Trichocereus litoralis is definitely closely related to Trichocereus chiloensis and the current taxonomy is treating it as a variety or subspecies to it. Trichocereus litoralis always was a problematic species because there are so many intermediate forms between Trichocereus chiloensis and Trichocereus litoralis that it is extremely difficult to draw the line somewhere. While some treat it as part of Trichocereus chiloensis, some others disagree and treat it as a separate species. Personally, I think that the whole group of plants surrounding Trichocereus chiloensis is very variable and we should simply respect that plants can be related to each other and at the same time, look a little bit different. The species is also very closely related to Trichocereus skottsbergii, which I also regard as a variety of Trichocereus chiloensis/Echinopsis chiloensis.
Origin of E.litoralis:
Chile. Growing mostly around the coast line. Coquimbo
Synonyms of T.litoralis:
Echinopsis litoralis, Cereus litoralis, Trichocereus chiloensis var. litoralis, Trichocereus chilensis var. litoralis, Cereus chilensis,
The type location is in Zapallar, north of Valparaiso near the coast of Chile. The species is widely distributed all across the coast up to Los Vilos. The many radial spines are needle-like, while the middle spines are pretty strong and thick and up to 3 cm long. It has 9-28 radial spines and 3-6 middle spines.
Trichocereus chiloensis ssp. litoralis gets between 1-2 meters tall. It has a very dark green color and and a maximum diameter of 10-15 centimeters.
Ribs of Echinopsis chiloensis ssp.litoralis:
15-22, areoles approximately 1-2 centimeters apart of each other.
Flowers of Trichocereus litoralis:
Trichocereus litoralis has a white flower, which is extremely similar to the one on Trichocereus chiloensis. The flowers are up to 15 centimeters long, which is on the lower end of the scale for Trichocerei.
Fruit of E.litoralis:
Round, dark green. Up to 5 Centimeters in diameter
Where to buy seeds and cuttings of Trichocereus litoralis?
You can get some seeds of Trichocereus litoralis in my shop.
Pic: Richard Hipp! Thank you very much!
Have a look at this beautiful picture of Trichocereus litoralis growing along the coast line in Chile.
The flower of Trichocereus litoralis is extremely beautiful and can be used in hybrid breeding. Unfortunately, those plants take very long until they reach adulthood.
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 nigripilis / Trichocereus spinibarbis is a Chilean Trichocereus species. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the name. According to Ritter, the plant was synonymous with a plant called Cereus spinibarbis Otto, which is why he described it as Trichocereus spinibarbis. These days, Trichocereus nigripilis is not an accepted name anymore and these plants are now understood to be part of the Trichocereus chiloensis complex. The name was re-classified as Echinopsis spinibarbis, but because of the chaotic situation surrounding the name, it would probably be best to lay it to rest.
In addition to the genetic proximity to Trichocereus chiloensis, these plants are very close to Trichocereus coquimbanus/Trichocereus fulvianus/Trichocereus deserticolus. In Coquimbo, there are a couple of intermediates and different forms growing together and this is one of them. But the whole description of the plant called Cereus spinibarbis Otto was already problematic to begin with because it lacked almost everything a reliable description should have. There neither were flowers nor fruits included in the description. The plants are very spiny and look like you´d expect a intermediate between Trichocereus coquimbanus and Trichocereus chilensis to look like. Trichocereus nigripilis (or Echinopsis spinibarbus) is similarly close to Trichocereus chiloensis, as Trichocereus litoralis. The latter is a subspecies/form of Trichocereus chiloensis.
The history of Trichocereus nigripilis is really long and you have to dig through all kinds of different descriptions. And I already mentioned why they are pretty flawed to begin with. The original description of Cereus Spinibarbis Otto came from Förster in 1846. This description was also reprinted in Labourets book in 1853.
Trichocereus Nigripilis has a grass green body and new shoots are approximately 4-5 centimeters thick. It has nine ribs and curved areoles with very distinct separating grooves. It has large, oval areoles that are white felted. The spines are yellow, straight, strong and have a black tip, what is responsible for the name “Nigripilis”. The areoles are 1-2 centimeters long and are only a couple mm apart of each other.
Trichocereus nigripilis has 8-10 radial spines and 2-4 middle spines, which are thick and up to 2,5 centimeters long.
Origin: Coquimbo. 30 Kilometers north of La Serena near the coast.
Salm-Dyck wrote about this plant, that the epidermis is dull and has a sandy/grainy texture. Unfortunately, I lack any plants to confirm this. If you grow one, please let me know because I am fairly interested in this plant and need better pics.
The plant that was described by Britton & Rose as Cereus spinibarbis was a different plant and does not belong here. They described a Eulychnia.
Trichocereus nigripilis forms large & multi-branched groups. New shoots emerge from the base and start growing upwards until later when they tend to bend over and growing almost creeping.
Ribs: 8-10. The plants growing in the northern areas around Huasco and Totoral tend to have more ribs than the ones in other areas. In these cases, the number is between 10-15 ribs. The plants in the original habitats usually have stronger spines and more ribs than the ones in collections.
Trichocereus nigripilis is VERY similar to Trichocereus coquimbanus. The differences in the flower are: The flower of Trichocereus nigripilis always emerges from the top part/apex, is 8-11 cm long and usually very wide open. The tube is 25-36 mm long, the top part 20-30mm wide and white on the inside. The stamens are white, 15-23 mm long. The stylus is whitish, 42-70 mm long.
Backeberg gave Quebrada Honda as Typus location (which is roughly 30 km north of La Serena). Friedrich Ritters Collection number was FR536.
Where to buy seeds or plants of Trichocereus nigripilis?: Well, this cactus is rare and will usually not come labeled as this. The Peruvian field botanist Karel Knize sold a large amount of them labeled as KK1425 Trichocereus nigripilus but I, unfortunately, lack any pics of the plant. Chances are that the color pics on this page show KK1425 but that´s just a guess. Apart from that, the plant is rare and will probably come labeled as Trichocereus chiloensis or Trichocereus coquimbanus. As you can see, the b/w pics show some extremely spiny plants while Knizes “presumed” KK1425 shows something that is more like a chiloensis. KK1425 was collected at Coquimbo, Chile at 1000 meters altitude.
Varieties: All I know is that there was/is a variety called Trichocereus nigripilis var. nigris. At the moment, I do not have any more info but I will add some later.
Trichocereus Nigripilis / Trichocereu Spinibarbis at the typus location.
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So here´s another video from the 2020 season, while I …
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