Echinopsis macrogona / Trichocereus macrogonus in Matucana II
In this chapter I want to show you some of the wild populations of Echinopsis macrogona from Matucana. The species is partially synonymous with Echinopsis peruviana, which is why there is quite some overlay between these two. The name Echinopsis macrogona has a long and troubled history, because most authors have their own opinion about it. Personally, I consider the name Cereus macrogonus (which resulted in later descriptions as Trichocereus macrogonus and Echinopsis macrogona) to be too problematic to count. Its original description lacks information on crucial details such as the country of origin and this leads to the massive confusion surrounding it. Seed sellers carry various species under the name, e.g. Echinopsis peruviana, Echinopsis pachanoi, Trichocereus werdermannianus (currently seen as form of Echinopsis terscheckii), Trichocereus taquimbalensis, Trichocereus tacaquirensis, Echinopsis lageniformis/ Trichocereus bridgesii, Trichocereus santaensis, Trichocereus terscheckii, Trichocereus schoenii, etc. There´s almost no species that this name hasn´t been slapped on, which makes comparisons between plants from the commercial market completely pointless. If I would get a Dollar every time someone tells me that “x plant can´t be Trichocereus macrogonus because they seed grown plant looks completely different” I would be a made man.
How to differentiate Trichocereus macrogonus / Echinopsis macrogona and Trichocereus peruvianus / Echinopsis peruviana?
In this article we show some photos from Matucana, which is the type locality of Echinopsis peruviana. These plants are often referred to as Trichocereus macrogonus and people who identify these plants tend to identify them as Trichocereus macrogonus due to their spine color. I personally do not think it makes a lot of sense to differentiate between Echinopsis peruviana and Echinopsis macrogona as the whole complex is incredibly variable. Differences between a form from Matucana and one from another Peruvian city do not mean that something has to be a different species. The people who get to choose which differences draw clear lines between two related species are the authors who describe them, and so far I have not read a conclusive argumentation on clear boundaries between Echinopsis macrogona and Echinopsis peruviana and I think DNA testing is the one tool that should be used to decide this. However, since there is no country of origin, type locality or Herbarium piece of the original Cereus macrogonus, which makes it impossible to compare other populations against it. And this is pretty much the crux of the problem.
Echinopsis macrogona / Trichocereus macrogonus Huariquina in Matucana
Below you can see some photos from Huariquina in Matucana. All plants there are very beautiful and among the most visually pleasing Trichocereus species we know. Icaro DNA and Los Gentiles look very much like this. The plants grow columnar, but with a clear tendency to lean over every now and then. They do not really grow prostrate, but they don´t always grow a 100% columnar either.
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Pomolargo is another Peruvianus population that is a glowing example for the beauty of this species.
Echinopsis macrogona / Trichocereus macrogonus Collana Roja in Matucana
Collana Roja is another Matucana population that is typical for Echinopsis macrogona. The spines are brow, sometimes even red, and this is one of the only traits that are somewhat usable to differentiate between Echinopsis peruviana and Echinopsis macrogona. Again, most are mostly synonymous anyways, which is underlined through the fact that Echinopsis macrogona was never found again, from the time on that Britton and Rose wrote their description of Trichocereus peruvianus. That alone speaks volumes and the reason is that all the plants which were formerly identified as Cereus macrogonus were later attributed to Britton and Rose´s name. There are differences between the two descriptions, but they are rather small-
Copyright: Chavin Herbalists
Echinopsis macrogona / Trichocereus macrogonus Collana Pichu in Matucana
Collana Pichu is very similar in regards to the phenotype and gets very close to Collana Roja.
Copyright: Chavin Herbalists
Echinopsis macrogona / Trichocereus macrogonus Sucro in Matucana
In Sucro we´ve seen some plants that were relatively short spined or even spineless. There´s quite a few regional forms of this species that is spineless, but these plants are usually very spiny as seedlings and only lose their spines later on. In particular, we´ve grown some seeds of Collana Roja, which are quite spiny as seedlings and we hope they will lose their spines later on.
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