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
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