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Echinopsis atacamensis subsp. pasacana (Pasacana Tree Cactus)


Scientific Name

Echinopsis atacamensis subsp. pasacana (F.A.C.Weber) G.Navarro

Common Names

Pasacana Tree Cactus, Pasakana, Cardon, Cardon Grande, Cavul


Cephalocereus pasacanus, Cereus pasacana, Echinopsis formosissima, Echinopsis pasacana

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Trichocereeae
Genus: Echinopsis


Echinopsis atacamensis subsp. pasacana is a large cactus with a columnar habit, sometimes branching to become tree-like, distinguishing this subspecies from Echinopsis atacamensis subsp. atacamensis, which is usually unbranched and less tall. The stems are cylindrical, up to 33 feet (10 m) tall, and up to 2.6 feet (80 cm) in diameter. Flowers are rose-white, up to 6 inches (15 cm) long, and born from spring to summer on the stems' sides. The edible fruits are dark green, densely covered with hairs, and up to 2 inches (5 cm) long.

Echinopsis atacamensis subsp. pasacana (Pasacana Tree Cactus)

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USDA hardiness zone 8a to 10b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

If you can grow cacti and succulents successfully, you can likely grow the Echinopsis species without much trouble. Like many cacti, they prefer a drying period between waterings, even to the point where they slightly wilt. When you water, however, you should water deeply. The plant will noticeably plump up. The cactus mustn't be exposed to prolonged dampness and sitting water. Never let your cactus sit in a dish of water. Lastly, make sure to fertilizer during the growing season for the best results.

Echinopsis can be easily rooted from offsets, which tend to cluster around the mother plant's base. Cut offsets close to the stem, at the narrowest possible place. When rooting cacti from cuttings, let the fresh cutting dry out slightly on a paper towel and cut the cacti at the narrowest place possible. After a few days to a few weeks, depending on the cut surface's size, the cut surface should have dried out and formed a callous or slightly rough opening. Once the callous has formed, place the cutting in a rooting mixture of fast-draining cacti soil. See more at How to Grow and Care for Echinopsis.


Echinopsis atacamensis subsp. pasacana is native to Argentina and Bolivia.


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