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Trichocereus Validus Monv. aka Echinopsis Valida
Synonyms: Cereus validissimus, Echinopsis valida, Echinopsis validus, Echinopsis Robbinsoniana, Cereus forbesii, Trichocereus forbesii, cereus forbesii, Echinopsis Rhodotricha, Trichocereus Rhodotricha, Trichocereus Terscheckii
Trichocereus Validus grows like a tree and can get up to 40 centimeters in diameter. It is not as thick as Trichocereus Terscheckii, with which it is closely related to. So far, it is not known what the original location of the plant labeled Trichocereus Validus was but it was probably Bolivia. In Bolivia, there are many forms and intermediates of Trichocereus Terscheckii and some of them resemble Trichocereus Validus dramatically. My personal impression is that Trichocereus Validus is just one particular type of Trichocereus Terscheckii.
Ribs: 10-12. Older specimens have more ribs, which is pretty typical. There are very little spines around the upper half of the body, what makes it look like nearly spineless Terscheckii.
The areoles are between 2,5 and 3,5 centimeters apart of each other. 5-10 radial spines that are up to 4 centimeters long with a very typical outwards pointing spine, which is actually the lowest on the areole. In addition, Trichocereus Validus has approximately 1-2 middle spines. 5-10 centimeters long. Spines have a very small but visible rounded spine base. The spine color is yellow, similar to the one on Trichocereus Terscheckii.
Flower: White. Similar to Trichocereus Terscheckii and between 10-15 centimeters long and up to 15 centimeters in diameter. Gray-brown hairs on the flower and white petals.
Fruit: Round fruit with wool & hairs on top of it.
There are various Plants with that label that are floating around in cactus collections! Until today, it is unclear what plant was actually described because the description was done after a bad photo. Now, there is a Pic titled Trichocereus Validus or Echinopsis Valida that shows a very close relative of Trichocereus Terscheckii. While it has pretty unique Spination, it´s very likely that it is some variety of Trichocereus Terscheckii.
Sources for Seed & live cuttings of Trichocereus Validus: I am very proud that we could pin this lost plant down in the past years, what made it possible for a couple of growers to spread this remarkable plant. The First grower that helped tremendously to spread Trichocereus Validus is Misplant.net! He uses his mother plant to make a couple crosses every year and you can buy seed through his Seed store on Misplant! Besides, this plant is available in Australia, where some growers trade away a few cuttings or seeds per year. In addition, you can get seeds of Trichocereus Validus from Sacred Succulents but I haven’t seen their mother plant yet. I will add new sources for this plant in this article but at the moment, I do not know more. I also want to let you guys know that there is no alternative source for seeds in case Misplant stops growing and spreading them, so get some while they are available.
Cultivation & frost tenderness: Trichocereus Validus is very similar to Trichocereus Terscheckii and everything I wrote about the cultivation of it apply here too. They can take slight night frosts, but it should not go over -5° to -7° celsius. They need to be dry and the average minimum temperature should be around 10° celsius. Trichocereus Validus is extremely thick and it needs a large pot.
The Plant here was found on ebay and has many similarities to Trichocereus Validus. Chances are, it´s just some Terscheckii with a similar Spination. But since Trichocereus Validus is most likely nothing else than some Terscheckii Variety it´s not really possible to clear this up.
Now the next Plant is really interesting. It is what many growers call the FIELDS Validus. It grows on a private property in Australia and the Owner originally bought some Seeds of Friedrich Ritters Collection of Trichocereus Validus and grow it out into a gigantic Monster of Awesomeness! The Plant is identical with the Plant shown in Backebergs Cactaceae and IS most likely the Terscheckii Variety that is known as Trichocereus Validus.
This Plant grows in the Huntington Botanical Garden and is labeled Echinopsis Robinsoniana . It is actually the plant that came to fame as Trichocereus Validus. It´s probably a variety of Trichocereus Terscheckii and chances are that there are seeds labeled as that available on the market. So whenever you encounter Echinopsis Robinsoniana or Terscheckii varieties from Bolivia, it might be the plant that was once called Trichocereus Validus. I am beyond doubt that Trichocereus Validus didn´t suddenly cease to exist in cultivation but simply carries another label these days.
Trichocereus Validus – Huntington Botanical Garden – by Richard Hipp
Echinopsis Robinsoniana Numen Nudum (Trichocereus Validus)
This Plant is labelled Echinopsis Robinsoniana and looks very much look the Trichocereus Validus, pictured in Backebergs CACTACEAE. Personally, I am absolutely sure that Echinopsis Robinsoniana is just a synonym for Trichocereus Validus. Currently, I am not aware of any seed or plant sources to test this claim because it´s a rare plant. And most of those found in nature would probably be labeled Trichocereus Terscheckii or Trichocereus Pasacana. So I would recommend to take a close look at Terscheckiis on the market. Because sometimes, they can be much more than just a standard Terscheckii. There are countless varieties, forms and intermediates and there is a great amount of variety within the whole group of the large andean Trichocereus.