Trichocereus litoralis – Echinopsis chiloensis ssp. litoralis
This beautiful Trichocereus species 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.
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.
The photos below: Photos: Ármin Bindics
Photos below: Pedro Lopez Artes