Trichocereus chiloensis, also known as Trichocereus chilensis or Echinopsis chiloensis, is a columnar cactus from Chile. It is closely related to Trichocereus terscheckii and something like the Chilean version of the large Andean Trichocereus species.
Echinopsis chiloensis H.Friedrich & G.D.
Synonyms of T. chiloensis:
T. chilensis, T. chiloensis, Echinopsis chilensis, E. chiloensis, Cactus chiloensis, cereus chiloensis, Trichocereus skottsbergii, Trichocereus nigripilus, Echinopsis skottsbergii, Echinopsis nigripilus, Trichocereus spinibarbis. Trichocereus litoralis, Echinopsis litoralis, Trichocereus bolligerianus, Echinopsis bolligerianus
It´s debatable whether or not Trichocereus litoralis and Trichocereus coquimbanus are synonymous with Trichocereus chiloensis, but there is a clear connection and intermediates exist.
Some people consider Eulychnia eburnea to be synonymous with Tr. chiloensis / E. chiloensis, but I disagree vehemently. The plants look kinda similar, but the flowers of them are very different and clearly belong to the genus Eulychnia.
This Trichocereus species is the predominant Trichocereus in Chile. The Name “chiloensis” is the taxonomically correct one, but there´s a very high chance this was typo as the name was supposed to mean”Chilean Trichocereus” and not “Trichocereus from Chiloe”. T. chilensis doesn not grow anywhere near the island of Chiloe. This makes the confusion around the name even more ridiculous. I understand that Taxonomy has to prefer the earliest name recorded, but in this case, the name Trichocereus chilensis should be ignored because it is the taxonomic equivalent of a typo.
Trichocereus chilensis grows from the Provence Talca in the south of Chile down to the Elqui Valley in the Provence Coquimbo in the north. There are various varieties and the maximum size of the plants varies greatly. Trichocereus chiloensis is one of the most typical cacti in Chile, grows like a tree and can get up to 6-7 meters tall. It grows as strong columns that reach a maximum diameter of 15 centimeters. The areoles are white/beige and up to 2 centimeters long. It has 10-12 radial spines that are up to 2 centimeters large and 2-4 middle spines. The middle spines are usually between 5-10 centimeters long-
Flower: The flower of Trichocereus chilensis is a little smaller than the ones on other Trichocereus species. It is between 8-14 centimeters long. The tube has very little hair on it and is 4-6 centimeters long, white petals (up to 5 centimeters long). Trichocereus chiloensis is a diurnal species, but the flowers tend to stay open for a very long time, sometimes even up late into the night so you might get the idea it is actually night flowering. There are many varieties or intermediates of Trichocereus chilensis, which grow all around the habitats and in the area where different types grow in the neighborhood of each other.
Trichocereus chiloensis is a very tough cactus, just like many other cacti from Bolivian or Chilean deserts . They can take extreme heat and are very easy to grow. But they don’t like too much water, so you should never give too much water at once. They should only be watered in summer and require dry soil medium during the winter. Besides, they need a temperature change during the water in order to produce flowers. That means that you should overwinter Trichocereus chiloensis in a bright and well-ventilated room between October and April until there are no more night frosts. Trichocereus chiloensis is able to tolerate slight night frosts but the temperatures should not drop below -9° Celsius or you might lose the cactus. Apart from that, Trichocereus chiloensis is really easy and can thrive on very poor soil medium. I can recommend purely mineral soil mixes for them because they tend to rot when there is too much humus in the soil. A cactus that is kept in a mineral substrate can stay wet for much longer without any damage to the roots that one that is grown in a highly humus substrate.
Growing Trichocereus chiloensis from Seed: Trichocereus chiloensis is similarly easy from seed as any other Trichocereus. The seeds stay long for 5-10 years, though it´s best to use seeds that are not older than one year. The seeds need light to germinate and you usually sprinkle them on top of the soil and put the pot/sowing container in a room with a temperature between 25-30° Celsius for 2-6 weeks. If you still have no seedlings after 2-6 weeks, chances are that the seeds are not viable. There are not many suppliers for seed of Trichocereus chiloensis.
Right now I have a terrific strain of Trichocereus chilensis ssp. litoralis in my shop. Check it out here.
Trichocereus Chilensis – Huntington Botanical Garden by Richard Hipp
Trichocereus camarguensis is a thin Cactus that resembles Trichocereus strigosus, huascha and some forms of T. spachianus. It has golden Spines. Live cuttings and seeds of Trichocereus camarguensis were distributed by various sources, including Karel Knize under the collection Number KK1414. There also are many hybrids available. Trichocereus cajasensis is closely related and is considered to be a separate species by some authors. DNA testing is necessary to look into this.
Description of Trichocereus camarguensis:
Thin columnar cactus that can get up to 50-60 centimeters tall. It grows prostrate and usually leans forward because of its tendency to creep. The epidermis is bright to pale green with many golden spines. 13-15 ribs and areoles are around 1 centimeter apart of each other. This cactus can resemble Trichocereus huascha and Trichocereus strigosus, but does not reach its large height!
12-15 radial spines and 1-3 middle spines that are up to 5 centimeters long, The spines are bright yellow and like very thin, fine needles.
White. Up to 22 centimeters long, tube with dark gray hairs, sepals are pink/purple/green and white petals (up to 10 centimeters)
Fruit of Echinopsis camarguensis:
Round fruit, up to 3 centimeters in diameter
Bolivia, near Camargo, 2750 meters. Chuqisaca, Tarija, Potosi
Trichocereus camarguensis is a night-flowering species. It also is self-sterile, what means you need pollen from a second plant to get seeds.
Cultivation of T. camarguensis:
Trichocereus camarguensis is USDA 10-12. It originally comes from Bolivia, where there is very little water and should not be overwatered. They are much more likely to rot than a Trichocereus pachanoi or Trichocereus peruvianus. So keep them more on the dry side and don’t water when it’s cold or rainy because that attracts mold and other infections. They like a mineral substrate and can deal with quite a lot of sun. The minimum average temperature should not go below 10° Celsius and that´s actually the temperature that you should overwinter them. Only water them between May and October if you have to bring them inside to overwinter. If you don´t have the luck to live in a country where you can grow them outside,then better not try it because they will most likely not make it through the winter! Just make sure to provide them with a winter protection that keeps em from getting wet all the time. They should take short, nightly frosts, but the absolute minimum is -9° Celsius/15.8 Fahrenheit. Frost resistance also depends on many other factors, like general health, soil composition and humidity.
Growing Trichocereus carmaguensis from seed:
The same requirements as most other Bolivian Trichocereus species. Seeds need light to germinate and seedlings prefer mineral substrate. Sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil and put the pot/container in a warm room (25°-29°) and make sure it´s not getting too hot in there. As soon as all the seeds have germinated, keep a close eye on the temperatures because they can die from heat quite easily. Temps should not go above 30° Celsius! Especially in closed containers, temps can be substantially higher than in the room around them.
Where to get seed:
There are not many seed sources for Trichocereus camarguensis available right now. I have received some top notch seeds from the current harvest by a friend this year. Check out the shop to buy some Trichocereus camarguensis seeds.
Trichocereus camarguensis is used extensively in hybrid culture because they flower early on and produce a beautiful flower. Because of that there are many camarguensis hybrids with a flower other than white.
Similarity to Trichocereus strigonus
Trichocereus camarguensis and Trichocereus strigonus are extremely similar. The difference is that Trichocereus camarguensis only has yellow spines, while T. strigonus has yellow and red colored forms. In addition, T. strigonus has much more spines and is a bit taller.
Photo: Trichocereus camarguensis (Dean Karras)
by Frank Vincentz
This photo is labeled as Trichocereus camarguensis, but probably shows Trichocereus strigonus. Trichocereus camarguensis does not have red spines. by Daderot
Trichocereus strigosus is a plant from the genus Trichocereus. Its status is questionable and it is sometimes also listed as Soehrensia strigosa. I treat it as a correct species in the genus Trichocereus. It is closely related to Trichocereus vatteri and only differs from it by the flowers. Visually, both species are very hard to differentiate and are mostly synonymous.
This plant grows in direct neighborhood of Trichocereus candicans and was cataloged by Gilles in 1833. But back then, the plant was not described until 1834 when Salm-Dyck took the effort to write a complete description. Trichocereus strigosus and Trichocereus candicans both grow around Mendoza. The original name was Cereus Myriophyllus (Gilles) but it was changed to Trichocereus strigosus because it was based on a nomen nudum and that´s why Salm-Dyck´s description has priority over the older name Cereus Myriophyllus.
Flower: Up to 20 centimeters large, white. Trichocereus strigosus is a night flowering species. It also is self-sterile, what means that you need pollen from another donor to produce seeds. Please not that there is a white form of Trichocereus strigosus. The white flowering variety of this plant grows at around 1600 meters altitude. The plant is pupping from the base and only reaches around 60-65 centimeters in height.
Ribs: Trichocereus strigosus has 15-20 ribs and the shoots have a maximum diameter of 5-8 centimeters.
The areoles are white/beige felted and reach a maximum diameter of 5 mm. Every areole are approximately 3-6 mm apart from each other.
Spines: Yellow, very thin and fine spines, up to 3 centimeters long, 10-15 radial spines and 2-5 middle spines that can get up to 5,5 centimeters long. The plant has very long and fierce spines.
In addition, there are some other forms/varieties. One of them was originally known as Trichocereus strigosus var. flaviflorus and only occurs in Famatina, Province La Rioja in Argentina. This type has a yellow flower and is day flowering. The flowers are between 12-14 centimeters large. The yellow flowering variety grows a couple hundred meters below the white flowering one. In addition, the yellow flower is shorter.
Cultivation: The species is very rare in cultivation, though it sometimes shows up in cactus collections all around the world. The plant should be kept relatively dry, though it can be watered in the summer when it´s pretty hot. As it grows in the neighborhood of Trichocereus candicans, it requires similar conditions. Trichocereus strigosus likes getting a fair amount of sun light but shouldn´t be baked in full sun all day long. They usually grow in semi-shade and can form amazing clusters.
Winter protection and frost tolerance: Trichocereus strigosus is able to take a light amount of frost but everything lower than -5° Celsius is dangerous and can lead to permanent damage or death. Plants need to be kept completely dry if the temperatures drop below 10° Celsius/50° Fahrenheit and it´s best to keep them in a bright, well ventilated area. The minimum average temperature is 10° Celsius.
Seed germination: The seed germinates very easy, if it´s actually fresh. Especially with those rarer Trichos, there are problems regarding the viability of the seeds. I think Succeed has them in stock too and if possible, ask the seller in advance if he knows how old the seed is. That´s a good rule of thumb anyway and these days, I do it for all my seed orders.
Photos of Trichocereus strigosus
“Echinopsis strigosa” by Ryan Somma
Vela de la Virgen, Trichocereus strigosa, La Rioja desert – Picture “Echinopsis strigosa by Dick Culbert –
“Echinopsis strigosa” by Ryan Somma – Echinopsis strigosa
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:
Trichocereus peruvianus or Echinopsis peruvianais a columnar cactus that can get up to 4 meters long and reaches 20 centimeters in diameter. It´s also called the PERUVIAN TORCH cactus and is native in Peru. Britton and Rose – The Cact. II, S.136 /192
Most regional forms belonging to this species have a frosted blue color and grow between 6-9 ribs. Its flowers are white, though there are some close relatives that have a different flower color (Trichocereus tulhuayacensis). It usually grows upright, but sometimes grows prostrate hanging down from cliffs and rocks. The size and color of the spines varies greatly, but most of them have about 6-8 honey-colored to brown spines that can reach about 4 centimeters in length. The areoles are brown to beige-felted and up to 2,5 centimeters distanced from each other. The Spines do NOT have a knobbed Base. The spine color is one of the key traits if you attempt to tell it apart from Trichocereus macrogonus. We write more on Trichocereus macrogonus in that particular chapter.
A Peru at the type locality in Matucana.
Echinopsis peruviana flowers very easily as soon as it reaches a certain size and the plant is very easy to cultivate. Some of them have a distinct V-Notch above the areoles, but not all and it´s not a trait that is reliable for identification.
Cultivation of Trichocereus peruvianus / Echinopsis peruviana:
Trichocereus peruvianus can be grown from seed 0r propagated by cuttings. Seeds need to be sprinkled on top of the soil because they require sunlight to germinate. The seeds are tiny and only a few mm large and have a long viability. Usually, the seeds can stay viable for up to 10 years or above, though that depends on many factors. The Seed needs to be stored in a dry and cold environment to guarantee maximum viability.
Los Gentiles (Noah Reams)
The cactus can also be propagated through cuttings and it´s very easy to root. But make sure that the cuttings are not smaller than 20 centimeters because that stunts the growth tremendously.
The flower of Trichocereus peruvianus / Echinopsis peruviana:
The flower is white and reaches as size of up to 25 centimeters. Trichocereus peruvianus is a night flowering species.
Type locality of Trichocereus peruvianus / Echinopsis peruviana:
Peru (around Matucana). Trichocereus peruvianus is the dominant Trichocereus species in Matucana.
Plants that are closely related or are synonymous with Trichocereus peruvianus:
Trichocereus tacnaensis, Trichocereus puquiensis, Trichocereus santaensis (some of the plants around the Santa Valley belong to Tr. pachanoi though), Trichocereus tarmaensis (closely related to Trichocereus cuzcoensis as well), Trichocereus macrogonus, Echinopsis macrogona, Trichocereus f. Ancash, Trichocereus sp. Ayacucho, Trichocereus giganteus, Trichocereus longispinus, Trichocereus sp. Pamacoche, Trichocereus sp. Matucana, Trichocereus rosei,
Trichocereus peruvianus and Trichocereus pachanoiare sister species and closely related. Some field botanist considered them one large and variable species and there are countless intermediates and hybrids that could be placed in either species. Around 1950-1980, some authors came up with a large number of unnecessary species names and most of these plants would fit into the description of Trichocereus peruvianus as well.
Some commercial names that we sometimes see in combination with Trichocereus peruvianus.
Please note that these are not officially accepted varieties and we only list them in this form because they were listed by wholesale:
Trichocereus peruvianus var. (H14192), Huntington, EE.UU. Trichocereus peruvianus var. huancabamba, Piura, northwest Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. huancavelica (KK242a), west central Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. cuzcoensis (KK340), Huachac, Cuzco, southeastern Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. huancayo (KK338), west central Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. ancash (KK1688), San Marcos, Ancash, northwest Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. matucana (KK242) Lima, central west Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. puquiensis (KK1689), Puquio, Apurimac Region, southwestern peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. trujilloensis, Trujillo, La Libertad, northwestern Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. tarmensis (KK2148), Tarma, Junin, west central Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. Rio Lurin (KK2147), Rio Rimac, Lima, west central Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. ayacuchensis (KK2151), southwestern Peru. Trichocereus peruvianus var. huaraz (KK2152), Ancash, northwestern Peru.
Culture of T. peruvianus:
The culture of Trichocereus peruvianus is not very hard. The plant has very similar requirements as other Trichocereus species like Trichocereus macrogonus or Trichocereus pachanoi. Trichocereus peruvianus is an extremely frost resistant plant that can thrive in the most difficult environment. Some of its forms grow columnar while some others are creeping/prostrate. In their natural habitats, they even hang down on hills or rocky slopes. When watering cacti, the soil should not stay wet for more than a couple of hours because it greatly increases the probability of rot. Cacti need a substrate that dries out fast and too much water is often deadly for them. Apart from a little bit of water here and there, you should only water Trichocereus peruvianus when it´s warm. During the hot growth-season, they can take daily or weekly watering and like to be fertilized on a 7-14-days schedule. I even fertilize weekly during the main season, but that also depends on your personal way of growing cacti. It’s best to use a mineral substrate like Pumice or Lava, with additives like Coir, Sand, Sowing Soil, Expanded Clay etc. Just make sure to add in a very small part of Coir or Humus because it helps to solidify the soil and increases the cactus ability to take in nutrients. I personally love Lava and Pumice and the plants enjoy it very much! Echinopsis peruviana aka Trichocereus peruvianus likes a sunny place in half-shade, but not full sun. They can take it if they are used to it, but it increases the risk of sunburn. Especially directly after the winter period when they are not used to it yet.
Winter & Frost Protection: Trichocereus peruvianus is a relatively frost hardy cactus. It’s usually not a problem for it to take take a little night frost here and there and is tolerant down to -9° Celsius. But that’s really the limit and I would not be comfortable to push it below that. There are always plants are less frost tolerant than others and you never know where the limit for your plant is going to be. A plant that spent its life in a heated greenhouse, will die very soon if you suddenly start exposing it to cold winter frost. The cacti need to be hardened up and in a good general health. In my greenhouse I overwinter Trichocereus at 1° Celsius between December and March.
Minimum average winter temperature:
The ideal average winter temperature for Trichocereus peruvianus is 10° Celsius. That´s close to their natural winter period in habitat. Trichocereus peruvianus can compensate short frosts down to 15.8° Fahrenheit every now and then but you should take care that it has an average temperature of around 50° Fahrenheit.
Winter storage & Winter Protection for Trichocereus:
Trichocereus peruvianus needs fresh air during the wintertime if you want to overwinter the plant inside. It also needs light and the soil has to be completely dry, to make sure that the rootstock does not rot. This is important because that’s exactly what happens in the habitat during the winter time. Trichocereus peruvianus can deal with low temperatures as long as its dry. Of course all those overwintering-rules only apply of you live in a country with hard winter frost down to -20° celsius and lower. If you live in a warmer country such as Australia, this certainly is not a problem for you and water or high air humidity are the bigger problem then. I also know many growers from the CA area in the USA, and they usually get their plants over the winter without problems, if they do nor get surprisingly cold frosts. Leave your Trichocereus peruvianus in a bright room, give it a little bit fresh air every now and then and make sure to keep the temperatures below 10° Celsius. As soon as you put them in a heated room, they will require regular waterings and light or they will die quickly. In addition they will etiolate. If kept dry, the water requirements during the winter are minimal though. The minimum temp in Fahrenheit is 50° Fahrenheit. No water should be given between late autumn (October-early May) unless you grow them in a heated place, eg greenhouse or house. If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse, you can take out most Trichocereus in early March, but you should also check the maximum frost tolerance of the species you take out. There are many cacti that need higher temperatures to stay healthy.
Germinating Trichocereus peruvianus seeds:
Just like Seed of other Trichocereus species, Trichocereus peruvianus seeds need light to germinate. I usually prepare a mix of Pumice, Lava, Coir, and Sand and and sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil. Make sure not to knock off the sowing container/pot because that would probably bury the seeds and that’s never a good thing. Buried seeds often do not germinate due to the lacking light or they germinate deep inside the soil and die. So yeah, sprinkle them on top of the soil and make sure that the temperatures are between 26° and 30° Celsius. Make sure to add in enough water to start the germination process. However, it does not take a lot of water to kick start the germination and it’s always better to give very little water early on because you can always add in some more. But if you add too much water in the beginning, it cannot be undone without risking to wash or soak away the seed with the excess water. With a syringe, excess water can be removed from the sowing container. Put the sowing containers in a bright and warm place and be patient. A window sill works perfectly. You can also use a LED lamp to give them enough light to germinate and I can recommend that very much because it increases the germination rate. Adding a decent LED Lamp (like 100 Watt and above) will increase germination rates dramatically and the plants are healthier and grow faster.
Germination of seeds and why some seeds don’t germinate
The problem with seeds is that some shops resell seed from South America wholesalers that sell over-aged seed. So the shops might not know about the bad germination rates that their seeds have and that´s a real problem with Trichocereus peruvianus seed on the market. If you did everything I just mentioned and your seed does not germinate within like 2-6 weeks, it´s most likely old garbage. It does not help to keep it wet for longer than that because that’s not how germination of cactus seeds works. Instead, you let it dry and start another cycle once the soil is completely dry. It does not help to keep dead seed in germination chambers for 6+ weeks. You will just grow Algae and Moss. Another problem that you can get with commercial seed is that there´s a lot of misidentified seeds of this species available on the market. The people who collect these seeds usually don´t have access to literature and that´s why the misidentification rate is extremely high. . Many Trichocereus cuzcoensis are sold as Trichocereus peruvianus and that´s a big problem for the seed market.
My best recommendation is that if you can get in touch with the seed producer, send them a message and ask about a pic of the mother plant. That way, you can minimize the risk of getting mislabeled seed.
Seed Viability of Echinopsis peruviana/ Trichocereus peruvianus:
The seed of Trichocereus peruvianus is viable for many, many years. I sometimes successfully germinate seeds that are more than 5-10 years old but it always depends on the storage and the seed. Some are dead within a couple of months while some can even stay viable for decades, like Ariocarpus seeds. The bigger the seed, the longer they are viable btw. Rebutia are dead within a couple of weeks, Trichocereus & Echinopsis 5-10 years, Ariocarpus 10+ years, Echinocereus (5-10 years), Lophophora (2-5 years at max).
How to differentiate Trichocereus peruvianus and Trichocereus cuzcoensis?
The swollen spine bases of Trichocereus cuzcoensis are the main trait that Britton and Rose used to tell them apart. Trichocereus peruvianus does NOT have swollen spine bases. There are many intermediates and forms in between the two, but in regards to the original description that’s the most important trait. In addition, Trichocereus cuzcoensis only grows in Cuzco. There are relatives of Trichocereus cuzcoensis that can be found in other parts of Peru however, e.g. Trichocereus knuthianus, Trichocereus schoenii, etc
How to differentiate Trichocereus peruvianus and macrogonus
Both species are probably synonymous. Trichocereus macrogonus was used for plants with dark brown or red spines, while plants with different spine color were seen as Trichocereus peruvianus. The original description of Trichocereus macrogonus is ancient, lacked important traits or information such as country of origin and the original plant was never found again afterwards. Technically, Trichocereus macrogonus is the older name and might replace Trichocereus peruvianus as official name one day (IF the problematic description will be accepted). Some authors have already started to use this system, but is unclear if it will be accepted officially. Modern taxonomy moves towards fewer species, with a larger number of subspecies or varieties and I completely support that.
Trichocereus peruvianus from Lurin Valle / Lurin Valley
Trichocereus peruvianus from Ayacucho
Trichocereus peruvianus intermediate
Trichocereus peruvianus Apurimac KK1689
Trichocereus peruvianus ‘Rosei 1’ (Rodni Kisar)
Backeberg´s Description of Trichocereus peruvianus
Trichocereus peruvianus Br. & R. — The Cact., II : 136. 1920 Cereusrosei Werd., in Backeberg, „Neue Kakteen“, 101. 1931. Entweder ± aufrecht oder überliegend bis hängend, 2—4 m lang; Tr. bis 20 cm ∅, anfangs bereift; Rippen über den Areolen etwas eingesenkt und ± höckerig erscheinend, breit-rund; Areolen bis 2,5 cm entfernt, ziemlich groß, braunfilzig; St. zuerstbraun, ca. 10, einigebis 4 cm lang, stark undsteif, Basis nicht verdickt; Bl. weiß, groß, zum Teil zahlreich nach dem Scheitel zu entwickelt. — P e r u (bei Matucana; nach Rauh bis oberhalb von Matucana bzw. bei Tamboraque ander Lima—Oroya-Bahn bis auf 2800 m) (Abb. 1059—1060, Tafel 76). Britton u. Rose bilden mit ihrer Fig. 197 einenbaumartigaufrechten Cereus ab, Rauh dagegen einen hängenden; ichselbstfand die Art anfangs ± aufrecht, dann überliegend bisniederliegend. Es kommenbei Matucana aber auch Exemplare des aufrechten T. santaensisvor, den Britton u. Rose wohlnicht als besondere Art erkannten. Die Identifizierung dieser Art mit Tr. macrogonus (Kkde., 20. 1941) kann ich nicht aufrechterhalten.
Friedrich Ritter´s Description
T R I C H O C E R E U S (BERGER) RICCOBONO 1909 TRICHOCEREUS PACHANOI BR. & R. 1920 The Cactaceae, Bd. 2, S. 134 und TRICHOCEREUS PACHANOI FORMA PERUVIANUS RITT. comb. nov. syn. TRICHOCEREUS PERUVIANUS BR. & R. 1920 The Cactaceae, Bd. 2, S. 136 Für TRICHOCER. PACHANOI geben BR. & R. als Typusort an CUENCA, Ecuador, für TRICHOCER. PERUVIANUS MATUCANA, Peru. In Wahrheit liegtnur eine Art vor. ROSE war jedenfalls ungenügend orientiert Über die große Variationsbreitedieser Art in Bestachlung und Areolengröße. Man kann TRICHOCER. PERUVIANUS nur als eine Form der PACHANOI ansehen, die entweder allein oder mit letzterer an gleichen Stellen wächst von Ecuador bis Mittelperu, und zwar mit Übergangsformen in einander. Für die Form PACHANOI sind typisch Ar. von 3-5 mm Dm., feine Rst. vonwenigen mm Länge und meist nur 1 Mst. von wenigen mm bis zu etwa 2 cm Länge. Oft fehlen die St. völlig, oder sie sind nur an jüngeren Pflanzen vorhanden undfehlen an älteren Köpfen. Formen, welche Ar. von etwa 5 bis nahezu 10 mm Dm. haben und stärkere St., von denen der mittlere meist über 2 cm Länge hat und selten bis über 10 cm Länge erreichen kann, wird man als FORMA PERUVIANUS bezeichnen. Die Zahl der St. kannbei beiden Formen bis auf etwa 10 gehen, die Anordnung der St. und das Größenverhältnis zwischenRst. zuMst. ist bei beiden Formen dasselbe, Mst. sind nur einer vorhanden, seltener 2-3. Die St. beider Formen sind nur unterschieden durch Länge und Dicke; es mag also vielleicht für beide Formen nur je ein Allel eines einzigen Gen vorliegen, so daß eine Weiterführung des Namens PERUVIANUS als forma wohl nur aus Tradition zu rechtfertigen ist, wegen der Zweiteilung der Art durch Br. & R., denn solche Erbformen pflegt man an sich nicht taxonomisch zu benennen. Da eine genaue Bl.-Beschreibung nie erfolgte, gebe ich hier eine solche von einer Bl. (mit Foto) eines Exemplars östlich von SAMNE, Prov. OTUSCO, Depart. La Libertad, wo beide Formen mit Übergängen zusammen wachsen. Bl. seitlich, nicht sehr weit unter dem Triescheitel, ziemlich waagerecht vom Trieb abstehend, 21 cm lang, mit einer Weite zwischen den äußersten Krbl. vonca 20 cm. Über dem Frkn. ist die Rö. leicht nach oben gebogen, während die Öffnung der Rö. wieder leicht nach unten gebogenist. Frkn. 22 mm lang und dick, grün, gehöckert, mit schmalen grünen Schuppen von unten 1 mm bis oben ca 4 mm Länge und mit reichlichen schwarzbraunen Wollhaaren. N.-K. 23 mm lang, aber nur etwa 5 mm weit um den Gr., blaß bräunlich, mit etwas Nektar. Rö. darüber 8 cm lang, Öffnung 4,5 mm weit, mit 6 mm (unten) bis 25 mm (oben) langen graugrünen Schuppen und schwarzen, 15-25 mm langen Wollbüscheln. Stbf. blaßgrün, nach den Enden hellgelb, der Rö. aufliegend, 8-10 cm lang, die des Saumes 4,5 cm lang, Insertionslücke 4 cm lang unter dem Saum, Beutel brauncreme, 2,5 mm lang, 1 mm breit, Pollen weiß. Gr. blaßgrün, 19,5 cm lang, wovon 3 cm auf die 15 hellgelben, überragenden Narbenlappen kommen. Innere Krbl. weiß, 9-10 cm lang, 3,5-4 cm breit, bei etwa 2/3 Länge am breitesten, oben gerundet mit aufgesetzter hellgelber Spitze; äußere Krbl. 8-11 cm lang, 14-18 mm breit, fast von unten ab zugespitzt, nach unten hellgrün, nach den Enden rotbraun, stark nach außen gebogen. Einige Samenangaben siehe unter TRICHOCER. KNUTHIANUS. Nr. FR 567 (Form PACHANOI) und Nr. FR 155 (Form PERUVIANUS). Abb. 1186.
Videos of Trichocereus peruvianus / Echinopsis peruviana
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:
Origin:Trichocereus terscheckii is a variable species that is a catch-all name for a variety of different forms, some of which form intermediates with other species like Trichocereus atacamensis, Trichocereus taquimbalensis, Trichocereus validus and others.
Trichocereus terscheckii grows around the south of Bolivia, North Argentina (Catamarca, Tucuman, La Rioja, Jujuy, San Juan, Salta) and there are many intermediates between Trichocereus terscheckii, Trichocereus atacamensis, Trichocereus pasacana and Trichocereus validus and some of the lesser known species. The genuine Trichocereus validus is probably just a Bolivian form of Trichocereus validus, but unfortunately it is not often found in nature.
Trichocereus eerdermannianus is actually an intermediate species in between Trichocereus taquimbalensis and Trichocereus terscheckii. Overall, this is a very complex and highly controversial group of plants and only DNA testing can help to clean up the family tree that is hidden inside those beautiful tree-like plants. Personally, I think that all those Andean Trichocereus species are members of a very variable group of plants that belong together and should be treated like that.
Below you can find a description of Trichocereus terschecki, but since there are so many regional forms, there can be plants that don´t fit perfectly, but which still belong to that complex somehow. In addition, there are many natural hybrids and Trichocereus terscheckii hybridizes relatively easy.
Synonyms: Echinopsis terscheckii, Cereus terscheckii, Pilosocereus terscheckii, Cereus fulvispinus, Trichocereus validus, Echinopsis valida, Trichocereus werdermannianus, Cereus werdermannianus, Echinopsis werdermannianus, Cereus validissimus. Besides, some forms of Trichocereus pasacana and Trichocereus atacamensis are synonymous with Trichocereus terscheckii too.
Varieties: In the past, there were descriptions of a plant called Trichocereus terscheckiioides which differed in regard to the phenotype and Trichocereus terscheckii var. montanus.
Cultivation: Trichocereus terscheckii is an amazing plant in culture. They grow very slow compared to other Trichos and don’t require a lot of water. I usually try to give them as much free root run as possible, what is important for their ability to flower. Their growth rate depends on many things, like how they are grown, hoch much water & fertilizer they get, and so on. Plants in habitat grow very slow and sometimes take 50 years to reach a good size. Their mature form is totally different to what they look like as seedlings.
Description: They start off as typical columnar cacti that are pretty fat for their small size and get very big and tall later on. It takes many years till this species produces its characteristic side arms. Trichocereus terscheckii can reach a size of 10-15 meters and a diameter of up to 60 centimeters.
Areoles: Approx. 2 centimeters in diameter and up to 3-4 centimeters apart from each other.
Spines: 10-16 spines, yellow and up to 10 centimeters long
Flower: White, 15-22 centimeters long, 14 centimeters wide, petals up to 8 centimeters. Tube covered with brown, woolly hair. The variety Trichocereus montanus was said to be less branchy and grew more like a typical columnar. Besides it had a larger diameter. I personally do not accept any varieties because I think that this is just a crazily variable species.
Trichocereus terscheckii and Frost: Trichocereus terscheckii is quite cold hardy and even survives in some areas in the United States. Personally, I would recommend a minimum average temperature of 10° Celsius/50 Fahrenheit, but they are known to survive short night frosts without a problem. However, temperatures should never go below -9°/15.8 Fahrenheit, especially not when they have wet feet. It is also important to keep away rain and moisture during the cold months, because the rain is probably a bigger problem that the cold temperatures. Those plants can stand the cold, but as soon as it´s cold and wet, it´s starting to get dangerous.
Trichocereus terscheckii from Seed: This species is very easy from seed. It requires the same treatment as any other Trichocereus species, but keeping the seed cold over night can help to break up the dormancy. The seed is usually viable for many years and I am sure you can get some Germination as long as the seed does not get older than 10 years. But you get the best germination rates within the first year. Make sure not to sow out too many of them at once, because they become quite fat and need enough space.
Trichocereus terscheckii Seed & live cutting sources: This plant sometimes shows up on Ebay as live cuttings, plants or seeds. You can get a nice strain of Trichocereus terscheckii here in my shop:
Photos of Trichocereus terscheckii
The photo above shows a T. werdermannianus, which is an intermediate between T. terscheckii and T. taquimbalensis.
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:
So here´s another video from the 2020 season, while I …
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