The trichocereus cactus genus — commonly referred to as San Pedro or Peruvian Torch cacti — consists of approximately 30 cacti species. This genus is predominantly native to the vast Andes Mountain region, including the Peruvian highlands, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Although this genus has been reclassified as echinopsis, it is still commonly referred to as trichocereus.
With psychoactive properties, the echinopsis pachanoi species in this genus was used for thousands of years in early Andean civilization. As a primary medical ingredient of the shamans of that time, this versatile cactus genus is also used in traditional medicine for humans and animals alike.
Botanical Description of Trichocereus Catcus
The rapidly-growing cylindrically stemmed cacti of this genus can grow to a height of twenty-five feet in the wild or 10 feet plus in greenhouses. These cacti typically grow much faster than most other cactus genus and quickly form numerous branches even when young.
Their stems can vary from 2.5″ to 8″ in diameter, have six to eight uniformly even ribs, and hold branches that extend vertically from the plant. In some exceptions, these cacti may instead have creeping branches and smooth green-blue skin.
Regardless of the branch structure, these cacti produce juicy fruits and have significant, conical flowers that are white, yellow, or more rarely red. At night, the scent of their flowers is powerful, and when they are not in bloom, they have a black hue. In addition, the part of the plant from which the flowers grow — the receptacle — is typically thickly covered in hairs.
Cultivation of Trichocereus Cactus
Today, the trichocereus cactus genus is commonly available in most cactus nurseries and botanical gardens worldwide. In particular, vast numbers of trichocereus pachanoi are cultivated in California, both for decorative purposes and their psychoactive properties.
How To Grow
While the trichocereus cactus can be grown from its own seeds, it can also be propagated from cuttings. Reproducing this cactus from cuttings requires simply planting a piece of the cactus directly into the soil, without additional moisture and allowing time for it to shoot its own roots out.
How To Care For
The trichocereus cactus genus thrives in both moist and dry regions and does very well in the Californian climate. Native to the humid and rainy areas of the Andes mountains, the trichocereus cactus is used to having large amounts of irrigation and tends to grow quite quickly with daily watering. However, it is also known to survive with little maintenance, including months without water. Additionally, cuttings taken from the cactus have also been known to survive for years and may even develop shoots without water and food.
For cultivators and preservationists looking to purchase or sell seeds, plants, growing additives, and more, finding reputable sources for the trichocereus cactus genus can be challenging. Fortunately, with the increasing popularity of online shopping, cactus and other succulent growers can do business from anywhere in the world and the Trichocereus Market is here to assist with that. Alternatively, take a look at our new but growing forum section to keep up to date with different vendor reviews.