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.
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.
Videos of Trichocereus validus / Echinopsis valida
Trichocereus validus FLOWER VIDEO
Trichocereus validus aka Echinopsis valida is one of my favorite species. It´s a Bolivian Trichocereus species from the genetic proximity of Trichocereus terscheckii / Echinopsis terscheckii. The flowers are white with a beautiful green throat and open up in the evening. I´m a big fan of this species and it´s always great to see it flowering.
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.
Trichocereus santaensisis 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. The current status of Trichocereus santaensis is unclear. The spiny populations might be placed into Trichocereus peruvianus, and the classic ones from Rio Santa might be placed into Trichocereus pachanoi. Without genetic testing it will be hard to estimate if Trichocereus santaensis is a valid species or just another Backeberg name.
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 – 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 bases. Besides, 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.
In the Chapter of Trichocereus peruvianus, Backeberg wrote about its growth type:
This is Backebergs Key for Trichocereus santaensis
Branchesto 10cm∅ Blue greenshoots Ribs7, very broad, strongly furrowed, Notflattenedfurrows Spinesgray-brown,brighter towards the base Middlespines: 1 spine is longer, spines up to 4 cmlong.
Friedrich Ritter´s description of Trichocereus santaensis
TrichocereusSANTAENSISRAUH&BACKBG. 1956RAUH: BEITRÄGE PERUANISCHER KAKTEENVEGETATION 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 / Echinopsis santaensis at the Rio Santa (Riley Flatten)
Photos below Trichocereus santaensis / Echinopsis santaensis in Chavin de Huantar, El Lanzon (Riley Flatten)
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 candicans is a species from the genus Trichocereus that originally grows in Argentina.
Current name: Echinopsis candicans (Gillies ex Salm-Dyck)
Synonyms: Cereus candicans, Echinocactus candicans, Echinocereus candicans, Echinopsis candicans, Helianthocereus candicans, Trichocereus pseudocandicans, Trichocereus tenuispinus, Echinopsis candicans var. tenuispinus, Cereus candicans spinosior, Trichocereus neolamprochlorus, Trichocereus gladiatus, T. candicans var. gladiatus, Trichocereus rubriflorus, Echinocactus dumelianus, Cereus Candicans var. spinisior, Helianthocereus pseudocandicans and some forms of Trichocereus lamprochlorus
First of all, this species is a mess. There are totally different types of plants floating around in the collection and I am not even counting the hybrids yet. There were numerous taxonomists in the past 100 years messing around with Trichocereus candicans and I am not really happy with the current taxonomy either. There originally were a couple of different subspecies like Trichocereus candicans & Trichocereus pseudocandicans + the closely related species Trichocereus lamprochlorus + neolamprochlorus. Trichocereus lamprochlorus was once again divided from T. candicans…and for good reasons.
Trichocereus candicans is a small and compact columnar cactus that builds clusters and grows approximately 75 centimeters tall- The plant usually has a yellowish skin color and grows in clusters up to 3 meters wide. The columns are 8-15 Centimeters thick and have between 9 and 11 Ribs. Areoles are pretty big and white felted and up to 2 centimeters apart of each other. Trichocereus candicans has 10-12 Radial Spines that are up to 4 centimeters long and 4 middle spines that are up to 8 centimeters long.
Flower: Most specimens of T. candicans have white flowers, but this is a heavily bastardized species in nature and I´ve seen various populations that had all kinds of flower colors and everyone of them was more beautiful as the other. And they had all kinds of flowers…yellow, red, white, you name it! Regularly, the flower is white and reaches a size of up to 20 centimeters (and some forms or varieties even more). The flowers have a very nice smell and attract all kinds of insects. Because of its excellent flower, Trichocereus Candicans is a perfect plant for hybrid breeding. The flower looks amazing and accepts pollen of most other Trichocereus, including the San Pedro cacti. Because of that, it´s a great candidate to breed colored flowers into the whole San Pedro group.
T. candicans is Night flowering. Besides, it is self-sterile, what means that you need pollen from another donor to produce seeds.
Origin: Argentina. Around Mendoza and Cordoba. San Juan, Catamarca, La Rioja.
Just like I already mentioned, the species is very variable and is also close to Trichocereus lamprochlorus. There are intermediates that show traits of both species and it´s nearly impossible to give a definite ID. There are natural hybrids between Trichocereus candicans x Trichocereus huascha and Trichocereus candicans x Trichocereus strigosa.
CITES: Trichocereus candicans is in Cites APPENDIX II.
Varieties & Cultivars: T. candicans var. gladiatus (with very large flowers), Trichocereus candicans var. robustior, Trichocereus candicans var. rubriflorus, Trichocereus candicans Gröner Hybrids (which is a hybrid between T. candicans x Pseudolobivia, which flowers very early on), Trichocereus candicans var. tenuispinus, Cantora hybrids (which is a cross between Trichocereus candicans and Echinopsis toralapana), and so on.
Trichocereus candicans is a very good species for grafting or hybrid culture. There are certain hybrids with extremely beautiful flowers called CANTORA. Those hybrids are one part Trichocereus candicans and one part Echinopsis toralapana.
Many taxonomists would agree that this species an extremely variable plant that makes many problems. And while I agree with that, it´s also caused by the chaos that was caused by the large amount of different types that were all merged into this huge species “Trichocereus candicans”. Because there are so many different types available on the market, there are countless atypical plants that grow more columnar than standard Candicans´or that have very short spines instead of the long spines that most candicans are known for.
Cultivation: Trichocereus candicans is very easy in cultivation. It is an excellent grafting stock that is known for its great frost tolerance, but the plant is so beautiful that you can also grow it just because it looks cool. Especially the colored flower hybrids around La Rioja are amazing and I can only recommend you this amazing cactus. The plant takes many years until it flowers but there are some hybrids called Groener candicans that are basically the result of an open pollination between candicans and Pseudolobivia, which flower very early on within the first five years. Those hybrids were named after the grower who raised and distributed them. If you can get those hybrids, you wont regret it. But they are rare and should only be watered when it´s hot.
Because of that, the plant does not get any water in between October and April. In Europe, you can overwinter them in a bright place with lots of fresh air at a temperature of approximately 10° Celsius. That´s the minimum average temperature and they do not need any water until the temperatures are starting to rise again.
Cultivation from Seed: Trichocereus Candicans is very easy from seed and requires the same treatment as any other Trichocereus. They are really frost resistant and can sometimes withstand short night frosts of down to -8° Celsius/17.5° Fahrenheit. I would not want to test it out though, because it always depends on the general health of a plant. The minimum average temperature is around 10° Celsius/50° Fahrenheit. The seeds will start germinating at temperatures between 24-30° celsius and require very little water to germinate. They are relatively uncomplicated to grow but I had the best experiences with a soil that was purely mineral.
Propagation: The plant is propagated by live Cuttings and seed.
Seed & live cutting sources: I am working on getting this species in my shop. As soon as I get high quality seeds of this one, I will let you know.
Trichocereus candicans var. robustior – Huntington Botanical Garden by Richard Hipp
Trichocereus candicans var. robustior on the left and the very rare Trichocereus santiaguensis on the right!
Trichocereus candicans / Echinopsis candicans
On this beautiful specimen you can see how similar Trichocereus candicans can get to Trichocereus taquimbalensis. However, Trichocereus candicans tends to have a higher spine count and a different spination. The spines on Trichocereus taquimbalensis are crooked and look very different. The epidermis of both Trichocereus candicans and Trichocereus taquimbalensis are waxy green. There are forms of both that are not waxy and that makes identification difficult at times. Trichocereus candicans does not get as tall as Trichocereus taquimbalensis and if you see them forming lower colonies instead of columnar cacti, the plant is probably a Trichocereus candicans. This form is also similar to what was described as Trichocereus gladiatus.
Photos: Jake Mhaidin
Trichocereus candicans / Echinopsis candicans photos of body and flowers
Copyright: Kyle Castelyn
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:
On this page, I will show a whole lot of pics of interesting Trichocereus Mutants, monstrosa, freaks, crests, variegates, variegata, mutants and such.
Photos of Trichocereus Mutants
In the front, you can see the classic TBM clone, an abbreviation for Trichocereus bridgesii monstrosa. This clone is also called Penis plant, Penis cactus, etc.
This clone has a very weird growth habit and produces small, penis-like pups that self-terminate and pup again after a while. There are two different types. One that only grows little pups and another one that can produce large columnar shoots, without producing these little “sausages”.
This one was sold as Trichocereus bridgesii v.inermis. It is the same clone as the TBM.
This was sold as Trichocereus peruvianus variegata. It is grown in black plastic particles, which might sound like a good idea, but I feel like it´s not really something you should do because it´s not able to store nutrients. And god knows what other chemicals are in that plastic.
This is a very nice Trichocereus bridgesii monstrosa. It is similar to a type that Sacred Succulents encountered on one of their Field Trips to Peru
The pics above were donated from Philocacti! It´s an amazing Trichocereus crest and I am very happy to share those pics with you!
The following pics are from Philocacti too. I know it´s a Lophophora monstrosa and is kinda off-topic but considering how rare and cool it is, I am happy to have it on the site. There are a couple more pics of this plant in the gallery below.
Altman´s Trichocereus TPM clone
Trichocereus pachanoi monstrosa – Could be the Altmans or the CCC clone but I am not sure.
This is an awesome Trichocereus Mutant that´s variegated
This is a variegated Matucana. Just for the lulz.
This is an Echinopsis eyriesii v. grandiflora cristata crest.
Trichocereus bridgesii – Melty Crest – Seems like Trichocereus bridgesii produces some of the most amazing Trichocereus mutants. So it´s always worth the try mass sowing them in order to get interesting seedlings.
Some more NON-Trichocereus Mutants & Monstroses
Cultivation of mutants: Most of these mutated or variegated cacti have very similar needs as their normal equivalents. Some of them might be more vulnerable to rot if the plant is a little bit weak. Especially with old seed or bad crosses, you can sometimes have plants that are genetically inferior to other cacti and tend to have all kinds of diseases. But apart from that, Crests, variegates or monstroses are usually not any worse than normal specimens. Because of that, it´s really sad to see that some growers tend to put them on the compost because they don´t want to have bad genetics in their collections. Not that this can´t also be the case, but I know plenty of collectors who pay a lot of money for mutants and appreciate them as much or even more as standard plants. Now, some mutants tend to have trouble getting to flower, but that´s definitely not the case with every one of them. Maybe some of them are a little slower but you often see crested plants in nature, that produce pretty normal flowers. I guess it always comes down to the genetic health of the plant. And that can be totally different from plant to plant. I guess we all know those variegated Gymnocalycium that can´t survive if not grafted on something else. And personally, that´s where I draw the line because I don´t want to keep on grafting a plant that isn´t able to survive on it´s own. But yeah, everyone has his own likes and dislikes and if you have a cool mutant that you´d like to see on this page, please let me know or post it in our Trichocereus Facebook Group!
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:
So here´s another video from the 2020 season, while I …
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