Trichocereus manguinii is an older species described by Curt Backeberg. It is very rare, but can be found sporadically in Australia under the name Trichocereus WK. I have absolutely no idea what WK stands for but the name Trichocereus manguinii goes back to Backeberg, who tried to describe it as a species. Sometimes, people post plants of Trichocereus manguinii in our Trichocereus Facebook group. Most of the plants we encountered were probably brought into circulation by Backeberg himself or Friedrich Ritter in the early days of worldwide cactus trade.
A columnar Trichocereus schickendantzii?
The plant looks like a mix between Trichocereus schickendantzii and a Trichocereus terscheckii. It is very often confused with Trichocereus terscheckii and people are usually surprised to find out that this plant rather belongs into the complex around Trichocereus schickendantzii. It is basically a columbar version of T.schickendantzii that´s a bit thicker and has red flower buds instead of green ones on Trichocereus schickendantzii. The color of the epidermis is usually very dark green.
Description of Trichocereus manguinii
Upright growing columnar cactus that usually pups very strongly from the base. The plant tends to form a lot of shoots and can form small group of plants very fast. Trichocereus Manguinii reaches a size of up to 120 centimeters and a maximum diameter of up to 15 centimeters. It has 18-21 ribs. The body of Trichocereus Manguinii has a dark green body, that differentiates it from similar lookalikes. Trichocereus Shaferi is similar for example, but it isnt as green as this one and has a lot less ribs.
The areoles are somewhat sunken in and usually have a dominant white fluff covering them. It has 10-12 radial spines and up to 4 middle spines than can get up to 0,5 centimeters long.
Flowers: The flowers are usually white and reddish/brown sepals that are covered with scales. The flowers can get up to 15 centimeters long and are very massive, compared to Trichocereus Schickendantzii. Trichocereus Manguinii forms a lot of flowers that are coming from all over the plant, including from the areoles.
Origin of T.manguinii
: Probably Argentina. But there was great confusion surrounding this plant because it was mostly known as a collection plant. One very large plant was located in the collection of Mr. Rivierre but I have no idea what happened to it. This plant is really rare today and will probably not come labeled under the “correct” name. The name was not accepted, which is why I chose the quotation marks. Trichocereus Manguinii is now integrated into Trichocereus Schickendantzii, though this large monster of a cactus is definitely different from what I know as Tr. Schickendantzii. But since the plant is extremely rare, it´s probably not really high on any modern Taxonomist´s “To-Do” list to re-classify it.
As there are many Trichos from around the time of Backeberg and Ritter growing in Australia, this plant can be found sometimes over there. I´ve seen two of them recently that were posted in our Trichocereus group and I really hope to get some more pics and/or seeds in the future. It´s an amazing plant that usually comes labeled “Trichocereus WK”. If someone has an idea what it might mean, please let me know.
Where to buy seeds or plants of Trichocereus Manguinii?
Well, this plant is currently not available anywhere in the world. I am trying to get some seeds and if I should ever locate a source, I´ll let you know. Until then you can try hitting our Facebook group or the other social media profiles for cuttings. The most plants can be found in Australia and you can sometimes get seeds from breeders like Cactilicious.com.au or Trichocereus.com.au