Trichocereus lamprochlorus / Echinopsis lamprochlora
Trichocereus lamprochlorus is strange species that needs investigation. There are various species associated with Trichocereus lamprochlorus / Echinopsis lamprochlora, such as Trichocereus purpureopilosus and some forms of Trichocereus candicans that are considered to be synonymous with it. The species was merged into the genus Echinopsis during Friedrich & Rowley´s merger in 1974 and named Echinopsis lamprochlora (Lemaire).
Synonyms: Trichocereus lamprochlorus, Cereus lamprochlorus, Cereus nitens salm-dyk, Trichocereus candicans, Trichocereus purpureopilosus,
The situation around Trichocereus lamprochlorus is complicated because the original description of Cereus lamprochlorus (Lemaire) and the Trichocereus lamprochlorus that we know today are two different plants. It is unknown what kind of plant Lemaire was describing as Cereus lamprochlorus, but the description differs greatly from our modern Trichocereus lamprochlorus. One of the two plants associated with this name is a medium sized Trichocereus that pups very strongly from the base and grows in groups of many side-arms. The other one is a classical columnar cactus that grows upwards and tends to get a lot bigger than the other type. Both are totally different types of cacti, but were at some point, described as the same plant. The columnar growing type of this plant is the one that´s generally accepted as Trichocereus lamprochlorus today. Trichocereus lamprochlorus belongs to a very variable complex involving numerous closely related or visually similar species. Despite the fact that the two plants known as Trichocereus lamprochlorus are different types of cacti, they might still belong to the same group of plants and just be examples of different forms belonging to different populations. It is also possible that the columnar version is what´s shown on the photos below, and the smaller clumping cactus is the forum that was later described as Trichocereus purpureopilosus. Both of them are related and show visual similarities, but differ greatly in regards to their type of growth.
Photos of Trichocereus lamprochlorus
Copyright: Ben Kamm, Sacred Succulents.com
These pics were shot in Tiatako, Cochabamba, Bolivia. They show a regional form related to the type that we regard as Trichocereus lamprochlorus today. It has up to 15 ribs, strong spines, a reddish touch around the spines, a very bright green epidermis, 10-15 radial spines and 4 middle spines. The flower of the originally described plant was not know.
Britton & Rose already had problems with the two mixed up plants mentioned before and tried to get to the bottom of it. Without success. The other version of Trichocereus lamprochlorus was also described as “Trichocereus neolamprochlorus”. It is a plant that´s very similar and even related to Trichocereus candicans. This plant stays relatively small, pups from the bottom, has a bright green epidermis that later changes to a sickly looking yellow color. The plants can get up to 10 centimeters in diameter, have between 8-12 ribsm, spines with a reddish touch. Its flowers are up to 25 centimeters large, white, covered with black wool. This type originally grows around Cordoba in Argentina and is a different type of cactus, one which is close to Trichocereus candicans. Due to the chaotic history, the nomenclaturic situation around these plants is convoluted.T
The One on the lower left! The one on the right is Echinocactus grusonii! by Christian Bortes!
This is a really roughed up specimen, but it´s one of the few pics I have of it.