Echinopsis spachiana (Lem.) Friedrich & G.D.Rowley
Golden Torch, Torch Cactus, Golden Column
Cereus santiaguensis, Cereus spachianus, Trichocereus spachianus
Echinopsis spachiana is a columnar cactus that grows up to 7 feet (2 m) tall, branching from its base at the ground level. The stems are up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter and have 10 to 15 rounded ribs. The large areoles are up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) apart and have wavy yellow hairs. The straight spines are red-yellow initially, fading to white as they age. The central spine is up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long, surrounded by 8 to 10 smaller radial spines, which are up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) long. Flowers are white, up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter and up to 8 inches (20 cm) long, part of which is a 3 inches (7.5 cm) long tube. In their native habitat, the flowers appear in June and July 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 too much trouble. Like many cacti, they prefer a drying period between waterings, even when 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 spachiana is native to South America.
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