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Trichocereus chiloensis (Echinopsis chiloensis) T.chilensis

Trichocereus chiloensis (Echinopsis chiloensis) T.chilensis

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.

Current name:

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.

Varieties or regional forms:

Trichocereus chiloensis var. eburneus

Trichocereus chiloensis pantholipes

Trichocereus chiloensis borealis

Trichocereus chiloensis ssp. borealis Patrick Noll

Trichocereus chiloensis var. australis

Trichocereus chiloensis var. conjungens

Trichocereus chiloensis var. skottsbergii

Trichocereus skottsbergii Trichocereus chiloensis Pedro Lopez Artes JN 380 Highway Fray Jorge, Coquimbo, Chile 269m

Trichocereus skottsbergii Trichocereus chiloensis Pedro Lopez Artes JN 380 Highway Fray Jorge, Coquimbo, Chile 269m (2)

Pedro Lopez Artes

Trichocereus chiloensis var. litoralis

Trichocereus chiloensis ssp. litoralis Pedro Lopez Artes

Trichocereus chiloensis ssp. litoralis Pedro Lopez Artes (2)

Pedro Lopez Artes

Cultivation of E. chiloensis:

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 chiloensis chilensis huntington botanical gardenTrichocereus Chilensis – Huntington Botanical Garden by Richard Hipp

Jimmy Baikovicius -Echinopsis_chiloensis_(2) Trichocereus chiloensis

Jimmy Baikovicius -Echinopsis_chiloensis_(2) Trichocereus chiloensis

Jimmy Baikovicius -Echinopsis_chiloensis

Jimmy Baikovicius Echinopsis_chiloensis_(1)

Jimmy Baikovicius -Echinopsis_chiloensis_(2) Trichocereus chiloensis 22

Jimmy Baikovicius Echinopsis_chiloensis

Echinopsis chiloensis by penarc_8 Trichocereus chiloensis chilensis

Echinopsis chilensis by penarc

Echinopsis chilensis by penarc

Echinopsis chiloensis Trichocereus chiloensis scott zona scott zona Chusquea_cumingii_by_Scott_Zona

by jorge barrios Echinopsis chiloensis Trichocereus chiloensisby jorge barrios Cactus Chile

Stan Shebs Trichocereus chiloensis Echinopsis chiloensis chilensis

by Stan ShebsStan Shebs Trichocereus chiloensis Echinopsis chiloensis Chilensis

Stan Shebs Trichocereus_chiloensis

Stan Shebs Trichocereus chiloensis Echinopsis chiloensis Chilensis 2Stan shebs Trichocereus_chiloensis

milodon3 -Quisco Trichocereus chiloensis Echinopsis chiloensis Chilensismilodon3 -Quisco

pato novia Echinopsis chiloensis v. litoralis Trichocereus litoralis

pato novia Leucostele_chiloensis_(littoralis)

Raffi Kojian Gardenology.org-IMG_2370_Trichocereus chiloensis Echinopsis chiloensis ChilensisRaffi Kojian Gardenology.org

Jason Hollinger Echinopsis chiloensis Trichocereus chiloensis Chilensis

Jason Hollinger Echiopsis_chiloensis

matthias ott Echinopsis chiloensis Trichocereus chiloensis flowermatthias ott Echinopsis_sp

Trichocereus chiloensis v. skottsbergii Echinopsis chiloensis Trichocereus chiloensis ssp. skottsbergii Pato_Novoa

milodon3 Photo flower trichocereus chiloensis chilensis Echinopsis chiloensis

milodon3 Echinopsis_Chiloensis

jason hollinger Photo flower of trichocereus chiloensis chilensis Echinopsis chiloensis

jason hollinger Echinopsis_chiloensisyazz Echinopsis chiloensis Photo trichocereus chiloensis chilensisyazz Echinopsis_chiloensis_Yazz

penarc Photo trichocereus chiloensis chilensis Echinopsis chiloensis flower collaby penarc Echinopsis_chiloensis_Colla

penarc Photo trichocereus chiloensis chilensis Echinopsis chiloensispenarc Echinopsis_chiloensis

daderot Echinopsis_chiloensis_-_Palmengarten_Frankfurt Photo trichocereus chiloensis chilensis

by daderot Echinopsis_chiloensis_-_Palmengarten_Frankfurtdaderot Photo trichocereus chiloensis chilensis Echinopsis chiloensis Palmengarten Frankfurt daderot Photo trichocereus chiloensis chilensis Echinopsis chiloensis Botanical_Garden_in_Kaisaniemi,_Helsinki

daderot -Echinopsis_chiloensis_-_Botanical_Garden_in_Kaisaniemi,_Helsinki

dick culbert Photo flower of trichocereus chiloensis chilensis Echinopsis chiloensisdick culbert Echinopsis_chiloensis

dick culbert Photo flower of trichocereus chiloensis chilensis Echinopsis chiloensis

dick culbert Echinopsis_chiloensis_

Photo trichocereus chiloensis chilensis

Photos below: Trichocereus chilonsis Anda Collo Braulio Gonzales

Trichocereus chiloensis Echinopsis chiloensis Anda Collo Braulio Gonzales (4) Trichocereus chiloensis Echinopsis chiloensis Anda Collo Braulio Gonzales (2)

Trichocereus chiloensis Echinopsis chiloensis Anda Collo Braulio Gonzales (3)

Trichocereus chiloensis_v. longispinus from the Fields Collection (Rodni Kisar)

Photo Trichocereus chiloensis Rodni Kisar Trichocereus chiloensis chilensis Echinopsis chiloensis Rodni Kisar

T.chiloensis (Pedro Lopez Artes)

Trichocereus chiloensis fruit Echinopsis chiloensis Pedro Lopez Artes

E. chilensis v.longispinus (Rodni and Delia Kisar)

Trichocereus chiloensis v. longispinus from Fields Echinopsis chiloensis Rodni Kisar 2 Trichocereus chiloensis v. longispinus from Fields Echinopsis chiloensis Rodni Kisar Trichocereus chiloensis Echinopsis chiloensis Delia Kisar (3)    Photo by Michelle Killen, culture plant in the United States

Trichocereus chiloensis Echinopsis chiloensis Michelle Killen (2)

Chilensis v. longispinus Delia Kisar

Trichocereus chiloensis Echinopsis chiloensis Delia Kisar Trichocereus chiloensis Echinopsis chiloensis Delia Kisar (2)

Photo by Michelle Killen

Trichocereus chiloensis Echinopsis chiloensis Michelle Killen

Pedro Lopez Artes Trichocereus chiloensis Pedro Lopez Artes Trichocereus chiloensis Pedro Lopez Artes (2) Photo: Jason Hollinger Trichocereus chiloensis ason Hollinger

If you want to see more photos of this species or enjoyed this free article, please join our Trichocereus Facebook group or Instagram.

Also check out our other articles in our Trichocereus species database.

The history of the PC Cactus / PC Trichocereus clone

Trichocereus deserticolus / Echinopsis deserticola

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