the plant originally came from and which subspecies or varieties are synonymous with it. The original plant described by Lemaire as Cereus spachianus in 1840 was said to originally come from Mexico and differed substantially from what we know as Trichocereus spachianus. Ten years later in 1850, Salm-Dyck described the Trichocereus spachianus as we know it today. Salm-Dycks plant is the modern Trichocereus spachianus. And according to his description, it has around 8 Ribs, a rib height of 10 mm and an areole distance of 20 mm.  Both descriptions lacked Flower descriptions, but there is what Lemaire´s plant looked like according to the description: 10-15 ribs, rib height of 5 mm and an areole distance of 6-10 mm.  The origin of Trichocereus spachianus is still not known, but there are some types in nature that are very similar to almost identical. Trichocereus santiaguensis grows around Santiago de Estero is the one that I suspected to be the original plant that was described as our modern Trichocereus spachianus. Besides, there is another population of a plant that was described as Trichocereus shaferi, which is probably synonymous too. Trichocereus shaferi grows in Jujuy near Leon. Another very similar Tricho grows in Bolivia and is called Trichocereus tenuispinus. That name is absolutely not valid and I am just mentioning it for the sake of completeness.

Trichocereus spachanius Description

Up to 2 meters tall and pupping from the base. Pups grow upwards and parallel to the main column. 10 – 15 Ribs and areoles approx. 1 centimeter apart. With yellow wool. 8-10 radial spines (0,6 bis 1 cm long) and 1 strong middle spine.

Flower: The flower of Trichocereus spachianus is white and up to 20 centimeters large. The Flowers don´t smell and the wild varieties are very unlike the ones in cultivation. Trichocereus spachianus is a night-flowering species, but the flowers stay open until late in the day.

Origin: Argentina (around Mendoza), in San Juan, La Rioja and San Luis. Jujuy (1500-1800 meters)

Trichocereus spachianus is a very tough and resistant cactus that can be used for all kinds of purposes, including as Grafting stock, fencing plant or for Hybrid cultivation. The flowers are very large and there are some amazing hybrids that involve Trichocereus spachianus. It is one of the best grafting stocks because it accepts many hosts. There are all kinds of plants that are synonymous with Trichocereus spachianus and none of the older species names like Trichocreus Santiaguensis or Trichocereus shaferi are valid today. Trichocereus spachianus is also called “Golden Torch” or “Golden Torch Cactus“.

Cultivation: Trichocereus spachianus is very frost resistant, but temperatures shouldnt go below -5° to -10° Celsius and it greatly depends on the general health of the plant and the dryness of the substrate if the plant suffers any damage. It has to be kept completely dry over winter and the bets temperature to overwinter it inside is at around 10° Celsius and with sufficient fresh air.

Seed & live cuttings sources: There are many sources for Trichocereus spachianus, including seed from various private sellers or commercial shops like Köhres, Misplant or SAB. Besides there are cuttings available from shops like Ebay and Amazon.

Varieties: There really aren´t that many accepted varieties of Trichocereus spachianus available. But there are a couple of regional varieties like Trichocereus shaferi, Trichocereus santiaguensis or Trichocereus spachianoides, which was a very similar plant that was probably synonymous and was collected and sold by Friedrich Ritter. The plant had the collection number FR980 and was collected in 1960/61.

Soil requirements: Trichocereus spachianus should be given a purely mineral soil mix that dries out very fast because it tends to suffer from rot if it is grown in seed with too much humous. You can use pumice, sand or any other mineral substrate. They like to get fertilizer on a regular basis. But I would recommend to water them only when it´s hot. No water on rainy or cold days and only water as soon as the soil has completely dried up! Trichocereus spachianus likes to be grown in partial shade but can also tolerate being grown in full sun. On the pics, you see that the plants are usually sown in full sun and they like it a lot. The flower is very large and beautiful, but the species needs to reach a certain size before it can flower.

Trichocereus spachianusby Alan levine Echinopsis

by Dru Bloomfield Echinopsis_spachiana_(3)

by Dru Bloomfield Echinopsis_spachianaby Gavin Anderson Echinopsis_spachiana_(3140270533)by Gavin Anderson Echinopsis_spachiana

by Ikiwaner Echinopsisby Ikiwaner Echinopsis

by z2amiller Echinopsis_spachiana

by z2amiller Echinopsis_spachianaby z2amiller Echinopsis_spachiana_(1)by z2amiller Echinopsis_spachiana

Cactus_en_flor  Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz Echinopsis_spachianaSoehrensia_spachiana Elia ScudieroSoehrensia_spachiana by Elia Scudiero

by Raphael Quinet Echinopsis_spachiana694700616_(1)by Raphael Quinet Echinopsis_spachiana

trichocereus candicans var. robustior and trichocereus santiaguensisOn the right side, there is TRICHOCEREUS SANTIAGUENSIS. That is a very rare variety of Trichocereus Spachianus.


Trichocereus pachanoi (Britton and Rose 1920) Echinopsis pachanoi

Trichocereus pachanoi (Britton and Rose 1920) Echinopsis pachanoi

Trichocereus pachanoi is columnar cactus with a long history of being grown as a crop and ritual plants and can today be found in every South American country. It is endemic to Peru and Ecuador, where the type locality can be found.

This is a purely informational post and database entry. We do not sell seeds or plants of this species. 

Photo Trichocereus pachanoi Echinopsis pachanoi cactus

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.

Photo Trichocereus pachanoi Ecuador Echinopsis pachanoi cactus Photo Trichocereus pachanoi Ecuador Echinopsis pachanoi cactus 2Photo Trichocereus pachanoi Ecuador Echinopsis pachanoi cactus 3Photo Trichocereus pachanoi Ecuador Echinopsis pachanoi cactus 4Photo Trichocereus pachanoi Ecuador Echinopsis pachanoi cactus 5Photo Trichocereus pachanoi Ecuador Echinopsis pachanoi cactus 6

Photos below are from the Sacred Succulents Field Trips and show plants in Vilcabamba Ecuador. Note the dark glow.

Trichocereus pachanoi Vilcabamba Ecuador Neil Logan

Trichocereus pachanoi Vilcabamba Ecuador Neil Logan 2

Below Trichocereus pachanoi ‘Zeus’ (Philocacti)

Trichocereus pachanoi photo Zeus

Photo below T.pachanoi KK339 (Rodni Kisar) 

KK339 Trichocereus pachanoi Ecuador 2 Rod

Below: Echinopsis pachanoi photo of KK339 by Karel Knize

KK339 Trichocereus pachanoi Ecuador 2

Diseases: 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: 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.

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.

Photo Trichocereus pachanoi Echinopsis pachanoi flower flowers flowering cactusPhoto Trichocereus pachanoi Echinopsis pachanoi flower flowers flowering cactus 2Photo Trichocereus pachanoi Echinopsis pachanoi flower tube flowers flowering cactus

Photo Trichocereus pachanoi Echinopsis pachanoi flower buds flowers flowering cactusPhoto Trichocereus pachanoi Echinopsis pachanoi flower buds flowers 2 flowering cactusEchinopsis pachanoi Trichocereus pachanoi photoEchinopsis pachanoi Trichocereus pachanoi photo 2Echinopsis pachanoi Trichocereus pachanoi photo 3  Echinopsis pachanoi Trichocereus pachanoi photo 4Echinopsis pachanoi Trichocereus pachanoi photo 6Echinopsis pachanoi Trichocereus pachanoi photo 7

Trichocereus pachanoi Echinopsis pachanoi photos ribs
A typical specimen with relatively short spines.

Trichocereus pachanoi echinopsis pachanoi photos 8
Another very beautiful strain. The spine length is around 2 cm and this is not very uncommon.

Trichocereus pachanoi Bogan Australia hybrid Echinopsis

Trichocereus pachanoi Bogan Australia hybrid Echinopsis 2

Trichocereus pachanoi Yowie Australia hybrid EchinopsisTrichocereus pachanoi ‘Yowie’

Trichocereus pachanoi intermediate peruvianusRather spine specimen, which might actually be an intermediate between T. peruvianus and T. pachanoiTrichocereus pachanoi 'Rod' Ecuador Echinopsis cactus

Trichocereus pachanoi 'Rod' Ecuador Echinopsis cactus 2Trichocereus pachanoi ‘Rod’


by Lars Echinopsis_pachanoi_San_Pedro_010

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.

trichocereus pachanoi Echinopsis pachanoi Curt backeberg

Trichocereus pachanoi kimnach Huntington Botanical Garden photoTrichocereus pachanoi Kimnach et. al. 28760 – Huntington Botanical Garden

Trichocereus PC Echinopsis PachanoiThis photo might actually show the PC clone, a version that is often attributed to T. pachanoi, but which needs investigation. Photo: by Lars

Chavin-cactus-stone Trichocereus Echinopsis ancient ruinsStone plate from Chavin de Huantar showing typical Trichocereus cacti

Nephiliskos Kaktus-AztekeNephiliskos Kaktus-Azteke

Trichocereus pachanoi Echinopsis pachanoi group shot photo

 Ajor933 _san_pedro

Trichocereus pachanoi PC Echinopsis Predominant Cultivar PredominateTrichocereus pachanoi PC Echinopsis Predominant Cultivar Predominate

Forest & Kim Starr – Predominant Cultivar, also known as Predominate Cultivar. This one might not even be a Trichocereus pachanoi.

Trichocereus pachanoi PC Echinopsis Predominant Cultivar Predominate 2Forest & Kim Starr – Predominant Cultivar, also known as Predominate Cultivar. This one might not even be a Trichocereus pachanoi.

Trichocereus pachanoi PC Echinopsis Predominant Cultivar Predominate 3

Forest & Kim Starr – Predominant Cultivar, also known as Predominate Cultivar.

Flower of Trichocereus pachanoi Echinopsis pachanoiby Enfo Jardins_Mossèn_Costa_i_Llobera

Anne Besnier Zavaleta  Fleur_de_cierge_du_PérouPhoto of Echinopsis pachanoi in Peru Trichocereus pachanoiMacAllenBrothers Echinopsis-pachanoi-peru

Photo of Echinopsis pachanoi in Peru Trichocereus pachanoi 2Echinopsis-pachanoi

Photo below probably shows the PC clonePC Trichocereus Predominant Cultivar

Flowers of Trichocereus pachanoi Echinopsis flowering cactuspizzodisevo Echinopsis_pachanoi

Flowers of Trichocereus pachanoi Echinopsis flowering cactus 2 Flowers of Trichocereus pachanoi Echinopsis flowering cactus 3by Lars

And now, as a comparison, the almost identical Tom Juul´s Giant, which is considered to be a form of Trichocereus pachanoi. Copyright Misplant.net:

Trichocereus Tom Juul´s Giant TJG Echinopsis photo

Trichocereus taquimbalensis Echinopsis

Trichocereus taquimbalensis Echinopsis

Trichocereus taquimbalensis is a columnar cactus from Bolivia.

Current name: Echinopsis tacaquirensis ssp. taquimbalensis

Synonyms: Trichocereus tacaquirensis, Trichocereus werdermannianus, Helianthocereus werdermannianus, Echinopsis taquimbalensis, Echinopsis tacaquirensis, Echinopsis tacaquirensis ssp. taquimbalensis, Echinopsis tacaquirensis ssp. tacaquirensis, Trichocereus taquimbalensis var. wilkae

Trichocereus taquimbalensis Echinopsis

Trichocereus taquimbalensis is a pretty common cactus from Bolivia and can be found in collections throughout the world. There is large confusion around this plant because many of them come mislabeled as Trichocereus Werdermannianus. I have no idea if this confusion is caused by seed collectors or maybe because Backeberg´s Trichocereus Werdermannianus but the fact that Backeberg actually knew Taquimbalensis indicates that his Werdermannianus is rather some kind of Intermediate between Trichocereus terscheckii and Trichocereus taquimbalensis and the root of the error lies in seed collectors not being able to tell the both apart. Please note that Trichocereus werdermannianus has definitely similarity to Trichocereus taquimbalensis so it´s very likely it is related to that species.

Authentic Trichocereus taquimbalensis has a bright green waxy epidermis and a number of rounded spines with a swollen base. They grow up to 2,50 meters tall and reach a diameter of 15 centimeters. Mature specimens have 8-9 Ribs with Areoles that are 1,5 centimeters apart. Areoles are Round to elliptic in shape and stand out up to 1 centimeter. Areoles are also white felted with 8-13 radial spines and up to 2 centimeters tall. One downward pointing middle spine that is up to 7 centimeters long and with thickening knobs at the base. Spines at first bright brown and later gray.

Flower: The flower is up to 23 centimeters long, ovaries 2,2 centimeters in diameter, with white and brown hairs and brown sepals that are up to 10 centimeters long. The Flowers are white. Trichocereus taquimbalensis is a day-flowering species.

Origin: Bolivia, provence Tarata, Department Cochabamba near Taquimbala, 2800 meters.

There is a variety var. WILKAE which was found by some women named Wilkae and it has more rounded spines and have four middle spines. This variety grows around Tupiza, which is a good distance away from the location of the type.

The modern taxonomy combines Trichocereus taquimbalensis and tacaquirensis and calls it Trichocereus tacaquirensis, with which I do not agree. Trichocereus tacaquirensis has a lot more spines, which are needlelike and the plant looks more like a tarijensis than a taquimbalensis. Basically 99% of all the plants labeled as Trichocereus tacaquirensis turned out to be some kind of Trichocereus taquimbalensis. While Trichocereus tacaquirensis is an extremely rare local variety of Tr. taquimbalensisis, the latter is extremely common and if any one of them should be a subspecies, it should definitely be Tr. tacaquirensis.

On google, there is a huge number of plants with the wrong label to be found as well, so every plant labeled tacaquirensis should be regarded with skepticism. So far, I cannot remember coming across Trichocereus tacaquirensis on the open market as a plant. Trichocereus taquimbalensis, on the other hand is very common.

I will now add some pics from backeberg in which he showed the differences between Trichocereus taquimbalensis and tacaquirensis. I agree that they are definitely related but since they are so easy to differentiate, I feel like it´s not legitimate to lump them both together.

Seed & Live Cutting Sources: I currently have a very limited amount of Trichocereus tacaquirensis seeds available, which is a very close relative of this species!

If you are interested in some of my seeds, feel free to join my rare Seeds and Plants Newsletter.

Propagation: By seed or cuttings. But I actually had problems rooting this species and most cuttings I took did not survive. But that may only be true for the clone that I had and I heard about other growers having no problems rooting it.

Frost and Winter protection: Trichocereus taquimbalensis is a typical, cold hardy Trichocereus and can tolerate temperatures down to -5° celsius for very short periods of time. But I would absolutely not recommend keeping it at such low temperatures and it always depends on the general constitution of the plant. Besides, it has to be completely dry and  I would recommend to keep it at temps of approximately 10° celius of you overwinter them inside. Wet soil is a killer and should be absolutely avoided.

Cultivation: Trichocereus taquimbalensis does not like full sun and I usually grow them in partial shade. It likes a little bit sun over the course of the day, but it tends to get sunburns pretty easily. If it get´s a severe sunburn, it can die pretty quickly. I only water them when it´s hot and only as much as it can take up within one day. They don’t like wet feet, but that´s something that is valid for most Trichocereus species. I stop watering them around the end of the summer and keep it dry over the winter.

This first Pic shows Trichocereus Tacaquirensis

trichocereus tacaquirensis016

Tr. tacaquirensis has many needlelike spines and a much higher spine count than Trichocereus taquimbalensis. Besides, it´s hardly possible to differentiate between middle and radial spines, which is something that is very easy with Tr. taquimbalensis. The whole plant looks more like some kind of a Tr. tarijensis and has a very different appearance than Tr. taquimbalensis. That said, they definitely are related.

Pic 2 shows the complete plant:

trichocereus tacaquirensis017

And last but not least, pic 3 shows a detailed comparison between the two varieties of taquimbalensis, oreocereus maximus and tacaquirensis.

a1. trichocereus taquimbalensis typus (top left)

a2. bottom left trichocereus taquimbalensis v. wilkae

b. oreocereus maxiumus

c. tacaquirensis

Note how many spines tacaquirensis has? You hardly come across them on the open market though i have seed. If anyone has the option to grow this one with free root run, I am happy to send some seed. It´s a huge spiny monster and moving it is not an option. It makes absolutely no sense to grow this one and move it and out in summer.

 The difference between Trichocereus taquimalensis and Trichocereus tacaquirensistrichocereus tacaquirensis018

And this plant is actually a very typical Trichocereus taquimbalensis! I will also add new Pictures to this Gallery too because it is actually a small specimen.


Various populations of Trichocereus santaensis

Various populations of Trichocereus santaensis 

There are various populations of Trichocereus santaensis. The species originally occurs in the Santa Valley. It is HUGE and it covers and borders other historic cities like Huaraz, Olleros, Ancash and many more. In those regions, you can sometimes find this rare gem labeled as Trichocereus pachanoi or simply SAN PEDRO.

During the Sacred Succulents Field Trips, they visited various populations of Trichocereus santaensis and I want to combine them here on this page.

BK09511.7 Trichocerus santaensis, Rio Santa, Ancash, Peru

This one was visited during the 2009 Field Trip. Near Rio Santa, Ancash, Peru. Pic: Ben Kamm, Sacredsucculents.com! Support them to ensure their survival so they can go on more Field Trips in the future!
It is a super interesting plant that has the typical discoloration of the skin that this species is known for. Werner Rauh particularly mentioned it in his original description. This is probably the archetype of this species. But there are more and the variation among the other related types is HUGE.-Some have longer spines, while some others look more like typical Pachanois. When dealing with Pachanois from Huaraz, it´s sometimes not easy to keep them apart from this species and some people do not differentiate between the two.

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BK09509.10 Trichocereus santaensis, Rio Santa near Olleros, Ancash

Another Pic from the same Location as BK09509.9 but different Plant near Olleros. Which is a hotspot for this rare Trichocereus. If you come across plants from this area, it´s probably Trichocereus santaensis. Note the weird spination which is really typical for this species. And once again, the discoloration of the skin.

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BK09509.9 Trichocereus santaensis, Rio Santa near Olleros, Ancash, Peru

Another very cool and rare Trichocereus from the sacred Succulents 2009 Field Trip. A large population growing besides the Rio Santa, near Olleros, Ancash, Peru!

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Trichocereus santaensis, north of Caraz, Ancash, Peru

Another local poulation of the same species. This time north of caraz, Ancash, Peru.

332 Trichocereus santaensis, north of Caraz, Ancash, Peru 2009 Copyright B

Trichocereus puquiensis / Echinopsis puquiensis

Trichocereus puquiensis / Echinopsis puquiensis

The species Trichocereus puquiensis, also known as Echinopsis puquiensis, was described by Rauh & Backeberg as Trichocereus puquiensis Rauh et Backeberg nov. spec.. The description was originally published in DESCR. CACT. NOV. vol. 20 in 1956.

Depending on who you ask, there is a constant debate about whether or not this species is a “good name”. Anderson included it in his Cactus Lexicon as Echinopsis peruvianus ssp. puquiensis. Personally, I think that this plant is closer to Trichocereus pachanoi than it is to Trichocereus peruvianus. On the other hand, I also think that Tr. pachanoi and Tr. peruvianus are probably a very large and variable species with many intermediates between the two and I would not mind to throw Tr. puquiensis in there as well. The rib structure and areole shape of Tr. puquiensis is similar to the one on Tr. pachanoi. The big difference is that Tr. puquiensis has 8 – 11 ribs and a strong groove above the aroles. Please note that there are many different types from the Puquio region, what is the cause for the large number of different plants that go by this name.

Trichocereus Puquiensis gets up to 4 meters tall, but most plants are around 2 meters. It pups from the base and grows as columnar shoots, growing upwards. Tr. puquiensis has no cuzcoensis-ribs but a very similar spination. Think of it as a 8 – 11 ribbed Pachanoi with long cuzco spines that lack the typical cuzcoensis swollen spine bases. This is another giveaway that helps you to ID it.
The color of the epidermis is blue/green. It reaches a maximum diameter of 10-20 centimeters with ribs that are between 1-2 centimeters high, the areoles are 1-2 centimeter in diameter and felted, similar to the areoles on Trichocereus cuzcoensis.
Trichocereus puquiensis has 10-12 radial spines that are up to 2,5 centimeters long. The new spine growth of the radial spines is brown. It also has 1-2 long middle spines, of which one or two are pointing upwards. Those middle spines are 8-12 centimeters long. New spine growth is brown and old spine growth is gray, very similar to the one on Tr. cuzcoensis. You see it´s not a typical Pachanoi but a intermediate that involves traits of various species. Please note that there are some plants in the Puquio habitat that are in fact cuzcoensis related, and the Trichocereus puquiensis from Karel Knize is actually one of them.

Flowers: The flowers are 15-22 centimeters large and white. A typical San Pedro flower. The tube is up to 2.5 centimeters thick and hairy.

Fruit: Unkown. Probably similar to Pachanoi or cuzcoensis fruits.

Habitat: Puquio, Department Ayacucho and it only occurs there. It grows in neighborhood of Erdisia Quadringularis. Rauh assigned the collection number K119.

This is Rauh´s original, latin description, which slightly differs from mine.

Planta 3-4 m alta, a basi ramosa; caules columniformes glauci, 8-10 costati usque 15 cm crassi: costae angustae, ca- 1,5 cm altae; areolae 1cm in dia. lutei-brunnescenti-tomentosae, aculeis marginalibus ca. 10 usque 2cm longis, in calulibus hornis brunneis;aculei centrales plerumque 2, quorum superior oblique erectus vel transverse patents, usque 10 cm longus, basalis oblique deflexus 5-8 cm longus, in caule hornio badius, senectute canus; flores usque 15 cm longi, tubus floralis etiam in statu ante efflorationem rectus, usque 2cm crassus, squamis bractaeneis dense obtectus, quarum pars libera late trigona, in apicem obscurum excurrens, in axillis earum pili lanei brunneo-atri; phylla perigonii exteriora subtus basi rubiginosa, supra virescentia, interiora alba, filamenta, stylus et stigmata virescentia, radii stigmatis 19, ca. 5mm longi, cavum ovarii ferequadrangulare, 0,7cm in dia., nectarium 1,5 cm. longum, angustissimum, stylo crasso fere omnino expletum; fructus ignoti.

Friedrich Ritter sold Seed labeled as FR 155b. Ritter said that the Species would rather resemble Trichocereus pachanoi than Trichocereus cuzcoensis and I tend to agree. The species is limited to the pacific part of the Andes, while Tr. Cuzcoensis grows on the Atlantic Part. After years of investigating I finally think that Ritter was probably right, what means that Tr. puquiensis is more on the Pachanoi end of the spectrum. He knew the South American cacti better than everyone else, but during that time, many regional varieties were described as species and most of them did not age well and ended up being merged into Tr. peruvianus or Tr. pachanoi. I thought about this species a lot, and I guess there are plants that have traits of more than one species.

Karel Knize sold seeds & plants under that name too. Knize´s Trichocereus puquiensis is extremely close to Trichocereus cuzcoensis, but has a couple more ribs than a standard cuzcoensis.  Apart from that, the ribs are clearly Pachanoi ribs. I´ve seen plants with five ribs and some with ten.

Every time you come across a plant with more ribs than usual, Trichocereus puquiensis should be a considered option. It also does not have rounded spine basis, what clearly differentiates it from Trichocereus cuzcoensis. Knize´s version is becoming more and more common because Karel Knize sold large amounts of seed and plants in the past years.

Cultivation of Trichocereus puquiensis:

There is very few information about frost tolerance of Trichocereus puquiensis available. It should be grown like a standard Trichocereus pachanoi or peruvianus, because it´s general growth type is similar to that. It can tolerate frost but temperatures should not be lower than -5° to -10° celsius. Plants should be kept totally dry over winter.

Buy seeds or plants of Trichocereus puqiensis: 

You can buy seeds of Trichocereus puquiensis in my shop.

In the USA, I know of one supplier that grows the genuine Tr. puquiensis from Rauh & Backeberg´s description. Cactusaffinity.com! In Australia you can get live cuttings from the SAB shop.


Photo: Shaman-Australis.com

This is KK1689:

t peru puquensis KK1689

t peru puquensis KK1689 1

This Pic is from Backeberg´s description:

trichocereus puquiensis005

Trichocereus puquiensis Echinopsis puquiensis

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Trichocereus tulhuayacensis

Trichocereus tulhuayacensis


This species is very rare and could only be found around Huancayo. This is the only San Pedro cactus in nature with a flower other than white. The flower is pink what indicates a natural hybrid of a San pedro with something else.

It gets up to 2 meters tall, has a dark green epidermis and can reach a maximum diameter of 10 to 12 centimeters. It shows a mild reddening around the Areoles, has 7-9 ribs (in most cases 8). The Areoles are 8-10 mm large with V-notches above them. The Diameter of the Areoles is 6-8 mm. The Areoles are yellowishly felted at first and change their color to a dark gray later on. It has 8 radial Spines (1,5 to 2,5 cm in lenght) and 3-4 middle spines (up to 8 centimeters) of which one is usually very long. It resembles Trichocereus Tarmaensis and is probably related to it. All spines apart from the long middle spine are usually bent down or pointing downwards. The large Spine is usually gray with a brown tip.

Flower: Flower tube 6,5 to 7 centimeters long, 2,5 centimeter in diameter, reddish & dark green. Scales are approximately 1,8 cm distanced with black or gray brown hairs. Hair is also present on the ovary. Sepales are pink green with with pink edge and up to 6 cm long. Petals pink to ivory. Up to 5 cm long.

Fruit up to 4,5 cm in diameter. With lots of brown hairs.

Origin: Middle of Peru (10 kilometers away from Huancayo, 3400 m near Huachac. It was found by C. OCHOA

I am really happy about those pics because this Trichocereus is really rare. It is very similar to a Cuzcoensis and I don´t think it´s possible to spot this plant at a plant sale. You have to collect it at the original location in Huachac, Peru at 3200 meters. And even if you can, there is a white flowering KK337 and a red flowering KK337. I am not sure how the Sacred Succulents plant will flower but chances are it will flower in white.

trichocereus tulhuyacensis010

trichocereus tulhuyacensis2011

Trichocereus Tulhuayacensis KK337 x Trichocereus Bridgesii. Pic by Richard Hipp! Please note that those plants can look identical to Trichocereus Cuzcoensis and I know a whole lot of people who would label them KK242 and put them on the compost. And that´s a good reminder that there are some amazing plants within the whole Cuzcoensis group.

kkD17b Trichocereus tulhuayensis 2 4Nov00a_jpgK.Trout from Troutsnotes.com

kkD17bTrichocereus tulhuayensis Nov00ac_jpg





Trichocereus nigripilis / Trichocereus spinibarbis (Echinopsis)

Trichocereus nigripilis / Trichocereus spinibarbis (Echinopsis)


Trichocereus nigripilis / Trichocereus spinibarbis is a Chilean Trichocereus species. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the name. According to Ritter, the plant was synonymous with a plant called Cereus spinibarbis Otto, which is why he described it as Trichocereus spinibarbis. These days, Trichocereus nigripilis is not an accepted name anymore and these plants are now understood to be part of the Trichocereus chiloensis complex. The name was re-classified as Echinopsis spinibarbis, but because of the chaotic situation surrounding the name, it would probably be best to lay it to rest.

In addition to the genetic proximity to Trichocereus chiloensis, these plants are very close to Trichocereus coquimbanus/Trichocereus fulvianus/Trichocereus deserticolus. In Coquimbo, there are a couple of intermediates and different forms growing together and this is one of them. But the whole description of the plant called Cereus spinibarbis Otto was already problematic to begin with because it lacked almost everything a reliable description should have. There neither were flowers nor fruits included in the description. The plants are very spiny and look like you´d expect a intermediate between Trichocereus coquimbanus and Trichocereus chilensis to look like. Trichocereus nigripilis (or Echinopsis spinibarbus) is similarly close to Trichocereus chiloensis, as Trichocereus litoralis. The latter is a subspecies/form of Trichocereus chiloensis.

The history of Trichocereus nigripilis is really long and you have to dig through all kinds of different descriptions. And I already mentioned why they are pretty flawed to begin with. The original description of Cereus Spinibarbis Otto came from Förster in 1846. This description was also reprinted in Labourets book in 1853.

Trichocereus Nigripilis has a grass green body and new shoots are approximately 4-5 centimeters thick. It has nine ribs and curved areoles with very distinct separating grooves. It has large, oval areoles that are white felted. The spines are yellow, straight, strong and have a black tip, what is responsible for the name “Nigripilis”. The areoles are 1-2 centimeters long and are only a couple mm apart of each other.

Trichocereus nigripilis has 8-10 radial spines and 2-4 middle spines, which are thick and up to 2,5 centimeters long.

Origin: Coquimbo. 30 Kilometers north of La Serena near the coast.

Salm-Dyck wrote about this plant, that the epidermis is dull and has a sandy/grainy texture. Unfortunately, I lack any plants to confirm this. If you grow one, please let me know because I am fairly interested in this plant and need better pics.

The plant that was described by Britton & Rose as Cereus spinibarbis was a different plant and does not belong here. They described a Eulychnia.

Trichocereus nigripilis forms large & multi-branched groups. New shoots emerge from the base and start growing upwards until later when they tend to bend over and growing almost creeping.

Ribs: 8-10. The plants growing in the northern areas around Huasco and Totoral tend to have more ribs than the ones in other areas. In these cases, the number is between 10-15 ribs. The plants in the original habitats usually have stronger spines and more ribs than the ones in collections.

Trichocereus nigripilis is VERY similar to Trichocereus coquimbanus. The differences in the flower are: The flower of Trichocereus nigripilis always emerges from the top part/apex, is 8-11 cm long and usually very wide open. The tube is 25-36 mm long, the top part 20-30mm wide and white on the inside. The stamens are white, 15-23 mm long. The stylus is whitish, 42-70 mm long.

Backeberg gave Quebrada Honda as Typus location (which is roughly 30 km north of La Serena). Friedrich Ritters Collection number was FR536.

Where to buy seeds or plants of Trichocereus nigripilis?: Well, this cactus is rare and will usually not come labeled as this. The Peruvian field botanist Karel Knize sold a large amount of them labeled as KK1425 Trichocereus nigripilus but I, unfortunately, lack any pics of the plant. Chances are that the color pics on this page show KK1425 but that´s just a guess. Apart from that, the plant is rare and will probably come labeled as Trichocereus chiloensis or Trichocereus coquimbanus. As you can see, the b/w pics show some extremely spiny plants while Knizes “presumed” KK1425 shows something that is more like a chiloensis.  KK1425 was collected at Coquimbo, Chile at 1000 meters altitude.

Varieties: All I know is that there was/is a variety called Trichocereus nigripilis var. nigris. At the moment, I do not have any more info but I will add some later.

Trichocereus Spinibarbis aka Nigripilis313

Trichocereus Nigripilis / Trichocereu Spinibarbis at the typus location.

Trichocereus Spinibarbis aka Nigripilis312




Trichocereus Schickendantzii (Echinopsis)

Trichocereus Schickendantzii (Echinopsis)

This species was originally described by Britton & Rose in their book THE CACTACEAE, which was published in 1920. The plants grow in large clusters, in which they are pupping abundantly from the base! They can get up to 40-50 Centimeters, though they usually stay around 30. They have a diameter of 5-8 centimeters and a very healthy, green colored epidermis.

Ribs: They usually have between 13-18 ribs that are between 0,5 and 1 cm high. The spines are yellow and between 1-2 cm long. It has 7-10 radial spines and 2-7 middle spines.

Flower: The flowers are white and can get between 20-25 centimeters long with green tube and sepals and black heairs/white petals

Origin: Argentina, Tucuman

Cultivation: Trichocereus Schickendantzii is a very popular grafting stock and a hardy cactus. They can take a lot of water during the hot season, but should not get wet “feet”. The average temperature should be around 10° celsius during the winter time. In summer, they can be grown in full sun but usually prefer a spot with partial shade. They should be hardy down to at least 0° celsius (and maybe even more) but I would not feel comfortable testing the boundaries. In a European country like Germany or France, they won´t survive the winter if kept outside. Some growers in the south of france reported that they tried to overwinter it with some rain protection but I am not sure if it worked. They should be totally dry during the winter and only be watered from April to Oktober.

Buy plants or seeds: There are a couple of growers who offer seed every now and then on our Trichocereus Group on Facebook. The plant is also sometimes in stock in the SAB Shop. Apart from that, you might also be lucky to get it from Seed suppliers like Köhres or Kakteen Haage but I have no idea how viable their seed is. In case of fresh seed, they are very easy to grow from seed. They prefer a mineralic soil type.

At a very young age, they look very much like Trichocereus Grandiflorus. However, they don´t get as big as Grandiflorus and have a different pupping behaviour. But generally speaking, they can be very similar and many pics labeled as Schickendantzii, including some on that page may or may not belong to Trichocereus Grandiflorus. The pic that is underlined with cs California shows a very typical Schickendantzii, which is substantially smaller than the ones on the other pics. But since there also are hybrids, it´s pretty tough to keep them seperate from the more columnar growing Grandifloras.

Thank you very much to everyone who donated the Pictures! I greatly appreciate it!

Trichocereus Schickendantzii flowers 1 Trichocereus Schickendantzii flowers 2 Trichocereus Schickendantzii flowers Trichocereus Schickendantzii Gus 2 Trichocereus Schickendantzii Gusby Gus Freeman!

400px-Cactus_002by Henryk Kotowski Kotoviski

by Bachelot Pierre J-P


450px-Echinopsis_schickendantzii_(1)“Echinopsis schickendantzii (1)” by Karen and Brad Emerson



Echinopsis_schickendantzii_(3)by Emily fromt Oakland

800px-Echinopsis_schickendantziiby Benoit Huron

800px-Echinopsis_schickendantzii_(4)Echinopsis schickendantzii by D. Patrick Lewis from Scottsdale, AZ, USA

800px-Flickr_-_brewbooks_-_Cacti_at_Paloma_Gardens Cacti at Paloma Gardens” by brewbooks from near Seattle, USA – Cacti at Paloma Gardens.

800px-Saguaro_flower  by Cs california

800px-Trinchocereus_Volcanensis“Trinchocereus Volcanensis” by Claudio Elias


Enjoying_the_outdoors_(5098916974)                        by Vivian Evans from Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia

Soehrensia_(Echinopsis)_schickendantzii“Soehrensia (Echinopsis) schickendantzii” by Sids1

Trichocereus_schickendantzii_-_Blütenknospe_(6977528060)“Trichocereus schickendantzii – Blütenknospe by Dornenwolf from Deutschland

White_beauties_(5098917280)“White beauties (5098917280)” by Vivian Evans from Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia – White beauties. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:White_beauties_(5098917280).jpg#mediaviewer/File:White_beauties_(5098917280).jpg

Trichocereus Poco (Echinopsis Tarijensis)

Trichocereus Poco (Echinopsis Tarijensis ssp. tarijensis)

Synonyms: Trichocereus Poco, Echinopsis Poco, Helianthocereus poco, Trichocereus tarijensis var. poco, Trichocereus narvaecensis, Trichocereus poco var. fricianus, Trichocereus Totorillanus

Taxonomic Background: These days, Trichocereus Poco has been integrated into the species Echinopsis Tarijensis aka Trichocereus Tarijensis though there are minor differences between the two. However, the fact that the species is extremely variable makes this a somewhat acceptable decision. Backeberg tried to keep it separate from Tarijensis and used the name “Helianthocereus poco” for the tarijensis-type Trichocerei from the southern highlands of Bolivia. But his description did not say anything the mature form of this species, which looks totally different to it´s juvenile forms.

Description: Trichocereus Poco aka Echinopsis tarijensis var. poco grows like a tree and has between 16-20 needle-like spines per areole in his juvenile form. The adult form has 30-50 stump bristle-spines that are usually bent and twisted. Trichocereus Poco starts shapeshifting into its adult form around a size of 50-70 centimeters while Trichocereus Tarijensis has to get a little higher (1-2 meters) to start looking as its adult form.

Ribs: 20-32.

Flower: A mix between orange and red. 10-15 centimeters long, white with a little touch of rose on top, stylus white to red, filaments bright green (lower part) to white (upper part). There also are variations of the flower in colors like white, pink, beige, peach, etc.

Origin: Trichocereus Poco grows in Bolivia and Argentina.

Cultivation: Trichocereus Poco should not receive too much water and requires a good drainage to stay healthy. Species with such a thick spination should be kept drier than other species. The temperatures should never get lower than -5° celsius, though it probably tolerates short time night frosts of down to -9° celsius. But that is really not something that you would want to try because it already starts getting rot problems at around 0° celsius. So keep it dry, overwinter it at a bright and well ventilated area with temperatures around 10° celsius/50° Fahrenheit. If you live in a country with very mild winters, you might be able to get it over the winter by giving it additional frost protection, like a roofing and a purely mineral soil.

Seed & live cuttings sources: There are really not many sources for some seed of Trichocereus poco and most I know came from Köhres. There also are some live specimens on sites like eBay or Amazon sometimes and they make an amazing showroom plant.

Germination: They should be treated like seeds of Trichocereus Tarijensis or Trichocereus Terscheckii. Temperatures between 25° -29° celsius will be sufficient to make the magic happening. Make sure to give it a cactus soil that dries out very fast and only water every now and then after the old water has drained up. Light helps to induce the germination process, so maybe try adding a LED or HPS lamp to your sowing setup and you will get higher germination rates.



Trichocereus Helianthocereus Poco

Trichocereus pasacana – Echinopsis atacamensis ssp.pasacana

Trichocereus pasacana – Echinopsis atacamensis ssp.pasacana

Trichocereus pascana, also known as Echinopsis atacamensis ssp.pasacana, is a columnar cactus that can be found growing throughout the Andes.

Synonyms of Trichocereus pasacana:

Helianthocereus pasacana, Cereus pasacana, Pilosocereus pasacana, Echinopsis atacamensis, Echinopsis rivierii, , Echinopsis formosima, Trichocereus atacamensis ssp.pasacana, Echinopsis pasacana


Trichocereus pasacana is a tree-like cactus that gets up to 10 meters tall though the average height is usually a lot less. It can reach a diameter of 30-45 centimeters and has between 18-22 ribs. It has a lot of small, needle-like spines that can get up to 10-15 centimeters in length. The mature form looks a lot different to its early appearance. The spines are yellow in color and their length is decreasing during the life cycle of the plant. Old plants tend to have lesser spines that young ones and the early spine form is a lot stronger that the adult form.


The flower is white. 10-15 centimeters long. The flower has hairs on most parts and covered with a dark brown wool.


Round, up to 3 centimeters large.


Argentina, Catamarca, Jujuy, Tucuman, Salta and some parts of Bolivia.

There are different varieties of this plant and some tend to branch more than the others that grow like trees. The overall appearance of this plant is extremely variable and there are many intermediate tips between Trichocereus Pasacana, Trichocereus Terscheckii and Trichocereus Atacamensis. Because of that, most descriptions only cover certain varieties of this plant.

Close genetic proximity to other species

Trichocereus Pasacana is 0ne of those plants that are making it hard to draw the line. Backeberg considered this plant to belong into his own described Genus “HELIANTHOCEREUS” which divided the Day flowering from the Night flowering Plants but that was not accepted and reversed very soon after. The new taxonomic name of Trichocereus Pasacana is Echinopsis Atacamensis ssp. Pasacana, though I think Hunt decided to re-position the whole thing in Trichocereus. No matter what, it´s a remarkable plant that is extremely impressive. And the differences between Trichocereus Pasacana and Trichocereus Atacamensis are so minor that it is very likely that Pasacana is just a Variety of Trichocereus Atacamensis, which has priority. The difference between both types is that Trichocereus Pasacana tends to grow branched, while Trichocereus Atacamensis grows more like a tree. Trichocereus Pasacana is also called Cardon Grande, because of its large and mindblowing appearance!


Trichocereus Pasacana is a slow growing Tricho that should not be watered too much. It likes a little water every now and then in summer, but only when it´s actively growing. They should not be watered when it´s cold or rainy. Trichocereus Pasacana makes an extremely beautiful gardne plant but can get really big, so it´s actually only probable to grow them in a greenhouse that is heated all year long or in countries where they can grow outside. They usually produce very large root balls and if you grow them in a pot, it will get really heavy very soon.

Frost Tolerance Trichocereus pasacana:

The most important factor that influences frost tolerance is the wetness of the soil. Trichocereus Pasacana can tolerate very low temperatures for short periods of time. -5° celsius should be the limit though because low temperatures can cause the plant to rot. The minimum average temperature is around 10° celsius/50° Fahrenheit. It may even be possible for them to survive short night frosts lower than -5° celsius but I would absolutely not recommend it because it can leave permanent damage that doesn´t immediately show. But again, the plants HAVE to be dry over winter, no matter what. Personally, I don’t grow those Trichos in Europe because they just tend to get so massive that its hard to carry the pot.

Growing Trichocereus pasacana from seed: 

Trichocereus Pasacana is very easy from seed and requires the same treatment as Trichocereus Terscheckii. It helps to allow the seeds to cool down during the night to increase germination rates. But the minimum temperature required to germinate them is between 25° and 29° celsius. The seedlings don’t need that much water and can germinate with very little. The nutrients stored in the seed corn will allow the seedlings to grow a couple of months without fertilizer. But after then, you should fertilize them with a very weak fertilizer solution. VERY WEAK is the important word, or they might die because of fertilizer burns, which looks similar to sunburn.

Live plant & seed sources:

Most seeds on the market have a crappy quality and there are very little professionals who sell this type of seed. The fact that those plants have to reach a very large size before they flower leads to very little growers giving away some seeds. But every now and then, private growers in our Trichocereus Group give away some seed. Apart from that, you can get live cuttings on various places, including Ebay, Amazon and online nurseries. Often times, cuttings sold as Trichocereus Pasacana are actually Trichocereus Terscheckii, which is caused by their similarity at a young age. There are very little differences you can keep them apart.

Trichocereus pasacana for sale

Trichocereus pasacana is rarely for sale, but you can sometimes get lucky by obtaining a cutting from fellow growers who cut back their gigantic mother plants. If you want to buy a Trichocereus pasacana, you usually get very small plants and seedlings that will take many years to get tall. A large Trichocereus pasacana mother plant can cost 1000 bucks and more if you buy it from a professional landscaper.

Trichocereus pasacana - Echinopsis atacamensis ssp.pasacana 1

This is an adult type that rarely branches, Pic: Prier

Trichocereus pasacana - Echinopsis atacamensis ssp.pasacana 2

This is a very typical, juvenile form! Pic: Prier

Trichocereus pasacana - Echinopsis atacamensis ssp.pasacana 33

Pic: Tangopaso

Trichocereus pasacana - Echinopsis atacamensis ssp.pasacana 4

Nice pic of an adult form, including flowers and fruits. Pic: Mourial

Trichocereus pasacana - Echinopsis atacamensis ssp.pasacana 6

Very few spines on this mature form, Pic: Toth 1

Trichocereus pasacana - Echinopsis atacamensis ssp.pasacana 8

Trichocereus Pasacana is also used as fencing. Or, as Doors. Pic: Mourial

Trichocereus pasacana - Echinopsis atacamensis ssp.pasacana 9

Pic: Thanks to Prier for these amazing pics!

Dawsons Trichocereus pasacana

Rodni Kisar

Trichocereus pasacana Echinopsis atacamensis 1Trichocereus pasacana Echinopsis atacamensis 1 2Trichocereus pasacana Echinopsis atacamensis 1 4Trichocereus pasacana Echinopsis atacamensis 1 87Trichocereus pasacana Echinopsis atacamensis 1 22Trichocereus pasacana Echinopsis atacamensis 132

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