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Trichocereus tarijensis / Echinopsis tarijensis

Trichocereus tarijensis poco orurensis

The species trichocereus tarijensis, also known as Echinopsis tarijensis or Trichocereus poco, is a columnar cactus. Today it is separated through various subspecies that all count as part of Trichoereus tarijensis.

Currently valid names

Echinopsis tarijensis +

Echinopsis tarijensis ssp. herzogiana / Trichocereus herzogianus

Echinopsis tarijensis ssp. tarijensis / Trichocereus tarijensis

Echinopsis tarijensis ssp. totorensis / Trichocereus totorensis

In addition the species Trichocereus poco / Echinopsis poco is seen as part of Trichocereus tarijensis as well.

Trichocereus tarijensis is a massive and spiny Trichocereus species. Its many forms make it difficult to clearly separate some regional forms, which is why the whole complex should rather be seen as a group of very similar regional forms that ll belong to the same species. It is partially synonymous with trichocereus totorensis, Trichocereus bertramianus and Trichocereus poco.

Type locality

The type locality is Tarija in Bolivia and it grows throughout southwest and south Bolivia, parts of Argentina and the Andes.


Trichocereus Poco, Helianthocereus poco, Cereus tarijensis, Lobivia formosa ssp. tarijensis, Trichocereus herzogiana, Helianthocereus herzogiana, Helianthocereus tarijensis, Trichocereus totorensis, Helianthocereus totorensis, Trichocereus narvaecensis, Trichocereus narvaezensis, Trichocereus bertramianus, Echinopsis bertramiana, Echinopsis narvaecensis, Trichocereus orurensis, Echinopsis orurensis, etc.

Description of T.tarijensis

Typically, Trichocereus tarijensis has 15-25 ribs, can get up to 40 centimeters in diameter with spines that can get 1-10 centimeters long. Spines yellowish in color. 1-5 Middle thorns and up to 45 radial thorns. The spines are usually long and are pointing downwards, what gives Trichocereus tarijensis a great protection against anything trying to eat it. The diameter can reach a stunning 40-50 centimeters. Young specimens are very similar to Trichocereus pasacana, but are a lot more spiny, especially later on.


Red to pink to milky white and over 10 centimeters in lenght. Green fruits, up to 5 centimeters in lenght. 3 centimeters in diameter. There is great variation within the look of the flowers and while some can be more rose-colored, some others look more reddish.

And also the rest of the plant can be greatly variable, which is the reason that this species caused a lot of confusion due to numerous descriptions of plants that somehow seem to belong into the same complex. A lot of the species inside Backeberg´s genus “Helianthocereus” belong into the Tarijensis group, that now consists of a handful of subspecies, instead of varieties. That is a fine but very important difference and I tend to agree that this is exactly the right way to classify this group of impressive giants that can be found all over the Andes.

Photos of Trichocereus tarijensis

Trichocereus tarijensis ssp. poco

Pic: Prier

Trichocereus poco Trichocereus tarijensis ssp. poco Echinopsis tarijensis 2

Trichocereus Tarijensis Poco350

Trichocereus poco Trichocereus tarijensis ssp. poco Echinopsis tarijensis 6

Trichocereus poco, which is probably synonymous with Tr. tarijensis

Trichocereus Tarijensis Poco352

Trichocereus Poco, which is probably synonymous with Trichocereus Tarijensis

This is a herbarium specimen, Copyright: Ben Kamm,

Trichocereus poco Trichocereus tarijensis ssp. poco Echinopsis tarijensis



Trichocereus poco Trichocereus tarijensis ssp. poco Echinopsis tarijensis 12

Evasaco Jardin_Botanico_de_Altura-Tilcara-Jujuy

Jujuy- by Marian ocecowski QuebradaDeHumahuaca

by Evasaco Jardin_Botanico_de_Altura-Tilcara-Jujuy

Trichocereus poco Trichocereus tarijensis ssp. poco Echinopsis tarijensis 14

Young specimen of Trichocereus poco, also known as Trichocereus tarijensis v. poco. You can perfectly see the similarity to Trichocereus Pasacana and Terscheckii. The plant is a lot more spiny though and that´s exactly how you can differentiate it.

Trichocereus Herzogianus ssp Totorensis367

This plant was labeled Trichocereus Herzogianus ssp. Totorensis. It is also the same plant called Trichocereus Totorensis, Helianthocereus Totorensis or the new name Trichocereus Tarijensis ssp. Totorensis.

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