Trichocereus schoenii / Echinopsis schoenii
Trichocereus schoenii , also known as Echinopsis schoenii under current nomenclature, is a south Peruvian Trichocereus species that Backeberg described and named after E. Schön, who assisted him financially on his trips. Mr. Schön was from Arequipa, which is where one of the most important habitats of this species is. However, the species is not limited to that area and grows nearby other South Peruvian Trichocereus species. Trichocereus schoenii usually grows in the company of some Corryocactus species and there are also some other Trichocereus species that grow at the same sites.
Trichocereus schoenii resembles Trichocereus santaensis, but differs from it by the long central spine and a slightly different areole shape and rib shape. You need to look very closely to tell them apart, and it´s usually the typical spination that allows you to recognize it as what it is. It´s a very rare and beautiful species which is very rare in cultivation. The plants that are available are usually mislabeled and are usually identified as Trichocereus cuzcoensis or Trichocereus knuthianus.
Trichocereus schoenii is a plant that roughly belongs to the Trichocereus cuzcoensis complex, but there are many differences and I hope to see some cladistic studies about this species one day. The species usually has seven ribs (as seen in the photos) and the spines can get up to 8 centimeters long. You can read a more detailed description including some habitat photos in my book.
Trichocereus schoenii / Echinopsis schoenii photos from South Peru
Photos: Mark Harvey
Copyright: Mark Harvey