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Echinopsis spachiana (Golden Torch)

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Scientific Name

Echinopsis spachiana (Lem.) Friedrich & G.D.Rowley

Common Names

Golden Torch, Torch Cactus, Golden Column

Synonyms

Cereus santiaguensis, Cereus spachianus, Trichocereus spachianus

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Echinopsis spachiana grows as a cactus with a columnar habit, reaching up to 7 feet (2 m) high, with a diameter of up to 2.4 inches (6 cm). Vertical branches arise from the base of the plant. Each column has 10–15 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 inch (2 cm) long, and is surrounded by 8 to 10 smaller radial spines that are up to 0.4 inch (1 cm) in length. The white flowers are up to 6 inches (15 cm) across and up to 8 inches (20 cm) long, part of which is an 3 inches (7.5 cm) long tube. In their native habitat, the flowers appear in June–July and open at night.

Hardiness

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 to the point where they slightly wilt. When you water, however, you should water deeply. The plant will noticeably plump up. It's imperative that the cactus is not 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 base of the mother plant. 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 size of the cut surface, 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

Origin

Echinopsis spachiana is native to South America.

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