Trichocereus Smrzianus – Echinopsis Smrzianus Backeberg
Backeberg described this plant in his KAKTUS ABC, a book that was not really widely available. Besides the species is highly controversial because this plant is probably synonymous with some forms of Soehrensia.
Synonyms: Trichocereus Smrziana, Soehrensia Smrziana, Soehrensia Smrzianus, Echinopsis Smrzianus
Origin: Argentina, Salta
Description: Grows alone or in groups of larger clusters. It has a large, round body and reaches a maximum diameter of 2 meters and can get up to 60-70 centimeters tall. The plant is extremely variable and can grow like a clustering cactus or in a columnar way, very similar to Trichocereus Spachianus. It has between 10-15 ribs and only grows at one locaction at the location of the typus. That makes this cactus extremely rare, though it is generally available and sometimes shows up in cactus collections. The fact that the plant has so many ribs, makes it distinguishable from plants like Trichocereus Candicans or Spachianus. The bigger the plants get, the broader the ribs are, what gives it a very typical Soehrensia look and it´s definitely closer to Soehrensia than to Trichocereus.
Spines: The very thin spines are usually yellow to white. Plants can have between 8-15 spines on one areole but Trichocereus Smrzianus is extremely variable, what makes it so hard to ID. However, the fact that it only grows on one location in Chachipampa should make the id pretty easy. It has betwen 1-4 middle spines that are up to 3 centimeters long.
Flowers: Trichocereus Smrzianus flowers white. The plant flowers from the upper part of the body, what you can see on the featured image very well. The flowers get between 10-20 centimeters long and look very similar to the ones on Trichocereus Tarijensis.
Fruit: Trichocereus Smrzianus has a round, green fruit that is between 2-5 centimeters in diameter and taste very nicely. The name is a really bad example of how a name should not be. Not sure how it is in your language but in mine, it sounds like you get a seizure while biting your tongue off.
The taxonomic status of the genus Soehrensia was very inconsistent and taxonomists have moved them back and forth from Trichocereus to Echinopsis a couple times now. After the merger with Echinopsis, taxonomy went full circle and re-declared Soehrensia as an accepted genus and it seems like it might stay like that. However, the plant is definitely close to Trichocereus Tarijensis and it´s definitely possible that Trichocereus Smrzianus is just a natural hybrid between Trichocereus Tarijensis and another plant from it´s direct neighborhood.
Emőke Dénes Echinopsis_smrziana_-_Kew_Gardens
Oslo Sukkulentforening Soehrensia_smrziana
by Michael Wolf Echinopsis smrziana
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