Trichocereus smrzianus / Echinopsis smrziana
Backeberg described Trichocereus smrzianus / Echinopsis smrziana in his KAKTUS ABC, a book that did not get a very wide release. Besides the description is highly controversial because it basically re-describes various forms of Echinopsis schickendantzii / Trichocereus schickendantzii and Trichocereus walteri that are barely on the level of a regional form.
Synonyms: Trichocereus smrzianus, Soehrensia smrziana, Soehrensia smrzianus, Echinopsis smrzianus, Echinopsis smrziana, Trichocereus schickendantzii, Echinopsis schickendantzii, Trichocereus walteri, Echinopsis walteri, etc.
Origin of Trichocereus smrzianus:
Description of Echinopsis smrziana:
This species 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 like Trichocereus schickendantzii or in a columnar way, very similar to Trichocereus spachianus. It has 10-15 ribs and only grows at one location, which was also described as the type locality. T.smrzianus is extremely rare, though it is sometimes available on the commercial 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 Trichocereus spachianus. Young plants can look almost identical though, which is why identification of this species should not be done on juvenile plants. The bigger the plants, the broader the ribs are, what gives it a very typical Soehrensia look and it looks much closer to Soehrensia than to Trichocereus.
Spines of T.smrzianus:
The very thin spines are usually yellow to white. Plants have 8-15 spines on one areole, but Trichocereus smrzianus is extremely variable, what makes it so hard to ID. If you encounter the plants in the field it should be fairly easy to identify because it only grows on one location in Chachipampa, Argentina. It has 1-4 middle spines that are up to 3 centimeters long.
Flowers of E.smrziana:
Trichocereus smrzianus has white flowers, almost identical to the ones on T. schickendantzii. Overall it is a form of the latter, which means it is very hard to distinguish it from it. 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.
Trichocereus smrzianus has a round, green fruit that is between 2-5 centimeters in diameter and tastes very nicely. The name is a really bad example of how a name should not be. Not sure how it sounds in your language but in mine it sounds like having a seizure while biting your tongue off.
The taxonomic status of this group of plants was very inconsistent and due to the fact that there is a relationship to the genus Soehrensia, taxonomists have moved them back and forth from Trichocereus to, Soehrensia and Echinopsis 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 schickendantzii and it´s definitely possible that Trichocereus smrzianus is just a natural hybrid between Trichocereus schickendantzii and a different species like Trichocereus tarijensis, or a regional form of the Trichocereus schickendantzii group.
Emőke Dénes Echinopsis_smrziana_-_Kew_Gardens
Oslo Sukkulentforening Soehrensia_smrziana
by Michael Wolf Echinopsis smrziana
Photos below: Trichocereus smrzianus by Leanne Kelly
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