Trichocereus riomizquensis is a Bolivian Trichocereus species that is closely related to Trichocereus bridgesii. I count it as a close relative and potential regional form of Trichocereus bridgesii, which is only endemic to one site in Bolivia near the Rio Mizque. The species was discovered and described by the German cactus field botanist Friedrich Ritter, who gave Chuyllas as the type locality and described it growing on steep slopes in the province Campero.
His Field Number was FR 856. Friedrich Ritter was one of the leading Cactus experts of his time and successfully ran a seed shop, in which he sold this species as seed to people all over the world. Trichocereus riomizquensis was also visited during the Sacred Succulents Fieldtrips and they found a couple of different types growing around that area.
In Ritter´s book, he published a photo of this species. Unfortunately this photo is not very good and it is one of the species that are rare in cultivation. Almost all labels on plants grown from Ritter´s seeds are lost, but the plant is definitely available. On the market, it sometimes shows up labeled as Trichocereus bridgesii, or probably also labeled as Trichocereus PC. Please note that there is a wide variety of plants from this site and the range is very big, ranging from spiny to completely spineless plants.
Ben Kamm published some photos of a Herbarium specimen that was very close to Trichocereus bridgesii as well.
Where to buy seeds and plants of Trichocereus riomizquensis?:
Though Trichocereus riomizquensis is common in cactus collection in the USA, it is usually mislabeled. Sacred Succulents were giving away seeds after their Field Trips and some plants might have gotten into the hands of collectors. They are also selling live plants grown from their collected seeds sometimes.
Description of Trichocereus riomizquensis:
This is partial description of Friedrich Ritter´s original description, including remarks on how to keep it apart from T. scopulicola.
Trichocereus riomizquensis is 6-8 centimeters thick (while Trichocereus scopulicola is 8-10 centimeters thick), it has 5-6 ribs, (T. scopulicola: 4-6), its flanks are 2 centimeters wide (Scopulicola 3-4 cm wide flanks), the flanks are less rounded than the ones on Tr. scopulicola. It has rounded areoles (while the ones on T. scopulicola are usually oval). The areoles have a very visible fluff with a diameter of 2-3 mm. The 1-5 spines are honey-colored and between 1-3 mm long. Sometimes they are even missing. The flower of Trichocereus riomizquensis is 20 centimeters long (while the flowers of T. scopulicola are 16-20) and covered with dark brown/white wool with large scales. The fruit looks knobby.
Type locality: Chuyllas near the Rio Mizque, on very steep rock walls in the province Campero, Bolivia. Discovered from Ritter in 1958 – FR 856.
Ritter´s original photo of his Trichocereus riomizquensis. It is possible that this plant is the same strain as the American PC clone, which gets very close to this plant´s phenotype. However, DNA testing needs to be done to verify. The photos show two VERY similar plants though.
In comparison to Ritter´s plant, check out the PC Trichocereus clone above. (Forest and Kim Starr)
This is one of the plants from the Sacred Succulents Field Trips:
Trichocereus riomizquensis is one of the most interesting species from the Sacred Succulents Field Trips because of its incredible range. Some plants look like the Trichocereus bridgesii-type plants with long spines from the Field Trips and some other ones look like the short spine versions that Friedrich Ritter´s description was about.
If you take a close look at the whole appearance of this plant, you can see that it has a similar areole shape to the areoles on the well known Trichocereus PC clone, also known as predominant cultivar or predominate cultivar. The flower and the overall appearance are so similar that everything else would be extremely surprising. Despite the fact that there are some very spiny plants at this site, there are some other which get extremely close to Ritter´s original photo. Though this will probably never be proven, there´s definitely reasonable doubt that this PC clone is actually a Trichocereus pachanoi.
There is a lot variation within the populations the original site near the Rio Mizque. This population is one of the most interesting Trichocereus populations out there and DNA testing should absolutely be made to look into its relationship to Trichocereus bridgesii.
Where to buy seeds or cuttings of Trichocereus riomizquensis:
Well, Ben and Sacred Succulents would be my starting point if I were in the USA. They don´t ship plants internationally, but if you have the luck to be in the country you might be able to get some cuttings. Apart from this, I do not know any sources for this species. Most of Ritter´s old plants have lost their labels meanwhile, which makes getting one even harden. I am sure that some of them show up on online market places labeled as Trichocereus bridgesii every now and then.
This photo here looks really unspectacular, but shows the area of the Rio Mizque. It is the place of origin of this rare species and most of the plants that can be found there are obviously Bridgesii related.
Check out our main plant database page for Trichocereus pachanoi aka Echinopsis pachanoi here:
And Trichocereus bridgesii here:
And this article I wrote about PC
Also check out our Trichocereus Facebook group here:
Trichocereus scopulicola, also known as Trichocereus scopulicolus or Echinopsis scopulicola is a columnar cactus from Bolivia. It was discovered and described by Friedrich Ritter. Its current status is unknown, but it may be extinct in nature.
Trichocereus scopulicolawas discovered by Friedrich Ritter during one of his expeditions to Bolivia in 1959. The location of the type is Tarija, Bolivia. More precisely, Ritter gave Tapecua as the location and assigned the collection number FR991 and sold seed of his discovery through his legendary Winter Seed lists. Because of that, he helped spreading the plant all over the world, despite the fact that Trichocereus sScopulicola is really rare in nature. There are very few collections of this plant in nature and I am always interested in obtaining seed from new scopulicola types. The plant grows in Tarija in the province O Connor. And no, this has nothing to do with Sarah Connor from the movie TERMINATOR. Trichocereus scopulicola grows in the cactus forests around the Department Tarija at around 1000-1500 meters.
Description of Trichocereus scopulicola:
Trichocereus scopulicola grows columnar like a tree and pups from the base. But it´s actually rare for this plant to produce numerous shoots and most plants don´t have any side shoots. Trichocereus scopulicola can get up to 4 meters tall though most specimens are smaller. The columns are between 5-10 centimeters in diameter and have a nice, dark green epidermis.
Trichocereus scopulicola can have 4-6 ribs though most specimens have five. The areoles are furrowed. The areoles are sunk in and have very little white fluff/wool on top of them. The areoles are rounded or oval and are between 1-4 mm long and 1-2 mm broad, which is very small for a Trichocereus. The distance between the areoles is between 15 and 30 mm. Areoles that form flowers have 4-5 mm diameter. Large, adult plants often lack the spines, while very young seedlings look remarkably similar to a Trichocereus pachanoi and can only be differentiated by the weird rib shape of Trichocereus scopulicola. Adult plants have (if they have any) 3-6 spines that are very small and up to 1.5 mm long. Seedlings have 6-7 ribs, areoles up to 2 mm in diameter and 3-5 mm away from each other, 7-14 needle-like spines (2-3mm long), of which two are central spines.
Flower of Echinopsis scopulicola:
Trichocereus scopulicola flowers from the apex but there are plants where the flowers come out from lower points on the plant. The flower is white and between 15-22 centimeters long. Trichocereus scopulicola is a night-flowering species but the flowers stay open until the late morning.
Fruit of Trichocereus scopulicola:
The fruit of Trichocereus scopulicola is green and can get up to 6 centimeters thick.
Friedrich Ritter considered this species to be very close to Trichocereus bridgesii, which is one of the plants that grow in the neighborhood of Trichocereus scopulicola. And it´s very likely that Tr. scopulicola is some kind of natural hybrid involving Trichocereus bridgesii or Trichocereus pachanoi.
In addition, Ritter wrote that Trichocereus riomizquensis is related to it, but not as closely related as Trichocereus crassicostatus is. These days, Trichocereus crassicostatus is generally seen as a synonym of Trichocereus scopulicola or Tr. pachanoi. So far, I´ve not been able to track a specimen down but they are certainly out there. If you grow one, let me know.
Cultivation of Trichocereus scopulicola:
Trichocereus scopulicola is similarly tough as Trichocereus bridgesii. The reason is simple; both come from Bolivia and are used to the same conditions. Bolivian Trichocereus species are very drought resistant, but can also deal with strong rainfalls in summer pretty flawlessly. However, they should not be watered when it´s cold and they prefer a purely mineral soil mix because that dries up a lot faster. During the hot summer season, they can be watered every few days when the soil has dried up again. Don´t water them when it´s cold or rainy because that can cause rot.
Winter protection and Minimum Temperature:
Scops are relatively hardy and can short night frosts of down to -5° Celsius and maybe even lower than that, but I would not test it out because low temps weaken the plants. The minimum average temperature should be around 10° Celsius and they should be completely dry over winter if you take the plants inside. If the get wet over a prolonged period of time, it can cause root rot or other infections.
Seed & live cuttings:
I get seeds every now and then and I know a couple of growers who actively breed with Scops. There sometimes are some available at SAB and the SAB forum. Besides, Misplant makes a couple Scop Crosses a year. This year, he made a pretty cool cross between a Scop and a colored Grandiflorus, which I can wholeheartedly recommend you because it might produce Scop seedlings with a colored flower.
Trichocereus scopulicola can be used as a grafting stock. It is a great stock that accepts graftings very easily.
Photos of Trichocereus scopulicola
Trichocereus scopulicola FR991 (above)
Trichocereus scopulicola ‘Super Pedro’ above
Sausage Plant x Trichocereus scopulicola _ Echinopsis scopulicola (Below)
TRICHOCEREUS SCOPULICOLA RITT., “Cactus” April 1966 Körper: Aufrechte Säulen, nicht oder nur gering vom Grund sprossend, 3-4 m hoch, 8-10 cm dick, dunkelgrün. Ri. 4-6, meist 5, fast höckerlos, breit und stumpf, die etwas gewölbten Planken ca 3-4 cm breit, Trennfurchen gerade. Ar. etwas eingesenkt, gering weißfilzig, rundlich oder oval, 1-3 mm lang, 1 mm breit, 15 bis fast 30 mm freie Entfernung; Blühareolen ca 4-5 mm Dm., rund, St. an großen Pflanzen fehlendoder 3-5, pfriemlich und nur ca 1 mm lang; Sämlinge haben 6-7 Ri., Ar. von 1-1,5 mm Dm. mit 3-5 mm freier Entfernung und 7-13 nadelförmige, weißliche oder braune, 2-5 mm lange St., davon 1-2 zentral. Bl. meistnahe dem Scheitel, zuweilen auch tiefer, 16-20 cm lang, duftend, nachts öffnend, in den kühleren Morgenstunden noch offen. Frkn. grün, groß gefeldert, Felder ca 1 cm Dm., oben auslaufend in grünliche dreieckige Schuppen von 1-2 mm Länge, mit weißen, oben dazu auch schwarzen Wollhaaren. N.-K. bräunlichweiß, tubisch, sehr eng um den Gr., ca 2 cm lang, mit Nektar. Rö. darüber trichterig, 65-85 mm lang, innen und außen hellgrün, die grünen Schuppen nach oben bis ca 25 mm Länge und 15 mm Breite an Größe zunehmend; Obergänge in die Krbl. rotbraun, Haare sehr krauswollig, schwarz mit weiß. Stbf. unten blaßgrün, nach oben gelblich, 7-9 cm lang, die des Saumes 4-5 cm lang; Insertionslücke ca 4 cm; Beutel bräunlich. Krbl. 6-8 cm lang, 2,5-4 cm breit, mit schmaler Basis, Enden gerundet mit oder ohne Spitzchen, nahe oben am breitesten, weiß, die äußeren schmaleren weiß mit grünem Mittelstreif. Gr. blaßgrün, 14-18 cm lang, wovon ca 2 cm auf die 12 hellgelben ausgebreiteten Narbenlappenkommen. Fr. grün, 4-5 cm langunddick, gefeldert und bedeckt wie Frkn., wohlschmeckend, Sa. 1,8 mm lang, 1,3 mm breit, 0,8 mm dick, fast nierenförmig, Testa glänzend schwarz, etwas gehöckert, Hilum oval, bräunlich, sehrschief. Die Art ist verwandt mit TRICHOCEREUS BRIDGESII, noch näher mit TR. CRASSICOSTATUS. Heimat Felsenhänge und Blockhalden von Gebirgswäldern des Depart. Tarija in etwa 1000 bis 1500 m Höhe. Typusort TAPECUA, Prov. O’Connor, von mir entdeckt 1959, Diese Art ist eine vorzügliche Pfropf unterläge. Nr. FR 991. Abb. 443.
Trichocereus bridgesii (SD.) Britton & Rose – The Cactaceae, now called Echinopsis lageniformisbecause the name Echinopsis bridgesii was already taken.
C.F. Förster – H.Friedrich & GD Rowley 1974
CITES: Appendix II.
Origin of Trichocereus bridgesii:
Trichocereus bridgesii, also known as Echinopsis lageniformis, grows throughout Bolivia (LA PAZ, Chochabamba, Chuquisaca, Santa Cruz, Tarija. There are many close relatives, such as Trichocereus riomizquensis, Trichocereus crassicostatus, Trichocereus scopulicola and the populations from Isla Del Sol.
Synonyms of T. bridgesii:
Cereus lageniformis, cereus bridgesii, trichocereus crassicostatus, Cereus bridgesii var. longispinus, Cereus bridgesii brevispinus, Cereus lasiacanthus, Trichocereus boliviensis, Trichocereus riomizquensis (some of them), and many more.
Commercial varieties on the market:
KK919 Trichocereus bridgesii, KK920 Trichocereus bridgesii, Trichocereus bridgesii Cristata, TBM type A, TBM type B, Lumberjack, Eileen, Jeans, Psycho0, TBM, Penis Plant, Penis Cactus, Frauenglück or Frauenglueck, Trichocereus bridgesii var. Inermis, Eileen,and many more
Trichocereus bridgesii has been renamed to Echinopsis lageniformis by Friedrich and Rowley during their 1974 merger of the genus Echinopsis. The name Echinopsis bridgesii was already taken by a clumping Echinopsis species from Bolivia, which is a totally different plant and should not be confused with Trichocereus bridgesii.
Trichocereus bridgesii is also called the Bolivian Torch or Achuma and is a very fast growing columnar cactus from the high deserts of Bolivia. It its extremely drought tolerant and withstands colder temperatures than some other Trichocereus species. If you are new to cacti but want to grow one of the San Pedro type cacti, Trichocereus bridgesii is a perfect plant for you.
Description of T.bridgesii
Healthy plants of Echinopsis lageniformisTrichocereus bridgesii have a light green epidermis and between four to eight ribs. The spines can range in coloration from honey-colored to brown, and are located at the nodes in groups of up to four.
It grows similar to a tree and reaches a size of up to 5 meters. The Species is not as glaucous as Trichocereus peruvianus and Trichocereus pachanoi and has a light green epidermis.
Trichocereus bridgesii reaches up to 15 centimeters in diameter and large specimens are often confused with Trichocereus peruvianus. The fact that very thick specimens can look a lot like Trichocereus peruvianus is a reason that there are many misidentified specimens on the market. Some sellers even label them “SAN PEDRO”, “PERUVIAN TORCH” or simply Trichocereus peruvianus / Trichocereus pachanoi, because they usually are more expensive as Trichocereus bridgesii.
It has 4-8 Ribs and the Areoles are about 2 centimeters distanced of each other. Four-ribbed plants are sometimes called “Trichocereus of the four Winds”, though it´s actually a lot more common for this species to grow or lose a rib than you would think. Besides, that four winds stuff is oftenly used as a marketing gimmick, though the plants grow and lose ribs all the time. A Trichocereus that grows a rib looks very much like it would put out some monstrose growth, but on the long term you see that it´s just ribs.
But yeah, the larger they get the more ribs they can have. Trichocereus bridgesii has very broad furrows. The plant can reach up to 3-5 meters.
Spines of Echinopsis lageniformis / T.bridgesii:
4-6 needle-like, yellow Spines. Some of them are very uneven and vary greatly in length and appearance. Some large plants even lose their spines completely. This is something that we encountered a couple of times on larger plants and spineless Bridgesii´s look very much large hybrids between Trichocereus peruvianus and Trichocereus bridgesii.
Flowers of Tr.bridgesii :
The flowers of Trichocereus bridgesii are white and up to 20 centimeters long and 10 centimeters in diameter. Trichocereus bridgesii is a night flowering species and its fruits are usually up to 5 centimeters long. It had white petals and small scales and hairs on the rest of the flower.
Bolivia, La Paz
Trichocereus bridgesii as Grafting Stock:
Trichocereus bridgesii is an excellent grafting stock and is used extensively for that. Though it´s a great stock, it´s not as accepting as Trichocereus spachianus or a cereus. Nonetheless, it´s a strong and vigorously growing stock that will produce large scions very fast.
Regional forms of T. bridgesii:
The fact that most regional forms look very similar makes it very hard to differentiate between them. There are many known clones available, but Trichocereus bridgesii isnt just as variable as the Peruvian species.
The monstrose form of Echinopsis lageniformis/Trichocereus bridgesii is called PENIS PLANT or TBM, sometimes also called Trichocereus bridgesii Inermis. Contrary to the typical columnar growth habit of the species, the TBM cultivar displays short stem segments that branch forming a small bush. The upper part of each stem section is smooth and spineless, resembling a certain male body part. The lower part shows a tendency to form ribs and is spiny. The plant is light green in color.
Cultivation ofTrichocereus bridgesii
This species is one of the strongest growers in the genus Trichocereus or Echinopsis. It´s VERY drought resistant and less problematic than other Trichos. Especially if you grow them from seed, because no matter what else you grow, they will be the ones to survive the longest if you suddenly “forget” to water them for a month or so. The come from Bolivia and live off very little water but also manage to compensate strong rainfalls and are rarely affected by fungal infections or mold. It´s a very thankful plant to grow, especially when you have the luck to plant them outside.
So, cultivation is pretty easy. Don´t water them when it´s cold. It´s the same treatment that you would give any other Trichocereus. Only water them during the hot growth season in summer. If they are in full growth and the temperatures are high, they like to be watered on a weekly basis, but it depends on how fast the soil dries up.
Hold back with the organics
They don´t like soils that contains too much humus and i´d recommend to grow them in a purely mineral soil mix, with pumice, coarse river sand and maybe a very little bit of standard cactus soil to make sure that they are able to take in the nutrients. Generally speaking, Trichocereus bridgesii is the archetype of a cactus that thrives on poor soils. I would not recommend to put them in full sun for the whole day but they can take much more sun that other Trichos that come from more tropical climates.
Winter treatment & frost tolerance:
Trichocereus bridgesii is able to tolerate mild frost. The minimum temperature should now go below -5° Celsius though. Trichocereus bridgesii usually has no problems to compensate light night frosts but the average minimum temperature should not be lower than 10° Celsius! That is around 50° Fahrenheit. One important factor in frost resistance is the humidity of a soil! Plants should be totally dry in winter to make it easier for them to deal with frost. That´s why growers in Europe and other countries with strong frost have to take em inside in winter. The moisture is more dangerous than the cold, though there is a temperature that will kill all cacti no matter how dry they are. Cacti require a bright and well ventilated space with a temperature around 10° Celsius. Not only ensure it that the plants soil system does not rot, it also promotes flowering!
Cultivation from seed:
Trichocereus bridgesii is very easy to grow from seed. The seeds remain their viability for 5-10 years and some even longer. The best germination rate can be expected within the first year though. The seeds require light to germinate and you only sprinkle them on top of the soil. As a germination medium, I would recommend a mix between sowing soil and coarse sharp sand. This reduces your chance of contamination and/or Algae/Moss production.
Moss and algae problems on Trichocereus
Moss and Algae are a real problem for cactus growers because they overgrow your seedlings and usually kill them. If you see green crap on your soil, that is exactly what I am talking about. The seeds only need very little water to germinate, so do not overwater them in the beginning. You can always add more water but you can never take back a bad overwatering because it usually washes the seeds away or will lead to rotten seeds and soil.
Germination temperature for E.lageniformis
Germination temperature for Trichocereus bridgesii or Echinopsis lageniformis is around 25°-30° Celsius. But be careful because small seedlings die very easily because of too much heat. Especially if you germinate in closed containers, temps can get quite high in there. The time needed for them to germinate is between 2-6 weeks. If nothing has germinated after that, it´s probably because a.) there wasn’t enough water to kick start the germination. In this case just add more water and wait some more. b.) the temperatures were not high enough. In this case, just increase the temps and continue to germinate. Or C.) The seed is dead.
Bad quality Trichocereus seeds
There are a couple black sheep in seed business who sell seed that´s between 10-20 years old and the viability is horrible. So if you did everything right and nothing germinated, it´s the seed. Seed quality on the market varies greatly and you never know what batch you will end up with. So if you had a batch batch, I´d recommend you to contact the seller and ask him about it. Stay friendly and polite and they will replace it because they are aware of the great differences in seed quality.
Trichocereus bridgesii can be grown from seed pretty easily. But you can also take cuttings and re-root them. This way, you can multiply your plants dramatically and if you are trying to get a lot of plants, you can also try areole grafting. Trichocereus bridgesii is pretty tough and you can basically stick it in a dry medium like sand and it will probably grow. Just make sure to let the cuts dry out and give the wound enough fresh air until everything is calloused. I use bird sand for that purpose, which is the mineral soil mix that you get in pet stores for the birds to take their dump in. It contains anise and some other minerals that just prevent mold and infections and it is perfect for rooting plants in it.
USDA Zones Trichocereus bridgesii:
10a, 10B and 11
Can be used as grafting stock or just because its´an amazing cactus. Besides, Trichocereus bridgesii is used as natural fence to keep away animals and people.
Photos of T. bridgesii
This is a Herbarium Sample of Trichocereus Bridgesii! Pic: Ben Kamm, Sacredsucculents.com:
TBM aka Trichocereus bridgesii Monstrosa Clone A and B
Peter A. Mansfeld – Trichocereus Bridgesii Monstrose B, Penis Plant
A short spine version of Trichocereus bridgesii (Rodni Kisar)
Trichocereus bridgesii ‘Jeans’ (Gus Freeman)
Monstrose version of Trichocereus bridgesii (Philocacti)
Trichocereus bridgesii in Bolivia (Ben Kamm)
A Trichocereus bridgesii cultivar
Trichocereus bridgesii (Simon Maddern)
Echinopsis bridgesii is not the same as Trichocereus bridgesii
Echinopsis bridgesii K. Trout. Please note that this Bolivian Echinopsis species is not Trichocereus bridgesii. The Echinopsis name was already taken, which is why T.bridgesii is now called Echinopsis lageniformis
Below: T.bridgesii ‘Bruce’ aka E.lageniformis ‘Bruce (GOT and LHB)
Videos on T. bridgesii
Check out our main plant database pages for Trichocereus pachanoi aka Echinopsis pachanoi here:
Trichocereus riomizquensis BK10508.7 is a very cool Plant! that is obviously related to Trichocereus bridgesii.
Trichocereus riomizquensisis probably partially synonymous with Trichocereus bridgesii or belongs to Trichocereus bridgesii in a wider sense. The latter is not very surprising because both are from Bolivia and grow very close to each other.
Ritter gave CHYLLAS near the Rio Mizque in the province Campero as the type locality of Trichocereus riomizquensus, growing on rocky slopes.
Ritter assigned the FR/Winter seed code (after the name of his sister, who ran his seed business) FR856. After all these years, there are only very few plants of Ritter´s FR856 left which still have their original label intact and if thereanybody out there who grows a plant labeled Trichocereus riomizquensis FR856, please let me know and I will add them to the database! There were also seeds given away in the Sacred Succulents Field Trips and I´d love to see photos of the offspring as well.
Martin Cardenas Botanical Garden, Cochabamba, Bolivia 2010 – Sacredsucculents.com
If you are interested in Trichocereus riomizquensis, it can´t get any better than seeing the species in field expert Martin Cardenas´garden in Chochabamba. This plant is very unique, but also shows a close connection to Trichocereus bridgesii. I am sure if I was to take a look at the flowers now, I would see a flower that is extremely close to the flower of Trichocereus bridgesii. Buds, flowers and fruit bear white hairs, which can also be see on the notorious PC clone in the United States (which we suspect might be grown from Ritter´s Trichocereus riomizquensis seeds).
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