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Trichocereus huascha (Echinopsis huascha)

Trichocereus huascha Echinopsis huascha Lobivia Helianthocereus Delia 2

Trichocereus huascha, also known as Echinopsis huascha, is an Argentinian Trichocereus species that looks very similar to Trichocereus spachianus, Trichocereus grandiflorus, Trichocereus shaferi and Trichocereus schickendantzii. However, there are important differences to distinguish them.

Trichocereus huascha has had a long history with many name changes due to its unique position between Trichocereus, Lobivia and Echinopsis. Friedrich & Rowley renamed it to Echinopsis huascha in 1974 but their actions weren´t really embraced with love.

I have some fresh seeds of Echinopsis huascha. You can get them here:

Synonyms: Lobivia huascha, Helianthocereus huascha, Trichocereus huascha, Echinopsis huascha, Soehrensia huascha, Cereus huascha, Cereus huascha variety flaviflorus, Cereus huascha var. rubriflorus, Lobivia purpureominata, Trichocereus andalgalensis, Echinopsis andalgalensis, Lobivia andalgalensis, Trichocereus grandiflorus, Echinopsis grandiflora,

Described varieties of T.huascha:

Trichocereus huascha v. robustior or robusta

Trichocereus huascha v. pecheterianus

Trichocereus huascha v. rubriflorus 

Trichocereus huascha v. auricolor 

The list of names that Trichocereus huascha already had does not fit on one page, so I will only keep the most important ones. Many varieties of this species were actually labeled Lobivia, Cereus or even Chamaecereus and it´s very difficult to differentiate the plant from similar plants like Trichocereus schickendantzii, Trichocereus spachianus or Trichocereus grandiflorus.

Echinopsis huascha usually grows in small, clumping groups that reach up to 1,1 meters in height. It usually pups abundantly and can grow upwards like a columnar cactus or creeping. The pups can get up to 5-6 centimeters in diameter and has up to 15 ribs as a mature plant. The areoles are between 1 cm and 1,5 centimeters apart from each other. There are yellow colored and needle-like spines on each areole. Trichocereus huascha has 10-12 radial spines that are up to 2 centimeters long. The flower color is absolutely variable; also because there are SO many natural and commercial hybrids. This plant is used extensively in Trichocereus hybrid culture and many hybrids that are floating around on the market cant fully be id´d because the offspring can sometimes look very different from the parental generation. The plant flowers from the apex, through the areoles and the flower color can be yellow, red or orange. You can keep it apart from plants like Trichocereus schickendantzii by the color of the flower (Schickendantzii has white flowers) and the thinner growth of E. huascha. The flowers are 6-8 centimeters in diameter and the species is usually dayflowering! They also are sometimes self-sterile, while other forms are self-fertile. You usually need two plants to get seed, but T.huascha hybridizes so easily in nature that there are some plants that form fruit without being pollinated! There are constant arguments about its synonymy with Trichocereus andalgalensis and at the moment, I consider them synonymous. Trichocereus andalgalensis was described as a red flowering variety of T. huascha (T. huascha v.rubriflorus), but since there are also yellow flowering T. andalgalensis at the original site, this is not really a species that I consider correct.

Origin of Trichocereus huascha:

Argentina. Very widely distributed and can be found almost everywhere around Catamarca & La Rioja. The plant grows at 900-2000 meters altitude.

Trichocereus huascha Echinopsis huascha

By izzyplante from Montreal, Canada

By Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA Echinopsis huascha

Trichocereus huascha By Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA

This plant looks more like a Trichocereus candicans, but I am still keeping it here for now because it´s from a botanical garden and it migt actually be a hybrid between these two species. Photo by Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA Echinopsis huascha

Trichocereus huascha v. rubriflorus Trichocereus andalgalensis By Lord Koxinga2
Trichocereus huascha v. rubriflorus Trichocereus andalgalensis By Lord Koxinga2

By Lord Koxinga

Trichocereus huascha v. rubriflorus Trichocereus andalgalensis By Lord Koxinga

 Trichocereus huascha Echinopsis huascha
by stickpen-
by stickpen Trichocereus huascha Echinopsis huascha

by stickpen-Trichocereus huascha amarilla

by stickpen Trichocereus huascha

by peter a mansfeld Trichocereus huascha v. pecheretianus (ex. grandiflorus) by Peter A. Mansfeld

T.huascha v. pecheretianus (ex. grandiflorus) by Peter A. Mansfeld

Trichocereus grandiflorus Echinopsis Trichocereus rowleyi

by Daderot huascha (ex Grandiflorus) – Botanischer Garten Freiburg

Trichocereus huascha Echinopsis huascha frank vincentz

by frank vincentz Jardin Echinopsis_huascha

Trichocereus huascha Echinopsis huascha Soehrensia Helianthocereus allie caulfield

Soehrensia_huascha by Allie Caulfield

Trichocereus huascha Echinopsis huascha Soehrensia Helianthocereus by Raffi Kojan Gardenology.org

by Raffi Kojan Gardenology.org

Trichocereus huascha Orange Flower Echinopsis huascha Soehrensia Helianthocereus Dru Bloomfield
Trichocereus huascha Orange Flower Echinopsis huascha Soehrensia Helianthocereus Dru Bloomfield   2
By Jofre Vlastní fotobanka Trichocereus huascha rubriflora Echinopsis huascha Soehrensia Helianthocereus

Dru Bloomfield Echinopsis_huascha

By Jofre Vlastní fotobanka Echinopsis huascha var. rubriflora

Trichocereus huascha Flower Echinopsis huascha Soehrensia Helianthocereus

E.huascha  in a private garden ( Photo: De Wet Swart)

Trichocereus huascha v. auricolor Echinopsis huascha Flower

Tr.huascha v. auricolor Echinopsis huascha Flower

Photos below: Tr. huascha v. rubriflorus Delia Kisar

Trichocereus huascha Echinopsis huascha Lobivia Helianthocereus Delia 8
Trichocereus huascha Echinopsis huascha Lobivia Helianthocereus Delia 7
Trichocereus huascha Echinopsis huascha Lobivia Helianthocereus Delia 6
Trichocereus huascha Echinopsis huascha Lobivia Helianthocereus Delia 9
Trichocereus huascha Echinopsis huascha Lobivia Helianthocereus Delia 5
Trichocereus huascha Echinopsis huascha Lobivia Helianthocereus Delia4
Trichocereus huascha Echinopsis huascha Lobivia Helianthocereus Delia 2
Trichocereus huascha Echinopsis huascha Lobivia Helianthocereus Delia 3
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Trichocereus andalgalensis / Echinopsis huascha v. andalgalensis

Trichocereus andalgalensis has a weird & complicated history. The name first appeared in 1893 in the MONATSZEITSCHRIFT FÜR KAKTEENKUNDE, which is a German publication about cacti. The plant was originally introduced into the world of taxonomy as a red flowering variety of Cereus huascha (Trichocereus huascha). In his book, Schuman mentioned that Weber described this plant and regard the red flowering variety of Cereus huascha (now Trichocereus huascha) to be a separate species called Cereus andalgalensis. The plant is very similar to Trichocereus huascha and was recently declared to be synonymous with Trichocereus huascha. The current taxonomy tends to merge relative plants together in larger, more variable species and I absolutely agree with that. The species was originally found near Andalgala, has very fine yellow spines and is sprouting from the base.

Synonyms: Echinopsis andalgalensis, Lobivia andalgalensis, Cereus andalgalensis, Cereus huascha var. rubriflorus, Trichocereus huascha var. rubriflorus

Now back to the time when Cereus andalgalensis was first desctribed. Back then, a cactus enthusiast and taxonomist called Spegazzini somehow got the idea that the name Cereus andalgalensis would actually be about a small Lobivia that was found near Ancasti. Which was absolutely not the case, since Trichocereus Andalgalensis is a columnar cactus that grows very much like Trichocereus Huascha (but does not get as big) and not a small clumping Lobivia.

And when Britton & Rose wrote their cactus manifest called THE CACTACEAE, they did not realize that Spegazzini described a completely different plant and published the troubled description in their as Lobivia andalgalensis B&R and declared that Lobivia to be synonymous with the red flowering variety of Trichocereus huascha (Trichocereus andalgalensis), which back then was called Cereus huascha Rubriflorus. Now, there were two different plants that were considered to be the same plant. And one (the Lobivia) did absolutely not fit into Weber´s old description of a columnar cactus.
Weber originally gave Andalgala in the province Catamarca to be the type location of the plant. Exactly where Rauh found a small clustering Trichocereus that fit into Webers old description and which was most likely the original origin of Trichocereus andalgalensis, which was back then still called Cereus andalgalensis.

Description: Trichocereus andalagensis is bright green in color and reaches a maximum diameter of up to 6 centimeters. The shoots can reach a maximum height of 10-40 Centimeters. It´s pretty typical for this plant to sprout abundantly from the base, even at a relatively young age.

Ribs: Trichocereus andalgalensis has 10-18 Ribs that are up to 5 mm high and between 5-10 mm wide. The areoles are brown and declining in color with age. The areoles are between 1-3 mm in diameter and 5-10 mm apart of each other.

Spines: The spines of Trichocereus andalgalensis are yellow, very similar as the ones on Trichocereus spachianus. All spines are very fine and needle-like. It has 7-15 radial spines that can get up to 1,5 mm long and 1-2 middle spines, which are 1-4 cm long.

Flowers: The flowers are usually red and up to 8,5 cm long, what makes the flower of Trichocereus andalgalensis one of the smallest flowers on a Trichocereus species. The flowers are and have a lot of brown hairs. There also is a variety with a yellow flower. The yellow variety is called Trichocereus andalgalensis var. flaviflorus and the red flowering one is Trichocereus andalgalensis var. rubriflorus.

Where to buy seeds or plants of Trichocereus andalgalensis?: There only are a couple of sources where you can get seeds of Trichocereus andalgalensis. One is Sacred Succulents, which was offering very viable seeds of this amazing cactus. Köhres has them in stock sometimes too though I have no idea how the germination rate of those is. Apart from that, I am not aware of any commercial sources that sell this seed. If you have a shop and have them in stock, you can let me know and I´ll add you to this page. You can also make a posting about Trichocereus andalgalensis in our Trichocereus Facebook Group. It´s not a very common type, but chances are some of our older members might still have some from the time when Friedrich Ritter sold seeds of this plant as FR 428.

Trichocereus Andalgalensis var. Auricolor

This b/w pic shows Trichocereus Andalgalensis var. auricolor. It is probably the same type as shown in the color pics below.

Trichocereus huascha v. andalgalensis

Photo: Jofre Vlastni

Photo: Allie Caulfeld

Pics below show a Yellow flowering version: K.Trout – Troutsnotes.com

T_andalgalensis_SS_d_JPG
T_andalgalensis_SS_a_JPG
T_andalgalensis_SS_b_JPG
T_andalgalensis_SS_c_JPG

Unfortunately, I do not have pics of the red flowering Trichocereus andalgalensis but I will add more pics as soon as I get some.