Tag: PC

Trichocereus riomizquensis RITTER (Echinopsis)

Trichocereus riomizquensis RITTER (Echinopsis)

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.

Trichocereus riomizquensis Ritter

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.

Trichocereus PC clone Predominant cultivar

In comparison to Ritter´s plant, check out the PC Trichocereus clone above. (Forest and Kim Starr)

Trichocereus riomizquensis Herbarium, Cochabamba, Bolivia 2010 copyright B

Trichocereus riomizquensis Herbarium, Cochabamba, Bolivia 2010 232

This is one of the plants from the Sacred Succulents Field Trips:

Trichocereus Riomizquensis BK10508Copyright Ben Kamm, Sacredsucculents.com

 

Trichocereus Riomizquensis BK 10.08.7

Trichocereus Riomizquensis BK 10.08.7

BK10512.1 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora, Cochabamba, Bolivia

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.

BK10512.1 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora, Cochabamba, Bolivia 1
Copyright: Ben Kamm, Sacredsucculents.com

BK10512.1 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora, Cochabamba, Bolivia 2

BK10512.1 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora, Cochabamba, Bolivia 3

BK10512.1 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora, Cochabamba, Bolivia Echinopsis BK10512.1 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora, Cochabamba, Bolivia Echinopsis 5  BK10512.1 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora, Cochabamba, Bolivia Echinopsis 6

BK10512.4 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora,  Cochabamba, Bolivia 2010

BK10512.4 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora,  Cochabamba, Bolivia Echinopsis Rio Mizque

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.

BK10512.4 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora,  Cochabamba, Bolivia Echinopsis Rio Mizque 2

BK10512.4 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora,  Cochabamba, Bolivia Echinopsis Rio Mizque 4

The history of the PC Trichocereus clone – Predominant cultivar

The history of the PC Trichocereus clone – Predominant cultivar

I wanted to clarify some things about the PC Trichocereus clone. What it is, where it probably is from and what it isnt. The name is probably the most overused name in the history of Trichocereus culture. I personally hate it and spent days discussing the whole situation with friends or interested people in the Trichocereus Facebook group. If you hear the word PC in a Trichocereus group, JUST RUN. Log off, go outside and be in your garden. Still, if you actually wonder what those guys are actually talking about, I am happy to shed some light on this issue. Please keep in mind that I hate to use the name of this cultivar, strain or whatever you might want to call it and I will only mention this one time and one time only.

What does PC stands for? It originally means PREDOMINATE CULTIVAR. However, PREDOMINANT CULTIVAR would probably be more appropriate.

PC Trichocereus pachanoi

Photo: moonunitbotanica.com / PC Trichocereus in Australia

Forest & Kim Starr_070320-5800_Echinopsis_pachanoiPC Trichocereus in a garden. Photo: Forest & Kim Starr

Now what is it really and is this all BS?

It is a clone, but there also are other plants grown from seeds that are probably coming from the same site this clone is coming from too. In California and parts of the USA, this clone is really common around parks, schools or gardens. It is very similar to most other San pedros, but it originally comes from Bolivia. This plant was originally collected by Friedrich Ritter and described as Trichocereus riomizquensis.

Trichocereus Riomizquensis 335This is the original photo from Ritter´s book. Do you see the white hairs on the flower and the way the areoles look? Well, keep in mind. You will need it later. Ritters official collection name of this plant was Trichocereus riomizquensis FR856 and they originally comes from Chyllas.

The original site is the Rio Mizque and we and my friends from Sacred Succulents visited the original site a couple of times.  It is extremely similar to Trichocereus pachanoi, but differs in substantial points like the hairs on the flowers and the overall rib structure. Though it is common belief that the San Pedro cactus aka Trichocereus pachanoi grows in Bolivia, all the San Pedro related plants we ever came across IN THE WILD either belonged to Trichocereus bridgesii or Trichocereus scopulicola. That also applies to the regional type from the Rio Mizque. I have all kinds of photos of those plants on the pages about Trichocereus riomizquensis and I don´t want to repeat this information here again.
This is a long-spined version of this but there also are a lot of short-spined ones on that site. I seen them. Just like this PC, they have 6-7 ribs, those weird areoles and golden spines without swollen spine bases. Overall, they are just a short-spined version of Trichocereus bridgesii.

Let me just say that one thing that the Bolivian Trichocereus species have in common is their drought resistance. They literally live in a hot desert and are a lot more resistant to drought than Trichocereus pachanoi or some of the other Peruvian San Pedros. And that´s where I want to draw the line directly to this Californian clone. Clones & cultivars are not humbug or bullshit….cultivars exist in EVERY field of commercial cultivation and everyone who tells you different is a fool. One such cultivar is actually this Tr. riomizquensis that was originally described by Friedrich Ritter. Is is extremely drought resistant and manages to thrive in the Californian climate. That´s why this plant is literally everywhere there. We tested it numerous times…almost none of those Californian plants were able to mate with each other…simply because they were genetically identical and cuttings of each other. I seen whole nurseries filled up with them because they are so damn easy to grow. They just cut them in small pieces and stick them into the ground. And after five years, they sell it for 30-100 bucks. All those plants share the same flower characteristics and are closer to Trichocereus bridgesii than they are to Trichocereus pachanoi. They are covered with white hairs, which is absolutely typical for Trichocereus bridgesii. I know a Bolivian Trichocereus species when I see one…and this PC is one without a doubt.

The flowers of the PC:

PC Flower_7

Do you see all those white hairs? Good, because it´s important to differentiate between certain Trichocereus species. Trichocereus pachanoi tends to have black or brown hairs, while this PC has white hairs. And that´s typical for the Bolivian San Pedro strains.

pcPachBudDSC_0462Those two photos are from Misplant.net! Check out their seeds because they are amazing.
Well, just compare the photos and see for yourself. The top photo is the flower bud of this PC Trichocereus and the lower one is a bud on a Trichocereus scopulicola. They are at different stages in their development, but I am sure you see the similarity in the important parts. And the same applies to the flower on Trichocereus bridgesii, which is another Bolivian Trichocereus.
Scopulicola5a

Scop from Misplant.net

Alright, now that we have this out of the way let me just say that the whole internet started having shitty discussions about the PC and what not. Most of the times, those guys just pick out one of the charasteristics of those plants and call  everything that resembles this Californian strain a PC…which is a really bad generalization. Imagine you were a botanist and field explorer that collected seeds in Bolivia. Now you find a cool regionality that produced a whole lot of seeds. Friedrich Ritter was this guy and collected so many seeds that he could populate the whole world with them…which he probably did. He sold his seeds through his Winter Samenlisten (which were written in three languages) and shipped them everywhere. Like literally. People grew them, raised those plants and planted them in their gardens. Some in California, some in Australia and some in other places of the world. That PC clone from California and the rest of the USA is probably just one cutting that was grown from those seeds. All the plants cloned from this one plant are genetically identical. But that doesn´t mean there can´t be more plants grown from the same seeds…which in fact are genetically diverse. You know, this whole site at the Rio Mizque is pretty big and as far as I know, Ritter collected loads of fruits. These days, most labels are lost but what´s left are the plants. And they are usually slapped with a short PC comment in the Facebook groups, though that is only a tiny piece of the puzzle.

And just to make sure this posting here is not misinterpreted. Are all the plants called PC the same? NO, absolutely not. Many people throw this word around and have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Just one example. Here is a Bolivian San Pedro. As those are also related to Trichocereus bridgesii, they have a similar rib structure. Imagine them with long golden spines and you are good to go.

Trichocereus riomizquensis

Tr. aff pachanoi in Boliva

San Pedro in Boliva

Trichocereus aff. pachanoi in Boliva

Well, okay. I want to come to and end but it´s important to make a very good point. YES, there are many San Pedros that are extremely similar to this clone. Not all of them are the same and I am sure there´s a fair amount that has absolutely nothing to do with this PC. But there IS a common clone in the USA (apart from the many other cultivars that are there, such as the three or four types of cereus monstrosa or all the other mutants that are currently flooding ebay. Nurseries are in the money business and they will replicate everything they can sell. And those Bolivian Trichos (and I count that PC in as well) are TAH (Tough as hell). You literally stick them in the ground and they grow. And that played a part in the fact that this PC Trichocereus strain is so common in some parts of the USA.

Alright, I want to sum this up. Everyone is a bit in the right here. The way this plant is discussed recently is out of control. And some people tend to forget that there is a huge number of plants that are really similar to this PC…and they are coming from the habitats. In Peru, there are similar plants and I just posted the examples that you can find in Bolivia as well. But that doesn´t mean that those plants were just invented by cookoo internet theoreticians. They were collected, sold and commercially cultivated. This plant does probably NOT come from Backeberg, which is another theory that was discussed heavily.

Fed vs UnfedThis is a nice Pic that shows the difference between Fed and Unfed PC Trichocereus

PC Cutting flower_1

Trichocereus PC Flower

BK10508.7 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora , Cochabamba, Bolivia

BK10508.7 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora , Cochabamba, Bolivia 

Trichocereus riomizquensis BK10508.7 is a very cool Plant! that is obviously related to Trichocereus bridgesii.

Trichocereus riomizquensis is 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.

BK10508.7 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora , Cochabamba, Bolivia

BK10508.7 Trichocereus riomizquensis, Totora , Cochabamba, Bolivia 2

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).

Martin Cardenas Botanical Garden, Cochabamba, Bolivia 2010 - Sacredsucculents.com

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