Trichocereus schoenii / Echinopsis schoenii
Trichocereus schoenii is a South Peruvian Trichocereus species that Backeberg described and named after E. Schön, who assisted him financially on his trips. Mr. Schön was from Arequipa, which is where one of the most important habitats of this species is. However, the species is not limited to that area and merges with other species from Central Peru like Trichocereus knuthianus. Trichocereus schoenii usually grows in the company of some Corryocactus species and there are also some other Trichocereus species that grow at the same sites.
Trichocereus schoenii resembles Trichocereus santaensis, but differs from it by the long central spine and a slightly different areole shape and rib shape. You need to look very closely to keep it apart, and it´s usually the typical spination that allows you to recognize it as what it is. It´s a very rare and beautiful species which is very rare in cultivation. The plants that are available are usually mislabeled.
Trichocereus schoenii belongs to Trichocereus cuzcoensis same as T. knuthianus does, but there are many differences and I hope to see some cladistic studies about this species one day. The species usually has seven ribs (as seen in the photos) and the spines can get up to 8 centimeters long. You can read a more detailed description including some habitat photos in my SAN PEDRO book.
I also have some Trichocereus schoenii seeds in my shop sometimes. It´s a beautiful species that´s not common enough and I really hope that nurseries pick it up to propagate in order to allow a conservation of the species. Many plantings of Trichocereus schoenii are destroyed by landscaping and I would hate to see this remarkable Trichocereus species vanish within the next 50 years. I will add more photos of Trichocereus schoenii to this page and if you have some Trichocereus photos from the Arequipa area or South Peru in general, please let me know.
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