Posted on

Trichocereus smrzianus / Echinopsis smrziana MAGICAL

Trichocereus smrzianus Echinopsis smrziana Leanne Kelly (4)

Backeberg described Trichocereus smrzianus / Echinopsis smrziana in his KAKTUS ABC, a book that did not get a very wide release. Besides the description is highly controversial because it basically re-describes various forms of Echinopsis schickendantzii / Trichocereus schickendantzii and Trichocereus walteri that are barely on the level of a regional form.

Synonyms: Trichocereus smrzianus, Soehrensia smrziana, Soehrensia smrzianus, Echinopsis smrzianus, Echinopsis smrziana, Trichocereus schickendantzii, Echinopsis schickendantzii, Trichocereus walteri, Echinopsis walteri, etc.

Origin of Trichocereus smrzianus:

Argentina, Salta

Description of Echinopsis smrziana:

This species grows alone or in groups of larger clusters. It has a large, round body and reaches a maximum diameter of 2 meters and can get up to 60-70 centimeters tall. The plant is extremely variable and can grow like a clustering cactus like Trichocereus schickendantzii or in a columnar way, very similar to Trichocereus spachianus. It has 10-15 ribs and only grows at one location, which was also described as the type locality. T.smrzianus is extremely rare, though it is sometimes available on the commercial and sometimes shows up in cactus collections. The fact that the plant has so many ribs, makes it distinguishable from plants like Trichocereus candicans or Trichocereus spachianus. Young plants can look almost identical though, which is why identification of this species should not be done on juvenile plants. The bigger the plants, the broader the ribs are, what gives it a very typical Soehrensia look and it looks much closer to Soehrensia than to Trichocereus.

Spines of T.smrzianus:

The very thin spines are usually yellow to white. Plants have 8-15 spines on one areole, but Trichocereus smrzianus is extremely variable, what makes it so hard to ID. If you encounter the plants in the field it should be fairly easy to identify because it only grows on one location in Chachipampa, Argentina. It has 1-4 middle spines that are up to 3 centimeters long.

Flowers of Echinopsis smrziana:

Trichocereus smrzianus has white flowers, almost identical to the ones on T. schickendantzii. Overall it is a form of the latter, which means it is very hard to distinguish it from it. The plant flowers from the upper part of the body, what you can see on the featured image very well. The flowers get between 10-20 centimeters long and look very similar to the ones on Trichocereus tarijensis.

Fruit of E.smrziana:

Trichocereus smrzianus has a round, green fruit that is between 2-5 centimeters in diameter and tastes very nicely. The name is a really bad example of how a name should not be. Not sure how it sounds in your language but in mine it sounds like having a seizure while biting your tongue off.
The taxonomic status of this group of plants was very inconsistent and due to the fact that there is a relationship to the genus Soehrensia, taxonomists have moved them back and forth from Trichocereus to, Soehrensia and Echinopsis now. After the merger with Echinopsis, taxonomy went full circle and re-declared Soehrensia as an accepted genus and it seems like it might stay like that. However, the plant is definitely close to Trichocereus schickendantzii and it´s definitely possible that Trichocereus smrzianus is just a natural hybrid between Trichocereus schickendantzii and a different species like Trichocereus tarijensis, or a regional form of the Trichocereus schickendantzii group.

Trichocereus smrzianus, Echinopsis smrziana Emőke Dénes Schickendantzii Kew_Gardens_1

Emőke Dénes Echinopsis_smrziana_-_Kew_Gardens

Trichocereus smrzianus, Echinopsis smrziana Schickendantzii Oslo Sukkulentforening Soehrensia_smrziana

Oslo Sukkulentforening Soehrensia_smrziana

by Michael Wolf Trichocereus smrzianus Echinopsis smrziana Schickendantzii

by Michael Wolf Echinopsis smrziana

by Michael Wolf Trichocereus smrzianus Echinopsis smrziana Schickendantzii

Photos below: Trichocereus smrzianus by Leanne Kelly

Trichocereus smrzianus Echinopsis smrziana Leanne Kelly (4)
Leanne Kelly
Trichocereus smrzianus Echinopsis smrziana Leanne Kelly (4)
Leanne Kelly (4)
Trichocereus smrzianus Echinopsis smrziana Leanne Kelly (3)
Leanne Kelly (3)
Trichocereus smrzianus Echinopsis smrziana Leanne Kelly (3)
Leanne Kelly


If you enjoy the stuff we do, please support us by becoming a posting member of our Trichocereus group, follow us on Instagram or join our Trichocereus newsletter.

Posted on Leave a comment

Trichocereus shaferi (Echinopsis shaferi)

The name Trichocereus shaferi was described by Britton and Rose in the 1920s and lacked some important information. However, there were some later descriptions by Friedrich Ritter, Curt Backeberg/Rauh and Werdermann that went more into detail.

Trichocereus shaferi pups from the base and reaches a size of 1-1,5 meters. The plant grows halfway prostrate or leaning over and has between 15 and 20 ribs. Britton and Rose gave an average number of 12 ribs, which is dramatically different from the data that were given in later descriptions. The maximum diameter is 5-12 centimeters and the color is a gray/dark green, which you can very well see on the pictures that were provided by Trout. The ribs are 0,5-1 centimeters high and there are substantial furrows .

The areoles on Trichocereus shaferi are white felted and 1-6 mm in diameter and up to 1,2 centimeters apart of each other.

Spines: The spines of Trichocereus shaferi are yellow, very fine and needle-like with a slightly dark-brown tip. It has 7-10 radial spines (up to 1 cm long) and 1-3 middle spines (1-2 cm).

Flower: Very round flower. White. Trichocereus shaferi flowers from the upper part/apex and Britton and Rose gave a size of 15-18 cm.

Fruit: The fruit has very dominant white hairs, as you can beautifully see on the second picture. The edible fruit is round and 3-5 cm in diameter. Green in color with reddish/green scales.

Origin: Ritter encountered this plant near Leon near Jujuy at around 1500-1800 meters growing on rocky slopes. Britton and Rose gave San Lorenzo in the provence Salta at 1800 meters as the location of the typus. Ritter considered his collection in jujuy to be a regional variety but didnt really follow up on it. His collection name was FR41 and there is a large number of seeds that gotten into the collections of cactus fans all around the world.

Where to buy seeds and plants of Trichocereus shaferi? Well, it´s rare and you might come across them on eBay. Like I already mentioned before, I bought a large plant with this name a few years ago and we´re waiting for it to flower next year. Some seed stores and cactus nurseries have them in stock every once in a while, but it´s a rather rare species and it´s not available from South America. I am sure there are some collectors that offer seeds from their collections sometimes, but it´s probably a little bit hard to find and luck has a lot to do with it. If I´d be looking for this species, I´d write emails to Kakteen Haage, Kakteen Uhlig, Succeed, Sacred Succulents and hope for the best. You can also try making a post in our Trichocereus Facebook group but I´ve never really encountered one there. But it cant hurt to ask.

Photos of Trichocereus shaferi

Trichocereus shaferi Echinopsis shaferi

Trichocereus shaferi Echinopsis shaferi 2

Check out our main plant database pages for Trichocereus pachanoi aka Echinopsis pachanoi here:

And Trichocereus bridgesii here:

Trichocereus scopulicola

Also check out our Trichocereus Facebook group here:

Posted on

Trichocereus santiaguensis

Trichocereus santiaguensis is a regional variety of Trichocereus spachianus. And this clone has been floating around for at least 20 years. It sometimes is labeled Trichocereus pachanoi or Trichocereus bridgesii. And though the spination very rarely comes through, it makes it obvious that this is absolutely not a plant from the San Pedro group. The epidermis has a bright green color, which is typical for Trichocereus spachianus as well. If you are interested in seeds of Trichocereus spachianus, you can get some high quality seeds here:

The Trichocereus santiaguensis monstrosa is a nursery produced cultivar that sometimes shows up on websites like eBay.

The Tr. santiaguensis monstrose is probably a nursery produced mutant that was grown from Ritter´s Trichocereus santiaguensis seed. It is also called green pepperoni cactus, cereus pepperone, and so on. There only were very few collections of this plant and it would be surprising to hear if it is unrelated to the stuff that was collected by Friedrich Ritter. All the seeds I bought were dead as wood.

Now let´s summarize what this plant is synonymous with:

  • Trichocereus spachianus monstrosa
  • Trichocereus santiaguensis monstrosa
  • Cereus santiaguensis  monstrosa
  • Cereus spachianus monstrosa
  • Trichocereus santiaguensis monstrosa
  • Echinopsis santiaguensis  monstrosa

Please note that this is NOT synonymous with Trichocereus santaensis, which is a regional form of Trichocereus pachanoi or Trichocereus peruvianus that looks substantially different and originally comes from the Santa Valley in Peru.

I also seen this labeled Trichocereus santiagoensis monstruosa, but I rather think that this is some kind of a spelling error.
The plant grows mostly spineless and looks like a very thick spineless variety of a TBM. This plant is really rare and is not related to the two similar looking Lophocereus monstrosa cultivars that exist too.
The spines are light brown and look like the spines on a standard Spachianus.

I am not sure how it got into cultivation but it is believed that this is actually a nursery-produced cultivar. The plant is sometimes available in our Trichocereus Facebook Group and I recently saw quite a lot of them offered for sale.

Trichocereus santiaguensis monstrosa
Trichocereus santiaguensis monstrosa 2
Trichocereus Echinopsis Santiaguensis Cristate Monstrose 237
Trichocereus Echinopsis Santiaguensis Cristate Monstrose3aa
Trichocereus Echinopsis Santiaguensis Cristate Monstrose 40

Check out our main plant database pages for Trichocereus pachanoi aka Echinopsis pachanoi here:

And Trichocereus bridgesii here:

Trichocereus scopulicola

Also check out our Trichocereus Facebook group here:

Posted on Leave a comment

Trichocereus spachianus / Echinopsis spachiana WOW

Trichocereus spachianus aka Echinopsis spachiana is a columnar cactus that originates in Argentina.

Soehrensia_spachiana Elia Scudiero

Synonyms: Trichocereus shaferi, Trichocereus santiaguensis, Cereus spachianus, Echinocereus spachianus, Cereus santiaguensis, Echinopsis santiaguensis, Trichocereus manguinii, Trichocereus trichosus, Trichocereus spachianoides

If you want to buy seeds of Trichocereus spachianus, you can find some here:

The history of Trichocereus spachianus is very confusion and most taxonomists have their own opinion on how the plant originally came from and which subspecies or varieties are synonymous with it. The original plant described by Lemaire as Cereus spachianus in 1840 was said to originally come from Mexico and differed substantially from what we know as Trichocereus spachianus. Ten years later in 1850, Salm-Dyck described the Trichocereus spachianus as we know it today. Salm-Dycks plant is the modern Trichocereus spachianus. And according to his description, it has around 8 Ribs, a rib height of 10 mm and an areole distance of 20 mm.  Both descriptions lacked Flower descriptions, but there is what Lemaire´s plant looked like according to the description: 10-15 ribs, rib height of 5 mm and an areole distance of 6-10 mm.  The origin of Trichocereus spachianus is still not known, but there are some types in nature that are very similar to almost identical. Trichocereus santiaguensis grows around Santiago de Estero is the one that I suspected to be the original plant that was described as our modern Trichocereus spachianus. Besides, there is another population of a plant that was described as Trichocereus shaferi, which is probably synonymous too. Trichocereus shaferi grows in Jujuy near Leon. Another very similar Tricho grows in Bolivia and is called Trichocereus tenuispinus. That name is absolutely not valid and I am just mentioning it for the sake of completeness.

Trichocereus spachanius Description

Up to 2 meters tall and pupping from the base. Pups grow upwards and parallel to the main column. 10 – 15 Ribs and areoles approx. 1 centimeter apart. With yellow wool. 8-10 radial spines (0,6 bis 1 cm long) and 1 strong middle spine.

Flower: The flower of Trichocereus spachianus is white and up to 20 centimeters large. The Flowers don´t smell and the wild varieties are very unlike the ones in cultivation. Trichocereus spachianus is a night-flowering species, but the flowers stay open until late in the day.

Origin: Argentina (around Mendoza), in San Juan, La Rioja and San Luis. Jujuy (1500-1800 meters)

Trichocereus spachianus is a very tough and resistant cactus that can be used for all kinds of purposes, including as Grafting stock, fencing plant or for Hybrid cultivation. The flowers are very large and there are some amazing hybrids that involve Trichocereus spachianus. It is one of the best grafting stocks because it accepts many hosts. There are all kinds of plants that are synonymous with Trichocereus spachianus and none of the older species names like Trichocreus Santiaguensis or Trichocereus shaferi are valid today. Trichocereus spachianus is also called “Golden Torch” or “Golden Torch Cactus“.

Cultivation of Trichocereus spachianus:

Echinopsis spachiana is very frost resistant, but temperatures shouldnt go below -5° to -10° Celsius and it greatly depends on the general health of the plant and the dryness of the substrate if the plant suffers any damage. It has to be kept completely dry over winter and the bets temperature to overwinter it inside is at around 10° Celsius and with sufficient fresh air.

Seed & live cuttings sources: There are many sources for Trichocereus spachianus, including seed from various private sellers or commercial shops like Köhres, Misplant or SAB. Besides there are cuttings available from shops like Ebay and Amazon.

Varieties: There really aren´t that many accepted varieties of Trichocereus spachianus available. But there are a couple of regional varieties like Trichocereus shaferi, Trichocereus santiaguensis or Trichocereus spachianoides, which was a very similar plant that was probably synonymous and was collected and sold by Friedrich Ritter. The plant had the collection number FR980 and was collected in 1960/61.

Soil requirements: Trichocereus spachianus should be given a purely mineral soil mix that dries out very fast because it tends to suffer from rot if it is grown in seed with too much humous. You can use pumice, sand or any other mineral substrate. They like to get fertilizer on a regular basis. But I would recommend to water them only when it´s hot. No water on rainy or cold days and only water as soon as the soil has completely dried up! Trichocereus spachianus likes to be grown in partial shade but can also tolerate being grown in full sun. On the pics, you see that the plants are usually sown in full sun and they like it a lot. The flower is very large and beautiful, but the species needs to reach a certain size before it can flower.

Trichocereus spachianus

by Alan levine Echinopsis

by Dru Bloomfield Echinopsis_spachiana_(3)

by Gavin Anderson Echinopsis_spachiana_(3140270533)

by Dru Bloomfield Echinopsis_spachianaby Gavin Anderson Echinopsis_spachiana

by Ikiwaner Echinopsis

by Ikiwaner Echinopsis

by z2amiller Echinopsis_spachiana

by z2amiller Echinopsis_spachiana_(1)

by z2amiller Echinopsis_spachianaby z2amiller Echinopsis_spachiana

Soehrensia_spachiana Elia Scudiero

  Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz Echinopsis_spachianaSoehrensia_spachiana by Elia Scudiero

by Raphael Quinet Echinopsis_spachiana694700616_(1)

by Raphael Quinet Echinopsis_spachiana

trichocereus candicans var. robustior and trichocereus santiaguensis

On the right side, there is TRICHOCEREUS SANTIAGUENSIS. That is a very rare variety of Trichocereus Spachianus.

You can find out more about this species on our Facebook Group and our Youtube Channel on