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2008 Rooted cuttings, a handy comparison
These photos were taken all at the same time, one afternoon, in the rooting house. This is the 2008 crop of cuttings rooting into new plants that will be sold to customers.
The white shade tarp used during early rooting, to reduce stress, was rolled back a couple of weeks ago with a 30% shade cloth top replacement. Boy did they love that! Now they get full sun with dappled shade from two huge sycamore tree. Perfect light to grow in without sunburn.

August 8, 2008

Cereus
Not Tricho, just plain Cereus.
Trichocereus Bridgesii
20 years ago Cactus Kate tried to interest me in some Bridgesii, but I had so much going with the San Pedro that I passed on her offer.

After she died I found a nearly dead cactus under a bench. The long 3-4 splayed out spines looked like a Bridgesii. I figured someone had stolen the planter, then trashed the specimen. It looked like a dead bush of bridgesii. Since cuttings can live for a year or more I took it home on the hope of nursing it back to health if possible.

That dehydrated bush was a challenge. At first it rotted, so I cut off the branches to root them separately, then re-cut the rooted base, let it dry and tried again. It took a year but finally it came back from the land beyond this one.

Now that dead Bridgesii is a marvelous plant, a favorite source of cuttings. One that always makes me think of Kate, the way she smiled so many years ago. Her love of plants.

Good stuff never dies.

 

Trichocereus Bridgesii v monstrose
Cacti can be normal, crested, or monstrose.

This is a Bridgesii in the monstrose (like monster) form. Some humanoids call it a penis plant but that could be wishful thinking.

Again, I found this in Cactus Kate's ghost town as a dying stump. Nursed it back to life and now it is happy in its' weirdness.

I'm not moved by crested or monstrose forms; they strike me as just sad mutants.
Trichocereus Peruvianus X San Pedro hybrid
Short spined KK242 lost DNA, or just a common Hybrid? Some crackpot was selling tiny tips of this variety so small they were weighed in grams. People apparently fell for the story line about this being a short spined KK242 that has somehow become "lost DNA" (and only you can save it).

The truth? I bought this on eBay back in 2003. A seller, no longer around, had raised a bunch of them from seed. They were described as Peruvianus X San Pedro. The seed was available from the big German cactus supplier until about 2006. I have not seen the seed offered recently.

An acquaintance in New Mexico had purchased one, liked it, and recommended that I get one. It was $20, the size of a hot dog bun, had good roots, was healthy. Since 2004 I've been propagating it as fast as I can by cuttings so I can offer specimens to my customers.

Hybrid...What?
I have little or no interest in hybrid cactus. The reason is fundamental; if this is a cross between Peruvianus and San Pedro then where are the parents? What are they like?

What Peruvianus? What San Pedro? Silence. All one can do is take the word of the seed seller, and wonder where the parents came from, what they were like.

 

For example—
Someone has a hybrid dog for sale. He tells you it is a cross between a Labrador and a Collie.

Your first response is to see the parents and their respective lineage. But there are no photos, no documentation, and the person selling the puppy never saw the lab or the collie.

So its a mutt with "a story." If you're into pure breds you won't want it. But if you're into mutts then go for it.
It's a bird! No! It's a plane! No! It's lost DNA!
No...just a hybrid...

I hope this photo says all there is to say about this variety. It's a cross between a couple of Trichocereus, one of which was probably a San Pedro.

It is not magic, is not a KK242, and it certainly does not have a collection site number for the source plant.

I love it as an orphan cactus child. It has a cool, tough guy attitude in its growing habit. It has become one of my cactus friends, allowing me to sell a few extra ones every year.

We love you hybrid. You're a little different but aren't we all?

Larger photo...



 

Trichocereus Peruvianus, Britton & Rose (KK242)
I first thought this was a Glaucus because the photo is so blue.

Here is a definite KK242 below.
Trichocereus Peruvianus, Britton & Rose (KK242)
Trichocereus Glaucus
 
Peruvian Torch
There are numerous variations of the Trichocereus Peruvianus. Subspecies have evolved in Peru's mountain valleys for centuries. In appearance they range from green-gray skin to shades of blue, and from short spines to long ones. Spine color goes from golden at emergence to brown or white.
(right) Here is one on the extreme end of long spines. Some people insist on being "experts" by naming these when they are small after the Karel Knize collection site numbers, even though everyone knows he is unreliable (my personal experience, too). I simply group all the young ones that look like the example at left, regardless of how long the spines are, under the generic name Peruvian Torch.
Click for larger size...
I call the known ones by their names, such as Bridgesii, KK242, Glaucus, etc. Those are easy. The really important thing is to grow them to mature size in ideal conditions--which takes years--before bestowing a specific name. As flower pot size plants naming is tricky. Believe me, you have to get a mature specimen to see what it really is.

The name "Peruvian Torch" is fitting because they display a burst of golden spines from the tip that look, when back lit in profile, like a candle flame—thus the name torch. (left) This photo does not show the torch effect in a convincing way. I'll have to photo one that does. For now look below at the Spachianus tip below. Those are often common named "Golden torch". See why?

Trichocereus Spachianus

A wonderful young lady named Heidi gave me my first one. She came home for the summer after graduating from college with a degree in horticulture. Her parents had sold the family house without bothering to tell her so they could retire in rural California. She was miffed at having to take her stuff suddenly as the house sold. So she gifted me a Spachianus about 3 feet tall. Thanks Heidi!

 

Trichocereus Spachianus
Nice black hair you got there.
Trichocereus Pachanoi, AKA San Pedro
Here is a nicely rooted 2008 cutting (new plant). The fresh green top growth is a result of its root system kicking in.

I knew an Asian guy who pronounced it "Pa-CHAN-oi" like the guy who named it was an Asian named Chan.

I say "PACK-noi", others say "PACK-ah-noi".

Aaaah...potato/pa-tot-o, tomato/tom-AHH-toe...

Trichocereus Pachanoi, AKA San Pedro
Here is another newly rooted cutting (now a new plant).
Trichocereus Pachanoi, AKA San Pedro
Here is another newly rooted cutting (now a new plant).
Trichocereus Peruvianus v "Fastest" (unidentified)
This is my monster. Norm gave me a single column section cutting in 2004 that sprouted 3-tips. And they have been tripling, quadrupling every year since.

Spine length is short in shade, longer in full sun. Very vigorous, fat habit.

More...

What is it? Where did it come from? Ah, these are the mysteries of the world.
Trichocereus v ?... not sure what it is
This was another stray rescued from the ghost town of Cactus Kate's old place. A withered stump in a clay pot. It had gone dormant without water.

It came back to life slowly in 2006. It appears to be a giant form of San Pedro. Have to grow it out, get some larger specimens from the few cuttings that exist.

A Trichocereus inter-variety love story
"If we try...maybe we can make it work."

"But my parents..."

"Oh, Blue, I love you! I feel so safe when you're near me..."

"I love you, too, Green."

"We can live here together at Cat & Cactus Heaven, with the cats protecting us from rodents, locust, and evil spirits."

"But what about children?"

"Ok, maybe we can't have children but we can have clones..."

"I love you."

"I love you, too."

END

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