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Echinopsis candicans (Argentine Giant)


Scientific Name

Echinopsis candicans (Gillies ex Salm-Dyck) D.R.Hunt

Common Names

Argentine Giant


Cereus gladiatus, Helianthocereus pseudocandicans, Echinopsis pseudocandicans, Trichocereus pseudocandicans, Trichocereus neolamprochlorus, Echinopsis courantii, Trichocereus candicans, Cereus candicans, Trichocereus courantii

Scientific Classification

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


Echinopsis candicans is a cactus with a shrubby growth habit. The individual stems are light green, up to 24 inches (60 cm) tall, up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, and have 9 to 11 low ribs. The large white areoles are spaced at 1.2 inches (3 cm) and produce brownish-yellow spines, with the central spines being up to 4 inches (10 cm) long and the radial spines only up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long. The fragrant white flowers are large, up to 8 inches (20 cm) across, up to 10 inches (25 cm) long, and open at night.


USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °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 candicans is native to northern and western Argentina (Monte Desert).



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