Trichocereus arboricola, Current name: Echinopsis arboricola(Kimnach) Mottram
Origin: Bolivia, Argentina, Type locality: Tarija in Bolivia, 600-1000 meters altitude
Trichocereus arboricola is more of an Epiphyte instead of a normal Trichocereus and is often grown like a hanging basket cactus. It often starts off as a columnar cactus, but goes prostrate as soon as it reaches a certain size. You can grow it in a hanging basket or like a columnar Trichocereus.
It’s a very tender cactus with a shiny, bright green color and very thin, needle-like spines. It can reach a total size of more than a meter and up to 5 centimeters in diameter. It usually has 10+ ribs and has very small, very subtle bumps over the areoles, which are slightly felted. The areoles are up to 5 mm apart from each other. It develops aerial roots and has very fine hair on the areoles. Echinopsis arboricola has between 10-16 spines, which are very thin and similar to the spines on some Cleistocactus species.
Trichocereus arboricola is a night flowering species and has a very beautiful flower, which is very large for its size and white in color. It has a very delicate and noble flower.
Echinopsis arboricola is a fairly new species and was described in 1997. Because of that, it’s not included in many old cactus books.
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.
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.
The type locality is Tarija in Bolivia and it grows throughout southwest and south Bolivia, parts of Argentina and the Andes.
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 Trichocereus tarijensis
Trichocereus poco, which is probably synonymous with Tr. tarijensis
Trichocereus Poco, which is probably synonymous with Trichocereus Tarijensis
This is a herbarium specimen, Copyright: Ben Kamm, Sacredsucculents.com
Jujuy- by Marian ocecowski QuebradaDeHumahuaca
by Evasaco Jardin_Botanico_de_Altura-Tilcara-Jujuy
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.
This 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 pachanoi, also known as Echinopsis pachanoi, is columnar cactus with a long history of being grown as a crop and ritual plants. Today they can be found in every South American country. It is endemic to Peru and Ecuador, where the type locality can be found.
Please note that this is a purely informational article and we do not sell any plants or seeds of Trichocereus pachanoi.
The official and currently valid name is Echinopsis pachanoi, which came up when Friedrich & Rowley made a poorly thought out merger of the genus Trichocereus with Echinopsis! Trichocereus and Echinopsis are closely related, but there are so many differences in regards to the flowers and the body that it makes no sense to use Echinopsis for all kinds of different plants, while the same authors support the differentiation of even closer genera like Loxanthocereus and Borzicactus. I would jokingly call the chaos around the Echinopsis names the dark ages of Trichocereus taxonomy. Now after numerous cladistic studies that pointed out that the genus Echinopsis needs to be changed again, the opinion of many authors have shifted and experts like Joel Lodé went on to use Trichocereus again. The genus Trichocereus is not officially back yet, but it would be highly unlikely if it wouldn´t be brought back within the next 10 or 20 years.
Echinopsis pachanoi aka Trichocereus pachanoi is a VERY variable cactus. It is not easy to differentiate Trichocereus pachanoi from other atypical Trichocereus types, such as a short-spined Trichocereus peruvianus or very spiny specimens of Trichocereus scopulicola. One of the most common strains of Trichocereus scopulicola, FR991, is very similar to Trichocereus pachanoi. It´s actually not really important, but I want to include this interesting little piece of information to point out what other and extremely similar plants can be out there-
Echinopsis pachanoi, aka Trichocereus pachanoi,is a very fast-growing columnar cactus native to the Andean Mountains, where it grows between 2.000 and 3.000 meters altitude.
It´s natural habitat includes Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru but the plant can also be found in countless cactus collections all across the world. It is very similar to its relative Trichocereus peruvianus, now called Echinopsis peruvianus/peruviana or Peruvian Torch. Some growers, including Friedrich Ritter considered them to be synonymous and I tend to agree with that opinion because I’ve seen how extremely variable this whole group of cacti can be. Its general appearance depends on the environment and the overall health of a specimen. Trichocereus pachanoi is a very important plant for the Peruvian natives and has been used for all kinds of purposes.
Traditional names of Trichocereus pachanoi:
Achuma, Wachuma, Aguacolla, Huachuma, Hahuacollay, San Pedro,
Description of T. pachanoi:
Trichocereus Pachanoi naturally occurs in Ecuador and Peru, but can also be found planted all across Peru, because it was considered a sacred plant for the Peruvian natives. Its stems are light to dark green, sometimes glaucous and have a diameter of 5 to 20 cm and usually 5–8 ribs, depending on the size. The white or gray areoles can produce numerous spines, that can get up to 2 cm long or more, depending on the environmental conditions it is grown in. As already mentioned before, the plant can be totally spineless. The areoles are spaced evenly alongside the ribs, and between 1 and 2 centimeters apart.
Trichocereus pachanoi grows like a tree and reaches sizes of up to 6 meters and in some rare cases, even more. The plant pups from the base and grows columnar, unlike the smaller, clumping species of Echinopsis. Trichocereus pachanoi is a textbook example of a columnar cactus. It is one of the most beautiful cacti that are out there. The skin color can vary greatly and while some of the Ecuadorian Trichocereus pachanoi have a bright green color, there are many glaucous types. Most collection plants lack the spines while the specimens in the habitat usually tend to have more spines. There even are forms which are said to be the wild, spiny form of Trichocereus sachanoi and which was probably brought into cultivation by Karel Knize. I once bought some of those “wild Pachanois” and they had very long and yellowish spines.
Flowers: White, coming out at the upper parts of the Columns. Trichocereus pachanoi is a night flowering and self-sterile species. That means it needs another pollen donor to produce seed. The flowers are very large and attractive, usually around 18–25 cm long and with a diameter of up to 21 centimeters. It produces green fruits that are up to 7 cm long.
The flowers produce a very pleasant smell. The sepals have a brownish/reddish color while the petals are white. The stylus has a green base. The tube is covered with gray/black hairs.
Type location: Ecuador, Chan Chan Valley.
In the original description, Rose mentioned that Trichocereus Pachanoi comes from the higher areas of the Andes, where it grows at 2000-3000 meters altitude. Britton and Rose considered Cuena in Ecuador as the location of the type. That means that the plants that can be found there are the most typical for their description. Trichocereus Pachanoi grows all across Ecuador, from the Chan Chan valley down to the large Armatocereus populations in the south. In addition, the plant can also be found all over Peru and those plants are usually wild forms.
Trichocereus Pachanoi was named in honor of the well-known cactus collector and taxonomist, Pachano.
Commercial names and synonyms
Trichocereus sp. Torres & Torres, Trichocereus huanucoensis, Trichocereus, Tom Juul´s Giant (which is probably just an Ecuadorian Pachanoi), TPM, Trichocereus HBG 53196, Loehmans monstrose Trichocereus, Trichocereus OST 90641, KK2150 Trichocereus, and so on.
Cultivation: Trichocereus pachanoi is very easy to cultivate. It’s a plant take can take a fair amount of frost and that´s relatively frost hardy for a cactus. Short night frosts and short temperature spikes down to minus 5° Celsius shouldn’t be a problem for them, but it also depends on the general health of the plant. I do not recommend to leave it in wet soil for long if the temperatures are low. This is one of the plants that takes a lot of water when the temperatures are high. In summer, I water them weekly and fertilize them once a month. And they love it. They need to reach a certain before they will ìflower, but if you give them a large enough pot and sufficient nutrients, they will even flower without free root run. I can recommend a sandy, acidic soil that dries up very fast. That ensures that the plant is dry once you bring it inside to the winter storage. In some warmer countries, Trichocereus sp. can be grown outside and they usually take it very well. I saw beautiful specimens in Australia or California. The Only thing you need to be careful about is rain because they don’t like getting wet feet for a long time. They take it for a couple of days, but it´s best if to give them some rain protection and a covering sail to prevent them from being overgrown by moss and algae. During the growth season, Trichocereus Pachanoi can grow very fast if watered on a regular basis.
Ecuadorian Specimens of Trichocereus pachanoi
Trichocereus pachanoi can be found on all kinds of witches markets in Peru and Ecuador. Ecuadorian Pachanoi tend to have a distinct, bright green color and are among the most sought after Trichos that are. In general, Trichocereus Pachanoi makes a great grafting stock, because of its fast growth and frost hardiness. Below you can find photos of plants that are typical for the Ecuadorian phenotype. The plants are often surprisingly spiny, with rounded ribs and 1-3 longer spines on white felted areoles.
Photos of Ecuadorian T. pachanoi
Photos below are from the Sacred Succulents Field Trips and show plants in Vilcabamba Ecuador. Note the dark glow.
Below Trichocereus pachanoi ‘Zeus’ (Philocacti)
Photo below T.pachanoi KK339 (Rodni Kisar)
Below: Echinopsis pachanoi photo of KK339 by Karel Knize
Diseases and how to avoid them
They are fairly resilient and don’t suffer from many diseases. They can suffer from bacterial or fungal rot every now and then and there are various pests & infections that growers can encounter. Black rot is usually benign and heals up after a while. There are fungal infections that can infect all plants from the genus Trichocereus, for example Witches Broom Disease, Damping Off or some other forms of orange rot. In many cases, fungal infections kill the plant within short time and infected plants should be removed from the collection immediately. Another common pest are root mealies, which are often brought into the collection through bought plants from online marketplaces and it’s hard to get rid of them once and for all. Chemical pesticides like Imidacloprid work very well but because they have a very bad impact on the beneficial insects like Bees and worms, I wouldn’t recommend it. Neem or Neem Oil works very well against all kinds of pests, including the hardy spider mites, Root mealies or scale. Scale can also be scrubbed off if the outbreak is not very bad. Trichocereus pachanoi should get a soil without too much humus because it tends to attract rot. Another natural pesticide that is used in organic farming is sulfur, which works against Spider mites and infections. Some growers also like to use diatomaceous earth to get rid of minor pests. Generally speaking, Trichocereus pachanoi is one of the easiest cacti that you can grow and most beginners shouldn’t have a problem to grow them.
Frost tolerance of Echinopsis pachanoi:
Trichocereus pachanoi is able to take short night frosts, down to -9° Celsius, which is 15.8° Fahrenheit. The minimum average temperature is around 10° Celsius or 50° Fahrenheit. Using Valerian flower extract is beneficial and can help to improve their resistance against frost.
General recommendations of things to avoid
A common thing that new growers like to do is taking too many cuttings to get a lot of plants very fast. I really hate because that will slow down the general growth dramatically. Very large plants grow much faster than small cuttings. If you really want to produce a lot of them them (to get grafting stock, for example), make sure not to cut too small segments. The minimum length should be at least 30 centimeters long. That ensures that your cutting is growing fast and vigorously. Cutting a Trichocereus promotes pupping; but only if you don’t cut away too much. Small stumps will often struggle to survive if they werent in a great general shape when the cut was taken and it´s just something that I see a lot. Don´t mess too much with the pH level of the soil, because it can kill the plant if the pH is too high or low. They usually like slightly acidic soil. Don´t use regular plant soil because it contains WAY too much Humus or wood products for them. They might like it in summer but as soon as the temps drop, your plant might rot away because the roots take forever to dry. Don´t leave water standing in the pot because it will spoil the roots. Don´t spray them with oil and leave them in the sun directly after the treatment, because the sun will probably burn it. Only apply oil or alcohol in the evening when the sun cannot burn the plant and make sure not to directly expose plants that spent the winter in the house to the burning sun, because it will give it a sunburn.
Getting Trichocereus over the Winter: Most Trichocereus species can be overwintered in a bright place with a temperature between 10° Celsius/50° Fahrenheit. As long as the plants are in winter storage, they don’t require water because they go into dormancy. Because of that, they should be kept completely dry between October and April. Otherwise, the soil might spoil, what often leads to the death of the plant. Please note that this only applies to growers in Europe or similar country, where the strong night frosts and rain periods would kill the plants outside. Make sure to give them enough fresh air to reduce the risk of fungal infection. Most Trichocereus tolerate cold winter storage very well. Besides, this cold storage is the same that happens to them in nature and it increases their general ability to flower. Plants that are kept too warm all year round have trouble to produce flowers.
Just like the other plants from the genus Echinopsis, Trichocereus pachanoi is very easy from seed. But only if you know what you´re doing. I can recommend the takeaway-tech, which is a development of the Fleischer Tec. Mr. Fleischer was a cactus enthusiast that invented a technique in which he germinated cactus seeds in small glass jars with a closed lid. Now, there are those 250 ml Salad containers that can be used in a similar way and they work with many cacti. Now, the seeds need light to germinate. So you don´t cover the seeds with soil but sprinkle them on the soil. The seeds of Trichocereus Pachanoi are very tiny. As a soil, I can recommend a mix of standard sowing soil (not regular plant soil because sowing soil does not spoil so easily) and sharp coarse sand. This way, the chances for fungal infections are rather slim. In addition, you can add a fungicide right when you add the seeds. There are various fungicides available on the market. Just make sure to not use Sulfur or copper during the germination process. Sulfur works great to get rid of infections on adult plants; but it can kill every single seed in a sowing container. So don´t use it if you intend to germinate seed. You can ask your pharmacist about potential fungicides.
Now, after you mixed the soil, you put it in the small see-through container and make sure to even out the soil layer by slightly stomping the soil with another growing container. This is to avoid that the seeds fall into little cracks. The soil level needs to be straight to ensure that the seedlings have enough stability later on. After you consolidated the soil, you can sprinkle the Trichocereus seeds on top of the soil. Then, you get yourself a water sprayer, add in some fungicide or antibiotic solution (but only one that doesn’t kill seeds) and spray the whole thing very lightly. Trichocereus Seed does not take a lot of water to germinate. Make sure not to add too much water, because it WILL 100% kill them if the soil looks like a swamp. Besides, make sure to get yourself VIABLE seeds. There are many crappy seeds available on the market and many of them are not viable anymore. Trichocereus seed usually stays fresh for 5-10 years, but the germination rates are best during the first year. After you’ve sprayed the whole seed/soil mix, you can close the lid and take it to a bright spot, like a window or under an LED lamp. Light increases germination rates dramatically and I can only recommend you to get yourself an LED lamp. But I’d recommend you to get one that uses High Power LEDs and that has at least 150 Watt. From all the things I got myself, this was the thing that increased the germination rates the most. Don´t bake the seeds though; a light spot on the window is absolutely sufficient. Ideal germination temperature is between 25 and 30 degree Celsius. If the seed was viable, you will get some germinations within 2-3 weeks. If you get white mold on the seeds, they are probably dead. It does not help to leave seed wet for more than 6 weeks in order to “wait for germinations”. It’s rather counterproductive so if you don’t get germinations within 4-6 weeks, take off the lid, let everything dry out and then, restart again. Difficult or half-dead seed can be treated with Gibberellic acid to wake it up from dormancy. Besides, cycles of drying out and watering can help to bring back zombie seed to life. If you get mold inside the container, take off the lid asap and water away the mold. At this point, you´ll have to leave the lid open and grow them without a lid. If you do that, they need to be sprayed with water on a regular basis to stay alive. Like, twice a day. But don’t keep them wet for long and ensure that the soil can get dry between the watering cycles. Otherwise, you might get fungus gnats, which look like tiny, see-through worms. In that case, let the soil dry out.
The small seedlings have enough nutrients to survive for a couple months, but it helps to fertilize them IN A VERY DILUTED CONCENTRATION every now and then. Don’t use the regular dose that adult plants get or they will die. Besides, don’t expose the seedlings to DIRECT sunlight or they will get sunburn and die. Well yeah, after one year, they should be big enough to re-pot them and single them out. If you encounter problems in your culture, just let me know and I´ll try to help you!
The flowers of Trichocereus pachanoi:
The flowers are large, white, hairy and covered with scales. The color of the hairs is usually black or brown, while the color of the hair on the buds or flowers on the PC clone is mostly white and similar to that of Bolivian species like Trichocereus bridgesii.
Photos of T. pachanoi
A typical specimen with relatively short spines.
Another very beautiful strain. The spine length is around 2 cm and this is not very uncommon.
Trichocereus pachanoi ‘Yowie’
Rather spine specimen, which might actually be an intermediate between T. peruvianus and T. pachanoi
Trichocereus pachanoi ‘Rod’
This picture shows one of the plants that Curt Backeberg sold, also known as Backeberg Pachanoi. He used to recommend the plant for grafting in the 50s and sold huge amounts of em through his cactus nursery.
Trichocereus litoralis is definitely closely related to Trichocereus chiloensis and the current taxonomy is treating it as a variety or subspecies to it. Trichocereus litoralis always was a problematic species because there are so many intermediate forms between Trichocereus chiloensis and Trichocereus litoralis that it is extremely difficult to draw the line somewhere. While some treat it as part of Trichocereus chiloensis, some others disagree and treat it as a separate species. Personally, I think that the whole group of plants surrounding Trichocereus chiloensis is very variable and we should simply respect that plants can be related to each other and at the same time, look a little bit different. The species is also very closely related to Trichocereus skottsbergii, which I also regard as a variety of Trichocereus chiloensis/Echinopsis chiloensis.
Origin of E.litoralis:
Chile. Growing mostly around the coast line. Coquimbo
Synonyms of T.litoralis:
Echinopsis litoralis, Cereus litoralis, Trichocereus chiloensis var. litoralis, Trichocereus chilensis var. litoralis, Cereus chilensis,
The type location is in Zapallar, north of Valparaiso near the coast of Chile. The species is widely distributed all across the coast up to Los Vilos. The many radial spines are needle-like, while the middle spines are pretty strong and thick and up to 3 cm long. It has 9-28 radial spines and 3-6 middle spines.
Trichocereus chiloensis ssp. litoralis gets between 1-2 meters tall. It has a very dark green color and and a maximum diameter of 10-15 centimeters.
Ribs of Echinopsis chiloensis ssp.litoralis:
15-22, areoles approximately 1-2 centimeters apart of each other.
Flowers of Trichocereus litoralis:
Trichocereus litoralis has a white flower, which is extremely similar to the one on Trichocereus chiloensis. The flowers are up to 15 centimeters long, which is on the lower end of the scale for Trichocerei.
Fruit of E.litoralis:
Round, dark green. Up to 5 Centimeters in diameter
Where to buy seeds and cuttings of Trichocereus litoralis?
You can get some seeds of Trichocereus litoralis in my shop.
Pic: Richard Hipp! Thank you very much!
Have a look at this beautiful picture of Trichocereus litoralis growing along the coast line in Chile.
The flower of Trichocereus litoralis is extremely beautiful and can be used in hybrid breeding. Unfortunately, those plants take very long until they reach adulthood.
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 angelesii, also known as Echinopsis angelesii or Echinopsis angelesiae, was originally described by Friedrich Ritter as a white flowering variety ofTrichocereus strigosus / Trichocereus strigonus, until Kiesling publicized it under the name Trichocereus angelesii.
Check out two photos of Trichocereus strigonus in comparison
The flower of Trichocereus angelesii
The flower of Echinopsis angelesii is white and 12-24 centimeters long. Trichocereus angelesii is a day flowering / diurnal species with clear visual similarity to Trichocereus strigonus. The spines, fruits and seeds are pretty much indistinguishable from the ones of Trichocereus strigosus, which makes it nearly impossible to identify the plant unless you find it at the original type location. Trichocereus angelesii, aka Echinopsis angelesii, usually has 14-22 ribs . In comparison to this, Trichocereus huascha has 12-15 ribs.
The typus location is Famatima in the provence La Rioja, what makes it likely that it is synonymous with the commercial name Trichocereus famatinensis. It is also closely related to the plant that Ritter called Trichocereus callianthus. This plant was originally sold by Ritter as FR999, which was still labeled as Trichocereus huascha back then.
Kiesling´s description gives Darwinia in Argentina as the typus location and it´s not clear whether or not those plants were actually the same.
Buy Trichocereus angelesii / Buy seeds of T. angelesii
It´s a rare species that you only get rarely, but classic Kaktus nurseries like Kakteen Haage or Uhlig Kakteen might have some of them available. If you don’t have the chance to collect them at one of the aforementioned locations, you will probably not run into it very oftenly. There are also some older plants that you can find on the commercial market, and these are usually labeled as T. huascha or Trichocereus strigonus. White flowering Trichocereus huascha might very well be a mislabeled Trichocereus angelesii.
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.
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.
Constant Traits to Identify
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.
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.
This is Trichocereus Werdermannianus KK917 from Karel Knize. Pic from Rodni Kisar!
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.
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. werdermannianusdurch seine nurhochsitzendenBl. eindeutigunterschieden. 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, soweitbekannt.
Check out our main plant database pages for Trichocereus pachanoi aka Echinopsis pachanoi here:
And Trichocereus bridgesii here:
Also check out our Trichocereus Facebook group here:
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 .
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 Echinopsis valida:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Trichocereus validus – Huntington Botanical Garden – by Richard Hipp
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.
Trichocereus tarmaensis Rauh & Backeberg is a close relative of Trichocereus cuzcoensis that was described as a separate species. There are various differences between Trichocereus cuzcoensis and this species, and some forms of Trichocereus knuthianus are considered to be synonymous with T. tarmaensis as well.
Trichocereus tarmaensisreaches 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.
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 T. tarmaensis but Trichocereus tulhuyacensis or another close relative. Both Echinopsis tarmaensis and Trichocereus tulhuayacensis are very rare and mislabeled anyways. Karel Knize is selling seed of this type under the field number KK2148 .
Photos of Trichocereus tarmaensis
This picture shows a seedgrown specimen that was sold through the SAB shop in Australia.
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.
Photo: S. Preiss
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.
Check out our main plant database pages for Trichocereus pachanoi aka Echinopsis pachanoi here:
And Trichocereus bridgesii here:
Also check out our Trichocereus Facebook group here:
Trichocereus grandiflorusis a cactus from the genus Trichocereus. Its status is highly questionable as a correct species and the opinions are as varied as the names it carried. Joel Lodé has listed Trichocereus grandiflorus as Trichocereus rowleyi right now, while Anderson listed it as a synonym of Echinopsis huascha in his Cactus Lexicon. Please note that some people also refer to this plant as Echinopsis grandiflora, but this name is also used by Echinopsis eyriesii v. grandiflora and the older name has priority.
Trichocereus grandiflorus was moved around between the genera a lot in the past. It is genetically close to both Lobivia and Soehrensia, which is why it was sometimes included there. Friedrich et al. listed it as Echinopsis grandiflora. Anderson then listed it as a synonym to Echinopsis calochlora in his CACTUS LEXICON. Joel Lodé lists it as Trichocereus rowleyi. Schlumpberger lists it as Soehrensia grandiflora (Schlumpberger).
The flowers of Trichocereus grandiflorus are often red and/or show various variations of red flowers. There are many hybrids, which is why the flower color is relatively unrelaible. There also are versions of flowers that are white in color and between 15-25 Centimeters in size. The tube is usually very hairy, but there are countless hybrids with all kinds of flower colors available on the open market.
Origin of Trichocereus grandiflorus:
Argentina, especially around Catamarca. The original description refers to a plant from a private collection and it is suspected that Trichocereus grandiflorus is extremely close to Trichocereus huascha and might even be part of this species.
The original description as Lobivia grandiflora came from Britton & Rose. Because of that, the plant was labeled as a Lobivia in most classic cactus literature. In addition, the title “Grandiflorus”, which roughly means “Large Flower” makes a lot of sense because most Lobivias usually have smaller flowers. The large flower size for a Lobivia shows that it is not a very normal Lobivia either. The collector Fric, who labeled it Chamaecereus giganteus (same principle because most Chamaecereus are tiny Lobivia), originally introduced the plant into the market, but since it was so different from Chamaecereus, this did not last long. Backeberg wanted to put it in his own problematic Genus Helianthocereus due to the diurnal flowers, but this flawed system was not adapted. Eventually, the plant ended up in Trichocereus, where it was until the restructuring made by Friedrich et al.
Cultivation of Trichocereus rowleyi (ex GF):
Trichocereus grandiflorus is a very hardy plant that can grow a lot during just one growing season if watered accordingly. The plant is able to tolerate some light frost but I would not recommend trying it out to the limit. I keep them at around 10° Celsius during the wintertime in a bright and well-ventilated room. I do not water them during the wintertime and only start watering again in March.
Buy Trichocereus grandiflorus / Seeds or Plants:
This plant is available every now on then on marketplace sites like Ebay or Amazon. In addition, many growers use it to produce hybrids. The Californian nursery Sacred Succulents has some colored Grandiflora hybrids and they sell seed every now an then. You can also try to make a post at our Trichocereus group at https://facebook.com/groups/trichocereus because there are some growers there who give some away every now and then.
Trichocereus grandiflorus also shows similarities to Trichocereus schickendantzii and some even consider them close relatives. It´s sometimes difficult to keep the two apart and growers or collectors mix them up all the time. The same applies to Trichocereus huascha, which differs from Trichocereus grandiflorus through its spination.
Due to the fact that there are so many misidentified Trichocereus grandiflorus, or plants that are identified as Trichocereus huascha but are actually GF, a large part of the photos that can be seen online show something else. This whole confusion is worst with small and juvenile plants. Trichocereus grandiflorus is MULTI-Ribbed and grows columnar. Its higher rib count and the strange pupping behavior in combination with shorter spines than T. huascha and its typical pupping style at the base make it possible to identify it reliably though. The pups almost look like little balls on the base of the plant while Trichocereus schickendanzii forms large clusters that can get up to 1-2 meters wide. The problem with Trichocereus grandiflorus is that the original description was written after a collection plant, which may or may not have already been a hybrid of Trichocereus huascha.
Before we get to the pics, let me first take the time to say thank you to Prier, who donated those amazing pics. Thanks Prier!
A very typical Trichocereus grandiflorus Photo Credit: Dinkum
A typical Trichocereus grandiflorus, labeled as Trichocereus huascha (Randy)
Another typical T. grandiflorus, labeled as T. huascha. Roger Kidd geograph.org.uk ,_Ashington,_
Another typical T. grandiflorus, labeled as T. huascha. by Daderot -_Botanischer_Garten_Freiburg
In comparison to this, here are Trichocereus huascha and Trichocereus schickendantzii:
Note the differences in regards to the flower. White versions of Trichocereus grandiflorus are almost always misidentified Trichocereus schickendantzii, Trichocereus shaferi, or true hybrids involving T. huascha or T. grandiflorus that resulted in a white flower.
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 andTrichocereus tarmaensis and
Alternative name: Echinopsis knuthiana
Synonyms: Trichocereus knuthiana, Trichocereus knuthianus, Trichocereus cuzcoensis var. knuthianus, Cereus knuthianus, Azureocereus deflexispinus, Cereus deflexispinus, Trichocereus tarmaensis, Trichocereus peruvianus var. Tarma, Trichocereus crassiarboreus, Trichocereus schoenii, Echinopsis schoenii, Echinopsi tarmaensis (not all, but some of them clearly belong into the knuthianus context as well)
Though Trichocereus knuthianus is still considered a correct species with the name Echinopsis knuthiana, it is closely related to Trichocereus cuzcoensis and Trichocereus peruvianus. There was never any good DNA testing done to verify or question this, which is why it is on our short list of species that we´ll test for our upcoming book on the genus Trichocereus. In my opinion, it is a relative of Trichocereus cuzcoensis. We will find out how related exactly once we´ve ran some tests.
Trichocereus knuthianus was discovered and described by Curt Backeberg on the upper course of the Rio Marañon. The plant was named after Graf F.M.Knuth, who was Curt Backeberg´s co-author in the book KAKTUS ABC and a financier for some of his trips.
Most plants that are available on the open market were originally sourced from Friedrich Ritters Seed list. Ritter´s collection number of Trichocereus knuthianus was FR567, sometimes also labeled as Trichocereus knuthianus f. pachanoi or Trichocereus knuthianus FR 677! This strain can be found in collections throughout the World though it is most common in Australia.
Ritter wrote that it´s probably synonymous with Trichocereus tarmaensis and I agree to a certain degree. In addition, he shared the opinion that Trichocereus knuthianus is actually a variety of Trichocereus cuzcoensis, which is most likely correct as well. Trichocereus cuzcoensis only grows in Cusco, but its close relatives grow all over Peru, e.g. Trichocereus tarmaensis, Trichocereus schoenii, etc.
Curt Backeberg, on the other hand did absolutely not agree with Ritter´s attempt to nullify Backeberg´s species, as it would mean that his newly described “species” would´ve become invalid. Generally speaking, Friedrich Ritter knew that plant very well .
Mature plants of Echinopsis knuthiana in habitat tend to have that tree-like rounded log-shape that you can observe on Trichocereus cuzcoensis too. Most other Trichocereus species do not form such a rounded and tree-like stump, which is another indicator for its genetic proximity to the Cuzcoensis complex.
Trichocereus knuthianus is very widespread and grows in Central Peru and some Departments that surround it.
Title photo: Sams Plants
Photos of Trichocereus knuthianus
Above: Fields Knuthianus aka Fields Knuth
This Picture shows FR 677. Unfortunately not a very good pic:
Photos below: Delia and Rodni Kisar
Check out our main plant database pages for Trichocereus pachanoi aka Echinopsis pachanoi here:
And Trichocereus bridgesii here:
Also check out our Trichocereus Facebook group here:
Trichocereus huascha, also known as Echinopsis huascha, is an Argentinian Trichocereus species that looks very similar to Trichocereus spachianus, Trichocereus grandiflorus, Trichocereus shaferi and Trichocereus schickendantzii. However, there are important differences to distinguish them.
Trichocereus huascha has had a long history with many name changes due to its unique position between Trichocereus, Lobivia and Echinopsis. Friedrich & Rowley renamed it to Echinopsis huascha in 1974 but their actions weren´t really embraced with love.
I have some fresh seeds of Echinopsis huascha. You can get them here:
The list of names that Trichocereus huascha already had does not fit on one page, so I will only keep the most important ones. Many varieties of this species were actually labeled Lobivia, Cereus or even Chamaecereus and it´s very difficult to differentiate the plant from similar plants like Trichocereus schickendantzii, Trichocereus spachianus or Trichocereus grandiflorus.
Echinopsis huascha usually grows in small, clumping groups that reach up to 1,1 meters in height. It usually pups abundantly and can grow upwards like a columnar cactus or creeping. The pups can get up to 5-6 centimeters in diameter and has up to 15 ribs as a mature plant. The areoles are between 1 cm and 1,5 centimeters apart from each other. There are yellow colored and needle-like spines on each areole. Trichocereus huascha has 10-12 radial spines that are up to 2 centimeters long. The flower color is absolutely variable; also because there are SO many natural and commercial hybrids. This plant is used extensively in Trichocereus hybrid culture and many hybrids that are floating around on the market cant fully be id´d because the offspring can sometimes look very different from the parental generation. The plant flowers from the apex, through the areoles and the flower color can be yellow, red or orange. You can keep it apart from plants like Trichocereus schickendantzii by the color of the flower (Schickendantzii has white flowers) and the thinner growth of E. huascha. The flowers are 6-8 centimeters in diameter and the species is usually dayflowering! They also are sometimes self-sterile, while other forms are self-fertile. You usually need two plants to get seed, but T.huascha hybridizes so easily in nature that there are some plants that form fruit without being pollinated! There are constant arguments about its synonymy with Trichocereus andalgalensis and at the moment, I consider them synonymous. Trichocereus andalgalensis was described as a red flowering variety of T. huascha (T. huascha v.rubriflorus), but since there are also yellow flowering T. andalgalensis at the original site, this is not really a species that I consider correct.
Origin of Trichocereus huascha:
Argentina. Very widely distributed and can be found almost everywhere around Catamarca & La Rioja. The plant grows at 900-2000 meters altitude.
By izzyplante from Montreal, Canada
This plant looks more like a Trichocereus candicans, but I am still keeping it here for now because it´s from a botanical garden and it migt actually be a hybrid between these two species. Photo by Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA Echinopsis huascha
By Lord Koxinga
by stickpen-Trichocereus huascha amarilla
by stickpen Trichocereus huascha
T.huascha v. pecheretianus (ex. grandiflorus) by Peter A. Mansfeld
by Daderot huascha (ex Grandiflorus) – Botanischer Garten Freiburg
by frank vincentz Jardin Echinopsis_huascha
Soehrensia_huascha by Allie Caulfield
by Raffi Kojan Gardenology.org
Dru Bloomfield Echinopsis_huascha
By Jofre Vlastní fotobanka Echinopsis huascha var. rubriflora
E.huascha in a private garden ( Photo: De Wet Swart)
Tr.huascha v. auricolor Echinopsis huascha Flower
Photos below: Tr. huascha v. rubriflorus Delia Kisar
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.
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 Echinopsis 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.
Fruit of E.smrziana:
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.
Emőke Dénes Echinopsis_smrziana_-_Kew_Gardens
Oslo Sukkulentforening Soehrensia_smrziana
by Michael Wolf Echinopsis smrziana
Photos below: Trichocereus smrzianus by Leanne Kelly
Trichocereus deserticolus, also known as Echinopsis deserticola, is a columnar cactus from Chile. This species also includes Trichocereus fulvilanus / Echinopsis fulvilana as a subspecies of Echinopsis deserticola now.
Trichocereus deserticolus is a plant with a complicated and close relationship to Trichocereus fulvilanus, Trichocereus coquimbanus and Trichocereus chalaensis. They get very close to each other sometimes, for example the population between Paposo and El Cobre. Trichocereus fulvilanus grows from Caldera in the north to El Cobre, while Trichocereus deserticola grows from Paposo down in the south to Tocopilla in the north. There are taxonomists or authors that regarded Trichocereus fulvilanus as being unrelated to Trichocereus deserticolus / Echinopsis deserticola, but I do not really share this opinion. Yes, there certainly are differences between Trichocereus deserticolus and Trichocereus fulvilanus, but a blind man could see that both are as closely related as it can get.
Chile. The type location is Antofagasta. It also grows around Atacama, El cobre, Paposo, Tocopilla, etc. Trichocereus deserticolus grows in a moister climate than Trichocereus fulvilanus, which grows around the coastlines and that prefers a drier climate. Because of that, Trichocereus deserticolus can rather be found in the higher areas around Paposo, where it is extremely common.
Description of Tr. deserticolus:
Trichocereus deserticolusis a branched plant that does not get as big as other Trichocereus species. It´s usually somewhere between 1-2 meters tall, but most of them are around 1 meter.
9-13, with very strong furrows. This plant is somewhat similar to Trichocereus chalaensis, which grows creeping.
The areoles are 1-2 centimeter apart of each other. Trichocereus deserticola usually has 2-3 middle thorns and 18-24 radial thorns. Which are very thin and have a dark brown/reddish color. The epidermis of the skin shows a very weak, pale green color.
Flowers: The flowers are white and a little bit smaller than the ones on other Trichocereus species. The size of the flowers is between 5 and 12 centimeters. They have brown/black hairs and the fruits are round and can be eaten.
In a wider sense, this plant is most likely related to Trichocereus chiloensis as well. However, the exact genetic situation has to be revealed by DNA testing.
Trichocereus deserticolus should be treated just like every other Trichocereus from Chile. It only needs watering during the hot season and requires a soil that dries out very fast. I usually use purely mineral soil mixes and as Chilean Trichocereus species, Trichocereus deserticolus aka Echinopsis deserticola likes it a lot
There are almost no seeds of Trichocereus deserticola available. Sometimes you can get small cuttings on sites like eBay. I sometimes have seeds of this species available and I can recommend that you join our Trichocereus group or Newsletter to stay in touch.
Trichocereus deserticolus should not be kept at temperatures below -5° Celsius and the plants have to be completely dry if you want to overwinter them at a cold climate. A perfect overwintering temperature is around 10° celsius, which is something around 50° Fahrenheit. The plants should be kept at a bright and well ventilated area.
By Leonora Enking
Photos below: Pedro Lopez Artes
Below: The subspecies Tr.deserticolus ssp. fulvilanus
by Michael Wolf
Trichocereus fulvilanus v. longispina flower photos:
Trichocereus cuzcoensis is a Trichocereus species from Cusco in Peru. It is described as a species that is limited to Cusco and only plants from that area count as Trichocereus cuzcoensis in the sense of the description. Many people on forums and Facebook groups identify close relatives of Trichocereus cuzcoensis from other parts of Peru as Trichocereus cuzcoensis, which is absolutely false. Such species are Trichocereus knuthianus, Trichocereus schoenii, Trichocereus tarmaensis, Trichocereus uyupampensis, Trichocereus tulhuayacensis, Trichocereus chalaensis, the spiny forms from Chavin etc. There are probably more, but those are the ones that I see misidentified the most. Trichocereus cuzcoensis is probably the most misidentified species in this genus, simply because people just love to identify things as Trichocereus cuzcoensis. If in doubt, always bring in a specialist that actually knows how similar some of the species mentioned before can be sometimes.
The current name of Trichocereus cuzcoensis still is Echinopsis cuzcoensis, but many good authors have abandoned this sinking ship and went back to use the Trichocereus names. Check out Joel Lodé´s book TAXONOMY OF THE CACTACEAE. Trichocereus cuzcoensis, also known as Echinopsis cuzcoensis, is considered a correct and valid species, despite it´s obvious similarity to many forms of Trichocereus peruvianus. There are countless intermediates between Trichocereus peruvianus and Trichocereus cuzcoensis (especially at sites where both grow together) and there are many regional forms that show traits of both species. As an example, there are Peruvianoid forms of Trichocereus cuzcoensis with a higher rib count than the standard version, but without swollen spine bases and and there are specimens of Trichocereus peruvianusthat show some traits of Trichocereus cuzcoensis. For example, even the Icaro DNA peruvianus have swollen spine bases, but no one in their right mind would treat them as Trichocereus cuzcoensis. Personally, I think that Trichocereus cuzcoensis and Trichocereus peruvianus are so similar that they are at least subspecies or varieties of the same species. We´ve already seen lots of different regional forms of Trichocereus cuzcoensis. Everywhere T.cuzcoensis grows in direct neighborhood of Trichocereus peruvianus, they hybridize with each other and form transitional forms. The whole group around Trichocereus peruvianus is extremely variable and that also includes Trichocereus cuzcoensis as well. Please note that Trichocereus cuzcoensis is MORE than just Karel Knize´s KK242, which has become THE textbook definition of a cuzco. The hate around KK242 is responsible for giving the species a bad rep and that´s absolutely not justified as far as we are concerned. It´s a beautiful and unique species and large mother plants are usually stunning.
Because there are countless forms of Trichocereus cuzcoensis or its close relatives, we started collecting as many photos as we can to put them here together.
Description of T. cuzcoensis:
Echinopsis Cuzcoensis is a columnar cactus that grows columnar and is pupping from the base. It can get more than five meters tall, though most collection plants that are grown in pots do not exceed 2 meters. However, in countries like Australia, there are many huge plants of Trichocereus cuzcoensis to be found. New growth has a bright green color. It can get between 7 -9 rounded Ribs and the areoles are approximately 1-2 centimeters apart from each other. Trichocereus cuzcoensis has many, very strong spines. The number of spines is very variable but in most cases, I observed between 8-12 spines. The spines usually have a rounded, knobby base. New spine growth is yellow or dark brown while old spine growth is usually dark gray to white with slight black undertones or black spine tips. The spines usually are between 5-10 centimeters long. If you have a suspected E.cuzcoensis with a low rib count, it is likely not a Cuzco but a close relative such as the plants from San Marcos, T. schoenii, T. santaensis, etc.
Trichocereus cuzcoensis is a night-flowering species but the flowers usually stay fresh until the morning of the next day. It is self-sterile and you need another specimen as pollen donor in order to produce seed.
The flower color is white and the flower is usually very large. It measures up to 16 centimeters, the tube is green and 7-8 centimeters long. Petals are approximately 5 centimeters long and there are hairs covering the flower.
Peru, Cuzco. Cuzcoensis relatives from other areas do not count as T.cuzcoensis is the sense of the description.
Synonyms, commercial names & Varieties:
Trichocereus knuthianus, Trichocereus crassiarboreus, Cereus cuzcoensis, KK242, KK340, KK1911 Knuthianus, Trichocereus tarmaensis. Please note that some of these are close relatives that we count in the winder context of this species.
Trichocereus Cuzcoensis is grown just like other Trichocereus species. It´s a very tough and frost hardy species and is able to cope with temperatures down to -9° celsius/15.8° Fahrenheit for short periods of time. The minimum average temperature is 10° celsius/50° fahrenheit. That temperature is also the minimum temperature that it needs to stay healthy during the winter.
Trichocereus cuzcoensis can be overwintered in a bright and well ventilated place. The temperature should be around 9-10° Celsius and the plants need to be completely dry. In european countries, the growers stop giving water and fertilizer in late summer (September or October) and take em in until early May or April. Keeping the plants dry and cold over winter also helps to increase flower production. Plants that are kept in a warm room over the winter lose their ability to flower. Besides, plants or seedlings need to be watered on a regular basis as soon as you have them in a heated room. If you want to overwinter a Trichocereus in a warm room (20°-30° Celsius), you have to water it on a regular basis. You can only overwinter a plant “dry” if the temperatures are low.
Growing Trichocereus cuzcoensis from seed: Trichocereus cuzcoensis is very easy from seed, because it is relatively resistant to most pests. One of the biggest challenges is to get good quality seed because most cuzcoensis seed on the market is pretty old and some do not even germinate. I am constantly looking for interesting new types of Trichocereus cuzcoensis, because they are amazing plants. Take a look at the pics from the Sacred Succulents Field Trips that are labeled “Cuzcoensis” and you will most likely agree. Germination temperature for Trichocereus cuzcoensis is between 26° and 30° celsius. It only needs very little water to induce germinations and if you have quality seed, they will germinate within 2-6 weeks. If nothing shows up by the 6th week, you will probably not get germinations at all. In this case, remove the lid, let the soil dry out and start with the germination process again. Those cycles mimic the way this actually happens in nature and sometimes, you will be able to re-activate dead seed. You can also add GA-3, which is Gibberelic Acid or use a strong HPS or LED lamp to wake the seeds up, because ultraviolet light increases germination rates. In general, Trichocereus seeds need light to germinate, so do not cover them with soil.
Trichocereus cuzcoensis Seed Sources: I have some great seeds in my shop right now. The first one comes from Huancavelica in Peru and the other one is somewhere between Trichocereus peruvianus and Trichocereus cuzcoensis.
This looks like a very typical Trichocereus cuzcoensis KK242. This strain was originally brought into cultivation by Karel Knize. He also sold various types of similar plants labeled as Trichocereus cuzcoensis, Trichocereus macrogonus or Trichocereus peruvianus. The label KK242 does not refer to a particular plant but the area where the seeds/cuttings were collected at. Because of that, there are many plants labeled KK242 which are NOT a Trichocereus cuzcoensis. The type just looks so unique and remarkable that it stuck and most plants that look like this are usually identified as KK242. Which is not really correct because that´s just one of the many types that grow within the KK242 range. However, most of the KK242 are in fact Trichocereus cuzcoensis. Pic: Master Evan
Below: A form of KK242 that is not a Trichocereus cuzcoensis.
This Trichocereus tunariensis hybrid is pushing out flowers like crazy. …
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