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Trichocereus camarguensis Echinopsis
Trichocereus camarguensis is an Bolivian cactus from Camargo.
Synonyms: Echinopsis camarguensis, Trichocereus caulescens, Echinopsis caulenscens
Trichocereus camarguensis is a thin Cactus that resembles Trichocereus spachianus, but has golden Spines. Live cuttings and seeds of Trichocereus camarguensis was distributed by various sources, including Karel Knize under the collection Number KK1414. There is a huge number of hybrids available. It is closely related to Trichocereus cajasensis, which is considered a separate species now.
Description: Thin columnar cactus that can get up to 50-60 centimeters tall. It can grow creeping and usually leans forward because it has the tendency to creep. The epidermis is bright to pale green with many golden spines. 13-15 ribs and areoles are around 1 centimeter apart of each other. This cactus can resemble Trichocereus huascha, but does not reach its large height!
Spines: 12-15 radial spines and 1-3 middle spines that are up to 5 centimeters long, The spines are bright yellow and like very thin, fine needles.
Flower: White. Up to 22 centimeters long, tube with dark gray hairs, sepals are pink/purple/green and white petals (up to 10 centimeters)
Fruit: Round fruit, up to 3 centimeters in diameter
Origin: Bolivia, near Camargo, 2750 meters. Chuqisaca, Tarija, Potosi
Trichocereus camarguensis is a night-flowering species. It also is self-sterile, what means you need another plant as pollen donor in order to produce seed.
Cultivation: Trichocereus camarguensis is USDA 10-12. It originally comes from Bolivia, where there is very little water and should not be overwatered. They are much more likely to rot than a Trichocereus pachanoi or Trichocereus peruvianus. So keep them more on the dry side and don’t water when it’s cold or rainy because that attracts mold and other infections. They like a mineral substrate and can deal with quite a lot of sun. The minimum average temperature should not go below 10° Celsius and that´s actually the temperature that you should overwinter them. Only water between May and October if you have to bring them inside to overwinter. If you have the luck to live in a country where you can grow them outside,well, better not! Just make sure to provide them with a winter protection that keeps em from getting wet all the time. They should take short, nightly frosts, but the absolute minimum is -9° Celsius/15.8 Fahrenheit. Frost resistance also depends on many other factors, like general health, soil composition and humidity.
Growing Trichocereus carmaguensis from seed: The same as most other Bolivian Trichocereus. Seeds need light to germinate and seedlings prefer mineral substrate. Sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil and put the pot/container in a warm room (25°-29°) and make sure it´s not getting too hot in there. As soon as all the seeds have germinated, keep a close eye on the temperatures because they can die from heat quite easily. Temps should not go above 30° Celsius! Especially in closed containers, temps can be substantially higher than in the room around them.
Where to get seed: There are not many seed sources for Trichocereus camarguensis available right now. I get seed every now and then, which usually is for the type called Trichocereus camarguensis KK1414. Be careful about seeds from Peru because there is one, very well-known seller that sells this type, but the quality of them is very unpredictable. I had some very fresh seeds and I had some that were basically dead. And you never now which one you´ll get.
Hybrid Culture: Trichocereus camarguensis is used extensively in hybrid culture because they flower early on and produce a beautiful flower. Because of that there are many camarguensis hybrids with a flower other than white.
by Frank Vincentz
Trichocereus Camarguensis Huntington Botanical Garden by Richard Hipp