Trichocereus Werdermannianus

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Trichocereus Werdermannianus Backeberg & Knuth, Kaktus ABC

Trichocereus Werdermannianus is an old Name that is no longer accepted. The Plant was “discovered” by Curt Backeberg, who named it after the german Botanist Werdermann. It is now considered a nomen nudum, which can be translated to “bullshit name”. Pardon, it means it´s not  a valid species.

I actually wanted to leave this “species” or “variety” out completely, but because there seems to be a very large number of plants with that label floating around on the market and I felt the need to jump over my Shadow.

The plants labeled Trichocereus Werdermannianus are usually misidentified Trichocereus Taquimbalensis or Tacaquirensis. For example, there are a few seed & plant distributors that sell cacti labeled Trichocereus Werdermannianus. The form that I encounter the most with that name is probably the original type that Backeberg once called “Trichocereus Werdermannianus” and it´s an intermediate between Trichocereus Taquimbalensis and Trichocereus Terscheckii.

That plant is a very interesting giant from the large complex surrounding Trichocereus Terscheckii. Most if not all specimens I ever saw had a very dark green epidermis and a spination that looks like a mix of Trichocereus Taquimbalensis and Trichocereus Terscheckii.

I included the Description from Backeberg´s Book below. In a Nutshell, he is saying that Trichocereus Werdermannianus is very similar to Terscheckii and Validus, but has flowers that usually emerge from the top of the plant, while the former would have flowers that appear at lower regions of the plants body. We couldn´t really find out if this is true but even if that´s the case, it would not deserve to be called anything else but a Variety of Trichocereus Terscheckii/Pasacana (now, Echinopsis). If at all. Modern taxonomy tends to lump similar Families together, and it would most likely include regional Varieties in the bigger species´. In this Case, probably Echinopsis Terscheckii.

Flowers: White

The plant is said to reach a size of 5 meters and a maximum diameter of 65 centimeters. Young plants have more than ten ribs while adult specimens can have 14+ ribs. The plant has ten spines that are between 5 and 10 centimeters long, color between yellow and yellowish brown. Many flowers that pup up around the apex of the plant. The flowers are up to 22 centimeters long. The fruit is up to 4 centimeters in diameter and has many white or black hairs.

Seeds are usually 1,4 mm large, but that is also influenced by other factors, like parentage.

Origin: Bolivia, typus location is in the Charcoma Valley, east of Tupiza but also present around Potosi. It is very likely that Trichocereus Taquimbalensis from the region around those aforementioned locations is actually Trichocereus Werdermannianus. It is obviously related to Trichocereus Taquimbalensis. but I think it is NOT synonymous.

The first Two Pictures are in Fact the plant that Backeberg understood as Trichocereus Werdermannianus. Pictures from the unspeakable Thunderhorse! 😉 In Front on the lower left: True Validus! Please note that some pics on this page actually show plants labeled Trichocereus Werdermannianus, but are actually Trichocereus Taquimbalensis. I included them because they were labeled like that.

gallery_14443_734_287882 Trichocereus Werdermannianus and Validus

Werdermannianus seed

werdermanianus mutant

wendermanianus KK1094 mutant


The three pics above show seedlings that were raised from KK1094 Trichocereus Werdermannianus seed. Please note that those seedlings actually show a Trichocereus Taquimbalensis var. Wilkae instead of the plant (very similar) type that we know as Trichocereus Werdermannianus.
Knize used this number for two plants. First, Trichocereus Giganteus and then Trichocereus Werdermannianus. Maybe he wasn’t sure about the ID, called it Tr. Giganteus and changed it to Tr. Werdermannianus later on. Both plants are collected in Otavi, Bolivia. Giganteus at 3200 Meters and Werdermannianus at 3500m. But again, it´s a Taquimbalensis. Pics: MUTANT.

This is Trichocereus Werdermannianus KK917 from Karel Knize. Pic from Interbeing! Obviously a Taquimbalensis:

Werdermannianus KK917

This One is Trichocereus Werdermannianus in the Botanical Garden in Adelaide. Pic from ZED! Thank you Bro! The plant is also in reality a Taquimbalensis.  I guess it´s safe to say that most Seed labeled as Trichocereus Werdermannianus is in Fact Trichocereus Taquimbalensis.

Werdermannianus from Adelaide botanic garden759Werdermannianus from Adelaide botanic garden5443765Werdermannianus from Adelaide botanic garden 5443772Werdermannianus from Adelaide botanic garden

Orignal Text from Claus Backeberg in German:

Trichocereus werdermannianus Backb g. — Backeberg & Knuth, Kaktus-
ABC, 206, 412. 1935
Bis 5 m hoch; Stamm bis 1 m hoch und bis 60 cm ∅; Rippen ca. 10, später 14
und mehr, 2 cm hoch; Areolen 2,5 cm entfernt; St. am Jungtrieb ca. 10, mittlere

kaum unterschieden, bis 7 cm lang, gelblich bis bräunlichgelb bzw. hornfarbig;
Bl., wenn zahlreich vorhanden, ± kranzförmig um den Scheitel oder scheitelnah;
bis 20 cm lang; Gr. weiß, kaum die Staubb. überragend; N. 15—19; Fr. kugelig,
3,5 cm ∅, lange, aber nicht sehr zahlreiche schwarze und weiße Haare tragend;
S. 1,3 mm groß, mützenartig, rauh punktiert. — B o l i v i e n (von mir, als Typort,
im Charcoma-Tal, östlich von Tupiza gefunden, von Cardenas auch in den
trockenen interandinen Tälern der Departements Potosi und Chuquisaca, auf
ca. 2600 m Durchschnittshöhe der Vorkommen) (Abb. 1054—1055). Während Trichocereus validus und T. terscheckii seitlich ± weit herab blühen,
ist T. werdermannianus durch seine nur hochsitzenden Bl. eindeutig unterschieden.
Sie alle scheinen nach den viel längeren Bl. und der sich nie verändernden
Stachelbildung an den Spitzen großer Pflanzen echt trichocereoide Riesenformen
zu sein, die (zum Teil) auch nachts geöffnete Bl. zeigen, wie ich zumindest an zwei
Arten beobachtete.
„Trichocereus pasacana“ dagegen scheint die größten Formen der Helianthocereus-
Formengruppe zu bilden, mit kürzeren Bl., gedrungeneren Röhren und an
alten Exemplaren bzw. solchen an hohen Standorten mit borstenartig elastischen
St., wie sie den Hochlands-Helianthocereus-Arten eigentümlich sind. Ich habe
daher Trichocereus pasacana auch zu Helianthocereus gestellt. Er ist zudem Tagblüher,
soweit bekannt.

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