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 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.
So here´s another video from the 2020 season, while I …
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