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Trichocereus tarmaensis / Echinopsis tarmaensis

Trichocereus tarmaensis / Echinopsis tarmaensis

Trichocereus tarmaensis Rauh & Backeberg – Deser. Cact. Nov. 20. 1956

Trichocereus tarmaensis is a close relative of Trichocereus cuzcoensis that was described as a separate species. There are various differences between Trichocereus cuzcoensis and Trichocereus tarmaensis, and some forms of Trichocereus knuthianus are considered to be synonymous with Trichocereus tarmaensis as well.

Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Trichocereus tarmaensis

Trichocereus tarmaensis reaches a size of 2 meters and is pupping from the base. It has 7-9 ribs that are approximately 2 centimeters wide, rounded at the top and with very distinct V-notches above the areoles. The areoles are approx. 2-2,5 centimeters apart with a diameter of 9 millimeters. Young growth areoles have a very fine brown wool that changes it´s color to a darker brown. It has 3-6 radial spines that are between 1 and 3 cm long. It often has one very large downward pointing spine that is up to 10 centimeters long. The plant usually has one of those middle spines. Old spine growth changes its color very soon to a gray, similar to what we know from Trichocereus cuzcoensis.

Flower of E.tarmaensis:

White, very similar or identical to some of the spiny forms of Trichocereus cuzcoensis or  Trichocereus peruvianus. The tube has brown hairs and the fruit reaches a maximum diameter of 5 centimeters.

Type location:

Central peru, Tarma in Peru at around 3000 meters.

Trichocereus tarmaensis looks very similar to Trichocereus tulhyacensis and both species are hard to distinguish if do not have the luck to observe them during the flowering phase . The flower of Trichocereus tulhuyacensis is pink, which is something that does not apply to any other Trichocereus species from this complex. If your Trichocereus has a reddish to pink flower, it´s not Trichocereus tarmaensis but Trichocereus tulhuyacensis or another close relative. Both Trichocereus tarmaensis and Trichocereus tulhuayacensis are very rare and mislabeled anyways. Karel Knize is selling seed of this type under the name KK2148 Trichocereus tarmaensis .

Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Trichocereus tarmaensis  2

Backeberg´s photo Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Trichocereus tarmaensis

This picture shows a seedgrown specimen that was sold through the SAB shop in Australia.

SAB Trichocereus Tarmaensis KK2148 Echinopsis tarmaensis knize

When looking at this pic, it gets obvious that this type is VERY similar to some types of Trichocereus cuzcoensis, and even has similarities to a KK242. I do not think that specimens of KK2148  could be recognized as such without knowing the label. They are simply synonymous with some types of Trichocereus cuzcoensis. This species grows at around 3000 meters altitude.

Trichocereus tarmaensis Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma  Photo: S. Preiss

Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Trichocereus tarmaensis  Trichocereus.net

Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Trichocereus tarmaensis  Trichocereus.net 2

Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Trichocereus tarmaensis  Trichocereus.net 3

Below: Some photos from Tarma. The first one does not show a Trichocereus, but the others show some of the wild forms in between Trichocereus tarmaensis and Trichocereus knuthianus.

Columnar Cactus Cacti Tarma

Trichocereus tarmaensis Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Knuthianus

Trichocereus tarmaensis Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Knuthianus 2

Trichocereus tarmaensis Echinopsis tarmaensis Tarma Knuthianus 5





Trichocereus knuthianus (Echinopsis knuthiana)

Trichocereus knuthianus (Echinopsis knuthiana)

Trichocereus knuthianus is a plant that can be found in many parts of Peru. As a species, it is much more diverse than the clone that it is mostly reduced to and there are various forms that belong into the context of Trichocereus knuthianus.  In addition, there are intermediates with Trichocereus schoenii, Trichocereus tarmaensis and Trichocereus cuzcoensis.

Alternative name: Echinopsis knuthiana

Synonyms: Trichocereus knuthiana, Trichocereus knuthianus, Trichocereus cuzcoensis var. knuthianus, Cereus knuthianus, Azureocereus deflexispinus, Cereus deflexispinus, Trichocereus tarmaensis, Trichocereus peruvianus var. Tarma, Trichocereus crassiarboreus, Trichocereus schoenii, Echinopsis schoenii, Echinopsi tarmaensis (not all, but some of them clearly belong into the knuthianus context as well)

Though Trichocereus knuthianus is still considered a correct species with the name Echinopsis knuthiana, it is closely related to Trichocereus cuzcoensis and Trichocereus peruvianus. There was never any good DNA testing done to verify or question this, which is why it is on our short list of species that we´ll test for our upcoming book on the genus Trichocereus. In my opinion, it is a relative of Trichocereus cuzcoensis. We will find out how related exactly once we´ve ran some tests.

Trichocereus knuthianus was discovered and described by Curt Backeberg on the upper course of the Rio Marañon. The plant was named after Graf F.M.Knuth, who was Curt Backeberg´s co-author in the book KAKTUS ABC and a financier for some of his trips.

Rio Maranon Peru Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana

Most plants that are available on the open market were originally sourced from Friedrich Ritters Seed list. Ritter´s collection number of Trichocereus knuthianus was FR567, sometimes also labeled as Trichocereus knuthianus f. pachanoi or Trichocereus knuthianus FR 677! This strain can be found in collections throughout the World though it is most common in Australia.

Ritter wrote that it´s probably synonymous with Trichocereus tarmaensis and I agree to a certain degree. In addition, he shared the opinion that Trichocereus knuthianus is actually a variety of Trichocereus cuzcoensis, which is most likely correct as well. Trichocereus cuzcoensis only grows in Cusco, but its close relatives grow all over Peru, e.g. Trichocereus tarmaensis, Trichocereus schoenii, etc.

Curt Backeberg, on the other hand did absolutely not agree with Ritter´s attempt to nullify Backeberg´s species, as it would mean that his newly described “species” would´ve become invalid. Generally speaking, Friedrich Ritter knew that plant very well .

Mature plants of Echinopsis knuthiana in habitat tend to have that tree-like rounded log-shape that you can observe on Trichocereus cuzcoensis too. Most other Trichocereus species do not form such  a rounded and tree-like stump, which is another indicator for its genetic proximity to the Cuzcoensis complex.

Trichocereus knuthianus is very widespread and grows in Central Peru and some Departments that surround it.

Title photo: Sams Plants


Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana Fields

Above: Fields Knuthianus aka Fields Knuth

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana hybrid

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 44

This Picture shows FR 677. Unfortunately not a very good pic:

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana FR 677 Ritter



Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana FR 677 Ritter 2

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 65

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 677

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 68

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 69

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 70

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 71

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 72

Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 73

Rodni Kisar

Fruit Trichocereus knuthianus Echinopsis knuthiana 77

Photos below: Delia and Rodni Kisar

Photo Echinopsis knuthiana Trichocereus knuthianus Photo Echinopsis knuthiana Trichocereus knuthianus 2 Photo Echinopsis knuthiana Trichocereus knuthianus 3

Trichocereus cuzcoensis – Echinopsis cuzcoensis

Trichocereus cuzcoensis – Echinopsis cuzcoensis

Trichocereus cuzcoensis is a Trichocereus species from Cusco in Peru. It is described as from Cusco and in sense  of the description plants only count as being part of this species if they are from Cusco, but close relatives of Trichocereus cuzcoensis also occur in many other parts of Peru, e.g. Trichocereus knuthianus, Trichocereus schoenii, Trichocereus tarmaensis, etc.

Trichocereus cuzcoensis is currently still called Echinopsis cuzcoensis, but many good authors have abandoned this sinking ship and went back to use the Trichocereus names. Trichocereus cuzcoensis, also known as Echinopsis cuzcoensis, is an accepted species, despite it´s obvious similarity to Trichocereus peruvianus. There are countless intermediates between Trichocereus peruvianus and Trichocereus cuzcoensis (especially where both grow together) and there are many regional forms that show traits of both species.  As an example, there are Peruvianoid forms of Trichocereus cuzcoensis and there are specimens of Trichocereus peruvianus that show some traits of Trichocereus cuzcoensis. Personally, I think that Trichocereus cuzcoensis and Trichocereus peruvianus are so similar that they are at least subspecies or varieties of the same species. We´ve already seen lots of different regional forms of Trichocereus cuzcoensis. Everywhere T.cuzcoensis grows in direct neighborhood of Trichocereus peruvianus, they hybridize with each other and form transitional forms. The whole group around Trichocereus peruvianus is extremely variable and that also includes Trichocereus cuzcoensis as well. Please note that Trichocereus cuzcoensis is MORE than just Karel Knize´s KK242, which has become THE textbook definition of a cuzco. The hate around KK242 is responsible for giving the species a bad rep and that´s absolutely not justified as far as we are concerned. It´s a beautiful and unique species and large mother plants are usually stunning.

Because there are countless forms of Trichocereus cuzcoensis or its close relatives, we started collecting as many photos as we can to put them here together. 

Description of T. cuzcoensis:

Trichocereus Cuzcoensis is a columnar cactus that grows columnar and is pupping from the base. It can get more than five meters tall, though most collection plants that are grown in pots do not exceed 2 meters. However, in countries like Australia, there are many huge plants of Trichocereus cuzcoensis to be found. New growth has a bright green color. It can get between 7 -9 rounded Ribs and the areoles are approximately 1-2 centimeters apart from each other. Trichocereus cuzcoensis has many, very strong spines. The number of spines is very variable but in most cases, I observed between 8-12 spines. The spines usually have a rounded, knobby base. New spine growth is yellow or dark brown while old spine growth is usually dark gray to white with slight black undertones or black spine tips. The spines usually are between 5-10 centimeters long. If you have a suspected E.cuzcoensis with a low rib count, it is likely not a Cuzco but a close relative such as the plants from San Marcos, T. schoenii, T. santaensis, etc.

Trichocereus cuzcoensis is a night-flowering species but the flowers usually stay fresh until the morning of the next day. It is self-sterile and you need another specimen as pollen donor in order to produce seed.


The flower color is white and the flower is usually very large. It measures up to 16 centimeters, the tube is green and 7-8 centimeters long. Petals are approximately 5 centimeters long and there are hairs covering the flower.

Type locality:

Peru, Cuzco. Cuzcoensis relatives from other areas do not count as T.cuzcoensis is the sense of the description.

Synonyms, commercial names & Varieties:

Trichocereus knuthianus, Trichocereus crassiarboreus, Cereus cuzcoensis, KK242, KK340, KK1911 Knuthianus, Trichocereus tarmaensis. Please note that some of these are close relatives that we count in the winder context of this species.


Trichocereus Cuzcoensis is grown just like other Trichocereus species. It´s a very tough and frost hardy species and is able to cope with temperatures down to -9° celsius/15.8° Fahrenheit for short periods of time. The minimum average temperature is 10° celsius/50° fahrenheit. That temperature is also the minimum temperature that it needs to stay healthy during the winter.

Winter protection:

Trichocereus cuzcoensis can be overwintered in a bright and well ventilated place. The temperature should be around 9-10° Celsius and the plants need to be completely dry. In european countries, the growers stop giving water and fertilizer in late summer (September or October) and take em in until early May or April. Keeping the plants dry and cold over winter also helps to increase flower production. Plants that are kept in a warm room over the winter lose their ability to flower. Besides, plants or seedlings need to be watered on a regular basis as soon as you have them in a heated room. If you want to overwinter a Trichocereus in a warm room (20°-30° Celsius), you have to water it on a regular basis. You can only overwinter a plant “dry” if the temperatures are low.

Growing Trichocereus cuzcoensis from seed: Trichocereus cuzcoensis is very easy from seed, because it is relatively resistant to most pests. One of the biggest challenges is to get good quality seed because most cuzcoensis seed on the market is pretty old and some do not even germinate. I am constantly looking for interesting new types of Trichocereus cuzcoensis, because they are amazing plants. Take a look at the pics from the Sacred Succulents Field Trips that are labeled “Cuzcoensis” and you will most likely agree. Germination temperature for Trichocereus cuzcoensis is between 26° and 30° celsius. It only needs very little water to induce germinations and if you have quality seed, they will germinate within 2-6 weeks. If nothing shows up by the 6th week, you will probably not get germinations at all. In this case, remove the lid, let the soil dry out and start with the germination process again. Those cycles mimic the way this actually happens in nature and sometimes, you will be able to re-activate dead seed. You can also add GA-3, which is Gibberelic Acid or use a strong HPS or LED lamp to wake the seeds up, because ultraviolet light increases germination rates. In general, Trichocereus seeds need light to germinate, so do not cover them with soil.

Trichocereus cuzcoensis Seed Sources: I have some great seeds in my shop right now. The first one comes from Huancavelica in Peru and the other one is somewhere between Trichocereus peruvianus and Trichocereus cuzcoensis.

Trichocereus cuzcoensis KK242 Master Evan EchinopsisThis looks like a very typical Trichocereus cuzcoensis KK242. This strain was originally brought into cultivation by Karel Knize. He also sold various types of similar plants labeled as Trichocereus cuzcoensis, Trichocereus macrogonus or Trichocereus peruvianus. The label KK242 does not refer to a particular plant but the area where the seeds/cuttings were collected at. Because of that, there are many plants labeled KK242 which are NOT a Trichocereus cuzcoensis. The type just looks so unique and remarkable that it stuck and most plants that look like this are usually identified as KK242. Which is not really correct because that´s just one of the many types that grow within the KK242 range. However, most of the KK242 are in fact Trichocereus cuzcoensis. Pic: Master Evan

Trichocereus cuzcoensis KK242 Echinopsis cuzcoensisAnother KK242

Below: A form of KK242 that is not a Trichocereus cuzcoensis.

Trichocereus Cuzcoensis KK242 Rio Lurin_J33_2_jpg

One of the many faces of KK242. Copyright K.Trout

3 Trichocereus cuzcoensis, Lamay, Cusco, Peru 2010 copyright B

Ben Kamm

Copyright: Ben Kamm, Sacred Succulents

Also check out this posting with many cool Cuzcos fom the Sacredsucculents Field Trips!

Trichocereus cuzcoensis Echinopsis cuzcoensis Nitrogen


Trichocereus cuzcoensis - Echinopsis cuzcoensis Nitrogen


Trichocereus cuzcoensis Echinopsis cuzcoensis Delia Kisar Delia Kisar Trichocereus cuzcoensis Echinopsis cuzcoensis Delia Kisar

Trichocereus cuzcoensis Rodni Kisar

Rodni Kisar

Trichocereus cuzcoensis Echinopsis cuzcoensis Trichocereus IMG 4694.scale 400 Trichocereus cuzcoensis Echinopsis cuzcoensis 3

Trichocereus cuzcoensis KK242 Echinopsis cuzcoensis

KK242 Echinopsis cuzcoensis

Trichocereus 12237F25 B56A 4687 92BD D92461D80F8B

Trichocereus cuzcoensis KK242 Echinopsis cuzcoensis

Trichocereus cuzcoensis KK242 Echinopsis cuzcoensis

Videos of Trichocereus cuzcoensis / Echinopsis cuzcoensis

Trichocereus sp. ‘Isla del Sol’ (Echinopsis)

Trichocereus sp. ‘Isla del Sol’ (Echinopsis)

This population from the Bolivian island ‘Isla Del Sol’ belongs into the distant complex of Trichocereus bridgesii / Echinopsis lageniformis. However, it is currently discussed whether or not this plant is actually a different species and DNA testing is required to look into its status.  Sacred Succulents visited this population during their Field Trips and made some amazing photos. I also have some sick photos of it in my first book.


BK08601.1 Trichocereus Isla del Sol, Bolivia

Now, this is one of the most interesting Trichocereus species that were visited during the Sacred Succulents Field Trips! All the photos shown here are from Ben Kamm & Sacredsucculents.com! This was from the 2008 Field Trip and it is very similar to an intermediate between Trichocereus bridgesii and something from the Trichocereus cuzcoensis complex. Trichocereus cuzcoensis is mostly known for the plants in Cusco that were used to write the original description, but there are similar plants and relatives of Trichocereus cuzcoensis that can be found in other Peruvian states.

It also reminds me a little bit of Trichocereus knuthianus, which also belongs to the Cuzcoensis complex and has similar, massive areoles. Those plants are definitely very old…how they evolved exactly is not known.
Sacred Succulents gave away seed of this amazing species in 2008, but I do not know of anyone who raised some of them so far. If you happen to own this type, please let me know because it´s on my most-wanted list and I urgently need more pics of seed grown plants. The Isla Del Sol is an area that can be found in the southern part of the Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. It´s a wonderful area that is filled with ancient ruins and that screams “History”. I do not know if those plants were intentionally planted there or if they just evolved, but it´s definitely one of the coolest Trichocereus species out there.

Isla Del Sol in Bolivia

193 BK08601.1 Trichocereus Isla del Sol, BoliviaCopyright: Ben Kamm, Sacredsucculents.com

192 BK08601

BK08601.2 Trichocereus Isla del Sol, Bolivia

This is another Plant from the same region. Judging by the looks of it, it grows very nearby. The Plant is somehow connected to the Trichocereus cuzcoensis Complex and is simply awesome!


195 BK08601

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Mega Page

Trichocereus peruvianus or Echinopsis peruviana is 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

Photos of Trichocereus peruvianus

Red Spine Trichocereus peruvianus / Trichocereus macrogonus

Trichocereus peruvianus / macrogonus from Matucana Red Spines

Trichocereus peruvianus Trichocereus macrogonus Pomolargo
Trichocereus peruvianus Trichocereus macrogonus Pomolargo

Trichocereus peruvianus Collana Pichu Peru Echinopsis macrogona

Description of Trichocereus peruvianus:

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.

Trichocereus macrogona / Echinopsis macrogona aka T. peruvianus

Trichocereus peruvianus Matucana Echinopsis peruviana
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.

Trichocereus peruvianus Los Gentiles Echinopsis peruviana
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.

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Rosei flower photo Prier

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 pachanoi are 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.

Photos Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana

Short Spine Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis macrogona Photo Short Spine Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis macrogona Photo 2

A short spine version of Echinopsis peruviana / macrogona

Short Spine Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis macrogona Photo 4 Short Spine peruvianus Trichocereus macrogonus Echinopsis macrogona Photo Short Spine Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis macrogona Photo 6 Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus by Kakteen Haage

This type of plant is usually treated as Trichocereus macrogonus / Echinopsis macrogonaa

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus by Kakteen Haage 3
Another one that is treated as Trichocereus macrogonus / Echinopsis macrogona.

Trichocereus macrogonus Echinopsis macrogona Knize

Another one that is treated as Trichocereus macrogonus / Echinopsis macrogona.

Short Spine Trichocereus macrogonus Echinopsis Photo Short Spine Macro Photo Trichocereus

Trichocereus peruvianus flower photo Trichocereus budsby Randy

T.peru Roseii1 Flower_2

Trichocereus peruvianus photo Woolunda Flower_1

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Woolunda Flower_2

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Rosei2 flower

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana peru Rosei 1_1

This is one of Misplant´s mother plants. You can get some seed here!

trichocereus Peruvianus misplant Echinopsis peruviana photo Peru-3

Another one of Misplant´s mother plants. You can get it´s seed here!

trichocereus Peruvianus misplant Echinopsis peruviana photo Peru-4

trichocereus Peruvianus misplant Echinopsis peruviana photo Peru-5

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Sharxx Blue Matucana

Photos below: Simon Maddern

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Australian Garden Photos

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Australian Garden Photos 2

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Australian Garden Photos

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Australian Garden Photos 4

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Australian Garden Photos 5

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Australian Garden Photos 6

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Australian Garden Photos 7

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Australian Garden Photos 8

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Australian Garden Photos 9

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Macrogonus Macro Jo flowers

Photo: Joachim Podschadel

Trichocereus peruvianus from Lurin Valle / Lurin Valley 

Trichocereus peruvianus from Lurin Valle / Lurin Valley 

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana from Lurin Valle / Lurin Valley 

Trichocereus peruvianus Echinopsis peruviana Ayacucho

Trichocereus peruvianus from Ayacucho

Trichocereus peruvianus intermediate Trichocereus peruvianus intermediate Echinopsis peruviana

Trichocereus peruvianus intermediate

Trichocereus peruvianus Apurimac KK1689

Trichocereus peruvianus Apurimac KK1689

Trichocereus peruvianus 'Rosei 1' (Rodni Kisar)

Trichocereus peruvianus ‘Rosei 1’ (Rodni Kisar)

Backeberg´s Description of Trichocereus peruvianus

Trichocereus peruvianus Br. &
R. — The Cact., II : 136. 1920
Cereus rosei Werd., in Backeberg,
„Neue Kakteen“, 101.
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.
zuerst braun, ca. 10, einige bis 4 cm
lang, stark und steif, 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 an der
Lima—Oroya-Bahn bis auf 2800 m)
(Abb. 1059—1060, Tafel 76).
Britton u. Rose bilden mit ihrer
Fig. 197 einen baumartig aufrechten
Cereus ab, Rauh dagegen einen
hängenden; ich selbst fand die Art
anfangs ± aufrecht, dann überliegend
bis niederliegend. Es kommen bei
Matucana aber auch Exemplare des
aufrechten T. santaensis vor, den
Britton u. Rose wohl nicht als besondere
Art erkannten.
Die Identifizierung dieser Art mit
Tr. macrogonus (Kkde., 20. 1941)
kann ich nicht aufrechterhalten.

Friedrich Ritter´s Description

TRICHOCEREUS PACHANOI BR. & R. 1920 The Cactaceae, Bd. 2, S. 134
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 liegt nur
eine Art vor. ROSE war jedenfalls ungenügend orientiert Über die große
Variationsbreite dieser 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. von wenigen 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
und fehlen 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. kann bei
beiden Formen bis auf etwa 10 gehen, die Anordnung der St. und das
Größenverhältnis zwischen Rst. zu Mst. 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. von ca 20 cm. Über dem Frkn. ist die Rö. leicht
nach oben gebogen, während die Öffnung der Rö. wieder leicht nach unten
gebogen ist. 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

How to differentiate between Trichocereus peruvianus and Trichocereus pachanoi
Beautiful Trichocereus peruvianus / Echinopsis peruviana Video

SS03 (Trichocereus knuthianus)

SS03 (Trichocereus knuthianus)

The SS03 Trichocereus is a clone that was and still is distributed by Sacred Succulents in California. It is a Trichocereus knuthianus that is very similar to the other Knuthianus forms that are available sometimes. The plant has strong spines and very typical V-notches that make it easy to spot. Seed grown seedlings grown from SS03 seeds look very spiny and have thin & yellow spines.

This is Sacred Succulents description from their catalogue. You can get this plant through their website at sacredsucculents.com:

Upright columns to 16′ or more. Dark green stems up to 6″ in diameter. Areoles bear 7 – 9 radial spines up to 1″ and one stout central spine up to 2″ long. White nocturnal flowers. Appears to be a form of Trichocereus peruvianus. Cold hardy to at least 25° Fahrenheit.


Sacred Succulents SS03 NR
Photos: Noah Reams


Crowdfunding Campaign TRICHOCEREUS book VOLUME 1

Crowdfunding Campaign TRICHOCEREUS book VOLUME 1

This is the crowdfunding campaign post for our first Trichocereus book TRICHOCEREUS VOLUME 1: THE SAN PEDRO GROUP.

Crowdfunding Campaign TRICHOCEREUS book VOLUME 1

Hi guys, I just wanted to take the time to let you all know about the status of my crowd funding campaign for the printing costs of my book TRICHOCEREUS VOLUME 1: THE SAN PEDRO GROUP. Until 2016, this book was available exclusively through my Indiegogo campaign here: https://igg.me/at/2h2Jsr6XawQ/x/13533390.

The campaign is now closed, but it is now up for sale in our shop here:


I´ve been working on this book for a few years now and it´s finally getting close to a release date. It´ll have more than 300 all-color pages and will contain hundreds of color pics showing plants from the San Pedro Group in the habitat, botanic gardens and collections worldwide. There were dozens of well known people helping me with photos for this book and I am extremely proud that I was given the chance to write it! I´ll make sure it´ll be a high quality book that will look awesome on your shelf! There will be descriptions, photos and cultivation advice as well as a detailed guide on how to germinate difficult seed. The book takes a close look at flowers, fruits and old names that are no longer valid. This book contains a whole lot of different species and commercial varieties like Trichocereus pachanoi, Trichocereus peruvianus, Trichocereus bridgesii, Trichocereus scopulicola, Trichocereus tarmaensis, Trichocereus cuzcoensis, Trichocereus huanucoensis, Trichocereus pallarensis and many, many more!

The printing costs are somewhere between 10.000 – 12.000 Euros and that´s why I started the campaign on Indiegogo two days ago. Now after just 2 days, the campaign already reached 69% of its goal and is getting new supporters every single day.

The number of available books is very limited. There only are 250 softcover books and 100 hardcover books available exclusively through the campaign. The hardcover books already sold out but I managed to add a few that I actually wanted to put in the Trichocereus shop. Both the softcover version as well as the hard cover version are available for a reduced crowd funding price to say thank you to all the backers. The soft cover version will costs 58 Euro (+shipping costs) and the hardcover version will cost 88 Euro (+shipping costs). Both versions will be printed on high quality paper and with high quality ink. But because of the increased price of the hardcover edition, I could use an even better paper- and ink quality as well as some thread stitching to provide a higher value for the collectors. All the hardcover books are limited, numbered and signed as way to thank you for your support!
There also are package deals and re-seller packages to make it easier for shops or group-buyers to buy it. The books will be printed in June and the shipping phase begins in June or July. If you are not able to participate in the campaign due to whatever reasons, just let me know and I´ll try to find a way to make it work. It´s important to me that everyone who supports this project will actually get one.

Alright guys, it counts now and if I can´t get the campaign funded, the books won´t look as brilliant as they will when it reaches its goal. So please support my project on Indiegogo. The crowdfunding campaign will run for 60 days and I hope to reach the goal within the first 2-3 weeks. If you have any questions or just want to get in touch with me, you can reach me through EG [ät] trichocereus.net. You can also get in touch with me through our Trichocereus Facebook Group!

Cover Design not final and subject to change.