pachanoi & pachanot: Topic 2

Image

South American Trichocereus pachanoi
compared to
the predominate “pachanot” cultivated in the USA

 

  This page is a bit image heavy. . . 

  As was mentioned previously, I began referring to this as pachanoi PC out of laziness, namely when growing tired of typing or speaking using ‘the predominate cultivar of Trichocereus pachanoi‘ as a noun. Or PC could as easily refer to the ‘predominate clone’ since it does seem to be produced entirely vegetatively despite it freely flowering & readily hybridizing — or *maybe* it should stand for politically correct,  I don’t know.  (I do know that I have grown to doubt that it is actually a pachanoi and am presently suspecting it may be a pachanoi  hybrid. Let’s come back to that later.)
  Questions have been raised about the culturecentrism of this “PC” view as a basis for a designation. As it is not necessarily the predominate cultivar elsewhere in the world this term PC needed abandonment and replacement.  Not for sake of proposing a name but simply to be able to have a unique noun to be able use as a term of reference so we can discuss the matter.
   As a result, in this discussion it is jokingly referred to as Trichocereus pachanot.
  This is the primary Western cultivar sold in the US under the names Trichocereus pachanoi, San Pedro and sometimes as Echinopsis peruviana in southern California. 

   This is that same bona fide pachanoi growing in a shaman’s garden near Cuzco
(Photo copyright by Geneva Photography)

Trichocereus pachanoi near Cuzco, Peru. Copyright by Geneva Photography.

  Notice the details of the flowers and how smooth edged this plant is? Also how indented/sunken the areoles are and the planar relationship they have to the median of the rib? Take a closer look here or farther below. Now go back to Backeberg’s pachanoi photo and compare this and then compare both to the pachanot.
  Spines here and in Backeberg’s photo are shorter than on the pachanot but spine length is something that can almost be disregarded (within reason) for being a variable characteristic. When they have short spines, it is a common thing for the short expressions of the spination on pachanoi to be consistently much shorter than the already short spines of the pachanot

  Many of the trichs show ranges of characteristics rather than set characteristics so it is easy to become diverted from some important points concerning the predominate cultivar.
a) It does not match the description of pachanoi as given by Rose & others in perhaps minor but very consistent ways.
b) It is readily differentiable from the pachanoi that seems to be most common in Ecuador and Peru. This is true of its morphology, its floral elements and its fruit.
c)  Thus far it has NOT been encountered in the wild or in use among Peruvian shamans.
d) It shows characteristics of both its flower and its fruit, as well as intensely vigorous growth, that are suggestive of it being a selection derived from a hybrid.
e) It is dramatically lower in alkaloid content than a bona fide pachanoi such as would be selected for ceremonial use by a shaman in Peru.
  While a pachanoiXbridgesii is at least plausible, there are other possibilites.
  We may never know the answer with any degree of certainty – perhaps not even with a lot of work that is yet to be done.

  Below we will soon be seeing a series of typical pachanoi from South America compared to the pachanot that we most commonly have growing in the US.
   (Once you’ve had a chance to get a good comparison of those, come back to this link and then compare what you’ve learned about them to some other cultivars)

  The first images below were shared by MS Smith who brought this subject to my attention in the first place. All of these images are said to be of Ecuadorian pachanoi.
  The one on the left is said to be a photo of a voucher collected in Ecuador by Timothy Plowman. The ones on the right were said to be taken in Ecuador as well.
  I do not know their photographers.

!!_002_pachanoi_Ecuador

 

  These next two tips are both Ecuadorian pachanoi sold by Karel Knize in Lima, Peru and shipped to Texas.

!!_003_Pachanoi_EcuadorKnize

  Now this is going to start to get interesting. Or perhaps at some point it will become just boringly repetitive, so feel free to skip ahead whenever that happens to you.
  On the left below is a pachanoi in Peru and on the right is a US horticultural pachanot.
  Pay particular attention to the spination, areoles, flower buds, flowers, pericarpels, tubes, scales, hairs arising from the axils of those scales, the fruit and the contour of the ribs.

 

!!_011_pachanoi_floweringtipscompared

  Ecuadorian pachanoi from Knize (KK339) on the left and on the right pachanot

 

!!_012_pachanoi_tipscompared

 

  Ecuadorian pachanoi from Knize (KK339) on the left and on the right pachanot

 

!!_013_pachanoi_tipscompared

  bona fide pachanoi can sometimes be encountered in the US as is shown on the left (Photo by Anonymous) and on the right is our pachanot again.

 

!!_014_pachanoi_tipscompared

  Peruvian pachanoi on the left (photograph by Grizzly) and on the right pachanot.

 

!!_015_pachanoi_pachanoi_tips

  Peruvian pachanoi from Matucana (photo from Kitzu) on the left and on the right pachanot.

 

!!_016_pachanoi_columns_4

  Ecuadorian pachanoi from Knize on the left and on the right pachanot.

 

!!_017_pachanoi_stemscompared_c


Ecuadorian pachanoi from Knize on the left and on the right pachanot.

!!_018_pachanoi_stemscompared_a

  Ecuadorian pachanoi from Knize on the left and on the right pachanot.

!!_019_pachanoi_stemscompared_b

  Flower buds
  Upper left image is from Peru: Photographer is unknown to us.
  The bottom left and the entire right column are pachanot.

!!_020_pachanoi_flowerbudscompared

  Flower buds
In Peru on left (Geneva Photography)/ On right is the pachanot

!!_021_pachanoi_buds_compared

  A closer look
In Peru on left (Geneva Photography)/ On right is the pachanot

!!_022_closera

  In Peru on left (Photographer?)/ On right is the pachanot

!!_024_pachanoi_stemscompared_d

  Ovary & tube
In Peru on left (Geneva Photography)/ On right is the pachanot

!!_025_pachanoi_throatcompared

  Flower tube/receptacle
  Bona fide pachanoi growing in Oz is on left (photo by Zariat) and on right is typical US pachanot cultivar.

 

!!_026_pachanoi_flowerscompared_a

  Flowers:
  pachanoi near Cuzco, Peru on left (Geneva photography) and pachanot in Oakland, California on right

 

!!_027_pachanoi_flowerscompared_b

  Flowers & fruit:
  Peruvian pachanoi photographed by Friedrich Ritter is on the top left and two more Peruvian pachanoi are below it. The pachanot on the right were in California.

 

!!_028_pachanoi_flowerscompared_c

 

  The next image is all the US pachanot cv.
  For pachanoi the ovaries were described as being covered with black wool.
  While these typically do show very short black or dark brown hairs along the axils of the scales on the tube and similarly on the ovary/fruit they are generally obscured by white and/or light brown and/or greyish wool and can be absent. Compare this with the examples of similar locations on the floral tube, ovary and fruit on the Peruvian pachanoi shown above.

 

!!_029_hort_ovaries

 

  Fruit:
  Peruvian pachanoi on left. pachanot on right.

!!_030_pachanoi_fruit_compared

To bring this conversation back towards the elephant in the room:

 If anyone wonders WHY this cultivar now predominates the US market almost to uniformity consider that it shows intense vigor permitting commercial operations such as can be seen below.
  This shows but a small part of a single professional propagator’s mother plants:
(Photos by Anonymous)

11_pachanot_plts_a
12_pachanot_stems_b
13_pachanot_stems_c

 

   Reflect on this undeniable observation: The pachanot is much faster growing, far more cold tolerant, and is both more rot resistant and more water tolerant than a bona fide Trichocereus pachanoi. In fact if a person pumps their pachanot with water it grows almost as well as watermelons.
The simple mechanics of its vegetative propagation combined with its popularity as an ornamental obviously would favor it becoming the predominate horticultural offering over a fairly short period of time (in this case a few decades – possibly as little as around fifty years if it involved Paul Hutchison but there is also evidence suggesting it might have occurred as long ago as the 1930s if it was something from Harry Blossfeld. A more detailed discussion of the existing evidence will be appearing in the next edition of the San Pedro book which will be available on this website along with the rest of Sacred Cacti 4th edition.)

   A small group of friends and I are still actively searching for confirmation that this is what actually occurred.
  It is now so prevalent in US horticulture that it is presently fairly rare to encounter anything else being produced commercially.

   If anyone has more information concerning this plant’s origin, especially if you have facts to the contrary and/or if you can tell us its precise point of entry into US horticulture or offer any additional details, please contact us at:

 

pachanot
@
keepertrout

DOT  net

 

All photographs are copyright by their photographers.

Photos are by Keeper Trout except where indicated otherwise.

  Use your back button to return.

  To go back to the article:

pachanoi or pachanot?

Additional material to ponder: 

 


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Pachanoi or pachanot; Topic 1 Backeberg


Or more specifically why “Backeberg’s clone” is mythology

 

  I unfortunately have helped to widely propagate this mistake (now an established urban legend) in print by including it in my books Sacred Cacti and San Pedro.

  What most people refer to as Backeberg’s clone is the predominate cactus sold as Trichocereus pachanoi  in US horticulture.

  We have all no doubt seen many thousands of feet of it growing in countless people’s gardens in multiple states.

  It is even featured in the very center of the front cover of the Trout’s Notes book San Pedro which has an entire section of photographs more or less devoted to it.

  While the search is still ongoing and far from complete, thusfar I can find no proof that this plant is known from the wild.

  Just to be sure that our subject is clear, here is an example or three (all are in California):

 

Trichocereus pachanot at LAA

  And a close-up of a fairly typical tip.

Trichocereus pachanot close

  And of a fairly typical areole.

Trichocereus pachanot spines & areole close-up

 

   And another picture showing a flowering plant that is still growing at the former site of Carl Eltzner’s cactus nursery in Oakland.

Trichocereus pachanot at Eltzner's in Oakland, California

 

   This on the other hand is Backeberg’s actual photograph of a bona fide Trichocereus pachanoi taken from his 1959 Die Cactaceae. (Backeberg encountered this plant in Peru.)

This IS Backeberg's collection of  Trichocereus pachanoi from Huancabamba, Peru; taken from Die Cactaceae

 

  The differences are both subtle and not so subtle.
Whatever the pachanot turns out to be it is clearly not the same creature that Backeberg shows here. For those not yet convinced please bear with me and check out some more images of bona fide pachanoi.

 

  This next image is a bona fide pachanoi growing in shaman’s garden near Cuzco, Peru (Photo copyright Geneva Photography; reproduced here with permission.)

  Notice how nicely this matches Backeberg’s photo and how different it is from the predominate cultivar in the USA?

 

Trichocereus pachanoi near Cuzco, Peru. Copyright by Geneva Photography

 

  This preceeding image will reappear with more comments elsewhere here but I wanted to have a copy here for ease of comparison with the other images on this page.

  This next shot shows a close-up of a tip of a Peruvian pachanoi (the shininess is due to this tip cutting having been handled excessively).

Trichocereus pachanoi tip from the witches market in Lima, Peru. Copyright by Grizzly

 

For more of what appears to be the same thing
but obtained through an unrelated source

.

For a closer view of more of the same but
from Ecuador via yet another unrelated source
.

 

  Another view of another bona fide Trichocereus pachanoi in Peru.

 

Trichocereus pachanoi growing in Peru. Copyright by Grizzly

 

Both photographs above are copyright Grizzly.

 

Just to be sure that no one forgets that pachanoi can be variably spiny.

 

  We will be exploring this subject in more detail but could summarize this by saying that the plant now mistakenly called Backeberg’s clone (namely our pachanot) is not the same plant Backeberg recognized as pachanoi at Huancabamba and claims to have brought into horticulture in Germany in 1931.

  I have some questions about this latter claim as well as it appears that pachanoi may already have been *in horticulture in the USA* by, if not well before, 1930 and it does not appear that anyone in Europe or elsewhere preserved any knowledge of which European pachanoi might have come from Backeberg.

 

All photographs are © copyright by their photographers.
Photos are by Keeper Trout except where indicated otherwise.

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To go back to the article:

pachanoi or pachanot?

Additional material to ponder: 

 


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Chapter 3; distribution & occurrences

Trichocereus peruvianus P.C.Hutchison 543. (Found at 1700m)
Collected in the canyon of the Río Rímac, Huarochiri Prov., Peru

 

 

The Distribution & Occurrence of Mescaline


This chapter is intended as an overview to set the stage for the next chapter detailing the mescaline containing species. In the work which follows, most taxonomic synonyms were omitted as these are readily available in the sources cited and are primarily only of historical importance. (More detailed and ‘properly’ worded taxonomic descriptions of the plants can be found in the listed references.)

        To better assist the reader in search of more information it was thought helpful to include synonyms that are in horticultural use or used in the references included.

        Many times plants get renamed or transferred by one authority without being accepted by some or most others. In some cases, such as Stenocereus, it is not uncommon to find several different names for the same plant depending on which reference work one consults. While it is unlikely that they would be encountered and still referred to as a Cereus, as many cereoids were originally called, it is just as likely they will not be listed by MOST sources as a Stenocereus.

        Any feedback on how this could be made more useful and accessible is welcomed.

Proviso:

        It must be kept in mind that substantial differences in the alkaloid content and in the relative ratios of alkaloids present have been noted by numerous researchers. (True also in many other families.) These differences have been noted to sometimes appear seasonally, such as the higher presence of N-methylated (as compared to N-demethylated) alkaloids detected, by Lundstrom, during summer in greenhouse maintained peyote. In contrast; in the same population of plants, winter analysis found levels of N-demethylated compounds to be higher than N-methylated ones. [While he used cultivated plants, the mescaline content was comparable to most of what is collected from the wild.]

        They can vary as well according to the age of plant (young plant versus adult plant) or even by age of part (such as new growth on a large adult compared to older growth). In cacti, the actual variables effecting such reports are, usually, unknown and unstudied.

        Alkaloid content has been noticed to vary substantially in amount and/or actual even composition between varieties considered closely related by morphology, and concentrations sometimes vary widely even from one individual or locality to the next. In others even daily fluctuations have been noted; in Phalaris and Papaver, for example, alkaloid concentrations were found to be highest in the early morning. (Quantitative comparative isolations of Phalaris was reported by Appleseed.)

        Very few workers seem to concern themselves with any of this and rigorous work on this subject has rarely been performed or published.
The bottom line is that a published analysis says something about the actual material analyzed by those particular workers and can be reliably extrapolated to mean almost nothing concerning what YOU have or another person possesses. It CAN be valuable as an indication of what molecules might be anticipated but the composition and quantification of alkaloids needs to be determined on YOUR plants in order to know what you actually have. Plants do not read, listen to or follow the publications of scientists.

        [Species suggested by published analysis to be variously weak or potent have on occasion proved to be just the opposite!]

        Often the only data included is whether the plant was cultivated or collected from the wild. In many early papers we literally have to rely on the word of the workers as to the identity of what they analyzed, as vouchers for reference’s sake were never prepared and there is no physical means for confirmation.

        Fortunately, in recent decades, far more attention is being given to the importance of proper herbarium vouchers being prepared for any and all plant analysis. Even in these cases, not all workers note enough variables for their observations to be truly meaningful.

         Critical data for wild plant collections: size and approximate age, part of plant used and stage of growth, i.e. actively growing versus fully developed (if sampling only branches of large specimens), and time of harvest (time of year and time of day) should all be included along with place of origin and elevation of occurrence.

         Ideally for a voucher some comments on the local ecology and a description of habitat would also be quite valuable. This could include the plants growing around it, or with it, the immediate local conditions of occurrence [moisture, degree of sun, etc…], its apparent niche in ecosystem, and a description of the land or terrain.

         Even better would be additionally including a local soil test and/or sample, and analyzing as many parts and ages of material as possible, as well as repeated tests with the same specimens at different times of year.

         If performing repeated samplings of the same individuals; stress can become a factor capable of influencing the results. I suggest initially using pooled smaller samples of adjacent individuals within a given population. There should be additional small samples taken from several individuals within the same population that is pooled in order to check for uniformity and evaluate the degree of potential influence from outliers.

         Most plants can recover rapidly and well from light prunings. A minimum of two years time is suggested for such a series of samplings with a maximum of 6-8 trimmings. Differences in regrowth versus original growth should also be evaluated.

         The factors controlling and regulating alkaloid production would be a fascinating and productive area for future academic research. If chemotaxonomy is to ever be considered a truly useful inclusion in the repertoire of taxonomic tools, science needs to be better able to define the parameters of alkaloid production.

         Determining and taking steps to maximize alkaloid content would also be of benefit for those who view these plants as sacraments. Selection for known high alkaloid strains, or focusing on clones of specific exceptional individuals, for intensive large scale breeding and propagation efforts, would be a worthwhile avenue for everyone involved with sacramental use of these plants.

 

distribution; Opuntia-ficus-indica

a thirsty Opuntia ficus-indica growing in Australia

 

The distribution of mescaline containing species within the Cactaceae

Nonbold face specific names indicate acceptance as a species is still not widely recognized.

Family: Cactaceae

     Subfamily: Cereoideae

        Tribe Pereskieae

Pereskia corrugata 

Pereskia tampicana

          Tribe Opuntieae

Pereskiopsis scandens 

              subtribe Cylindropuntia 

Opuntia acanthocarpa 

Opuntia echinocarpa 

Opuntia imbricata 

Opuntia spinosior 

subtribe Opuntia 

Opuntia basilaris 

Opuntia ficus-indica

          Tribe Cacteae

            subtribe Cactinae 

Pelecyphora aselliformis 

            subtribe Cereinae 

Polaskia chende 

Pterocereus gaumeri 

Stenocereus beneckei 

Stenocereus eruca 

Stenocereus stellatus 

Stenocereus treleasei 

Stetsonia coryne 

Trichocereus bridgesii ***(all forms*)

Trichocereus bridgesii monstrosus *** 

Trichocereus cuzcoensis *** [Often 0.0%. See its entry.]

Trichocereus fulvilanus 

Trichocereus huanucoensis

Trichocereus macrogonus *** 

Trichocereus pachanoi *** 

Trichocereus pachanoi monstrosus

Trichocereus pallarensis *** 

Trichocereus peruvianus *** 

Trichocereus peruvianus monstrosus

Trichocereus puquiensis *** 

Trichocereus puquiensis monstrosus

Trichocereus santaensis *** 

Trichocereus schoenii *** 

Trichocereus scopulicola *** 

Trichocereus sp. W.Baker 5452 ** 

Trichocereus cv. SS01, SS02, SS03

Trichocereus cv. TJG *** 

Trichocereus sp. Torres & Torres: N. Chile

Trichocereus cv. “Unknown C”

Trichocereus sp. aff. huanucoensis

Trichocereus strigosus 

Trichocereus taquimbalensis

Trichocereus terscheckii *** 

Trichocereus thelegonoides 

Trichocereus uyupampensis *** (Erroneous ID)

Trichocereus validus 

Trichocereus vollianus 

Trichocereus werdermannianus *** 

            subtribe Echinocactinae 

Aztekium ritteri 

Gymnocalycium achirasense 

Gymnocalycium asterium 

Gymnocalycium baldianum 

Gymnocalycium calochlorum 

Gymnocalycium carminanthum 

Gymnocalycium comarapense 

Gymnocalycium denudatum 

Gymnocalycium gibbosum 

Gymnocalycium horridispinum 

Gymnocalycium leeanum 

Gymnocalycium mesopotamicum 

Gymnocalycium monvillei 

Gymnocalycium moserianum 

Gymnocalycium netrelianum 

Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum 

Gymnocalycium oenanthemum 

Gymnocalycium paraguayense 

Gymnocalycium quehlianum 

Gymnocalycium ragonesii 

Gymnocalycium riograndense 

Gymnocalycium stellatum 

Gymnocalycium striglianum 

Gymnocalycium triacanthum 

Gymnocalycium uebelmannianum 

Gymnocalycium valnicekianum 

Gymnocalycium vatteri 

Islaya minor 

Lophophora diffusa *** (but not usual case)

Lophophora fricii *** [Does not appear to be typical. May have been an ID error?]

Lophophora jourdaniana *** 

Lophophora koehresii 

Lophophora williamsii williamsii *** 

Lophophora williamsii echinata *** 

Turbinicarpus lophophoroides 

Turbinicarpus pseudomacrochele var. krainzianus 

Turbinicarpus schmiedickianus var. flaviflorus 

Turbinicarpus schmiedickianus var. schwarzii 

 


Please note that this system of organization is presently no longer accepted by most authorities but it is still commonly encountered in horticulture and among ethnobotanists.

        However, an attempt was made by Albesiano & Kiesling in 2011 to resurrect the genus Trichocereus and all of the molecular work to-date indicates that they are on solid ground. See elsewhere in this work for more details.

        Most of the species listed contain only trace amounts.

        Species marked * lack formally published analytical work but have successful human bioassays reported.

        Species marked ** have unpublished analytical work confirming mescaline’s presence as well as successful human bioassays reported.

        Species marked *** have both published analytical work & successful human bioassays reported.

 

distribution; Acharagma-aguirreana

Acharagma aguirreana (Glass & R.Foster) Glass
(Formerly known as Gymnocactus aguirreanus Glass & R.Foster.)
DNA work by Wallace suggests that this may be Lophophora diffusa’s closest relative.
Reported to contain over 2% hordenine by West et al. 1974.


A more recent view

        This is that same list but using the currently accepted names. Species that are missing from this list were variously discarded, merged or ignored in the revisions. Details can be found under their entries.

        One thing that careful readers will notice about this arrangement is that some of the new combinations merge plants with quite different published chemistry. If a plant reported to contain mescaline was renamed as a synonym of one which did not it was omitted from this list.

        I would suggest that these be looked at closer with an eye for possible subdivision into chemical races.

        Comparisons of Anderson, Hunt & others will also rapidly reveal a lack of agreement on a number of points and the seemingly capricious acceptance of some and rejection of others with little if any comment. Hunt’s lack of meaningful references, including in some cases the actual describers, precludes any resolution in a number of instances.

        Some of the combinations are so peculiar as to have caused me to wonder if Anderson and Hunt really actually examined flowering specimens or in some cases ANY actual specimens.

        In several cases, the mergers were published by people who seemingly lacked first-hand examination of the material. For instance the peculiar assertion that the slender, densely branching Trichocereus uyupampensis Backeberg and the stout, solitary columnar Trichocereus validus sensu Backeberg are synonymous.

        When faced with this situation we would suggest to botanists that they should not be afraid to say “I don’t know” or at least search out bona fide materials before uttering such pronouncements in print.

        What is perhaps most fascinating is the movement within the Opuntioidae towards lumpy definitions of the species accompanied by a splitter’s view of the genera.

Family: Cactaceae

    Subfamily: Pereskioideae 

Pereskia corrugata 

Pereskia tampicana

    Subfamily: Opuntioideae 

Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa 

Cylindropuntia echinocarpa 

Cylindropuntia imbricata 

Cylindropuntia spinosior 

Opuntia basilaris 

Opuntia ficus-indica 

Pereskiopsis scandens

    Subfamily Cactoideae 

        Tribe Browningieae 

Stetsonia coryne 

        Tribe Cacteae 

Aztekium ritteri 

Lophophora diffusa 

Lophophora fricii 

Lophophora williamsii 

Turbinicarpus lophophoroides 

Turbinicarpus pseudomacrochele subsp. krainzianus 

Turbinicarpus schmiedickianus subsp. flaviflorus 

Turbinicarpus schmiedickianus subsp. schwarzii 

Pelecyphora aselliformis 

        Tribe Notocacteae 

Eriosyce islayensis 

        Tribe Pachycereeae 

Polaskia chende 

Pachycereus gaumeri 

Stenocereus beneckei 

Stenocereus eruca 

Stenocereus stellatus 

Stenocereus treleasei 

        Tribe Trichocereeae 

Gymnocalycium asterium 

Gymnocalycium baldianum 

Gymnocalycium calochlorum 

Gymnocalycium carminanthum 

Gymnocalycium denudatum 

Gymnocalycium gibbosum 

Gymnocalycium leeanum 

Gymnocalycium mesopotamicum 

Gymnocalycium monvillei 

Gymnocalycium monvillei subsp. achirasense 

Gymnocalycium monvillei subsp. horridispinum 

Gymnocalycium netrelianum 

Gymnocalycium oenanthemum 

Gymnocalycium paraguayense 

Gymnocalycium quehlianum 

Gymnocalycium ragonesii 

Gymnocalycium pflanzii var. riograndense 

Gymnocalycium stellatum 

Gymnocalycium striglianum 

Gymnocalycium triacanthum 

Gymnocalycium uebelmannianum 

Gymnocalycium valnicekianum 

Gymnocalycium vatteri 

Echinopsis lageniformis 

Echinopsis cuzcoensis 

Echinopsis fulvilana 

Echinopsis macrogona 

Echinopsis pachanoi 

Echinopsis peruviana 

Echinopsis peruviana subsp. puquiensis 

Echinopsis santaensis 

Echinopsis schoenii 

Echinopsis scopulicola 

Echinopsis strigosa 

Echinopsis tacaquirensis subsp. taquimbalensis 

Echinopsis terscheckii 

Echinopsis thelegona 

Echinopsis uyupampensis 

Echinopsis volliana 

distribution; Lophophora williamsii echinata
Lophophora williamsii echinata


 

Distribution of alkaloids *within* cacti.

 

    Surprisingly there has been very little serious work published on this topic.

    Alkaloids in “pellote” (i.e. peyote) were reported by JANOT & BERNIER 1933 to be almost exclusively in the internal cells of the cortical parenchyma at top of plant. (See TLC results by Todd elsewhere here.)

    In Trichocereus candicans alkaloids were found by Niedfeld to be mainly in the chlorophyllaceous cortical parenchyma. (Niedfeld used microchemical methods to determine this) RETI 1950 cited NIEDFELD 1931.

    In T. terscheckii; alkaloids are primarily in the parenchymal tissues, 29% were found to be in the green epidermis (dry), while the central parts (dry) including cortical parenchyma contained 45% of the total alkaloid content [please note that this included the vast majority of the parenchymal tissues and the total weight of that portion of the plant is much higher than that of the green epidermis. This indicates a lower concentration for the central parts than in the green portion but potentially useful concentrations nonetheless.] RETI & CASTRILLÓN 1951

    Parenchymal tissues are highly specialized thin-walled storage cells that exist within in the thick outer layer on the plant. They are the site of many metabolic processes and also store such things as water, calcium oxalate crystals and often alkaloids.

    Calcium oxalate crystals are said to be stored in abundance in some peyote specimens. A nice image of showing their presence inside of the flesh of peyote can be found in the entry for Lophophora williamsii.

    As far as I can determine, the parenchymal tissues extend from near the skin to the vascular bundle; including most of the tissues other than vascular, structural or connective.

    Cortical parenchymal tissues are those towards the outside. Chlorophyllaceous just means that they have chlorophyll (are green.)

    Obviously, when a peyote button is sliced into two horizontal portions, they will be slightly more prevalent in the top half of the button than the bottom half of the above ground portion due to the relative percentage of tissue which is occupied by the central vascular tissues and by the outer layer. Published analytical work reflects this (see under Lophophora williamsii chemistry.)

    A similar picture was reported in Kircher 1972 for triterpene glycoside distribution within the flesh of the organ pipe cactus Lemaireocereus thurberi:

Tissue % of total Methanol soluble product
Epidermis 4
Photosynthetic layer 42
Transition zone 28
Cortex 12
Pith 10
Wood 3

       

   As there is considerably more weight to the central parts than the green portion, the observations from RETI & CASTRILLÓN 1951 provide some support to the idea common amoung users that the highest mescaline concentration is within the green tissues on the periphery of the plant.

   Less” does not mean that there is no alkaloid in the whitish tissues beneath it. All evidence suggests that there is ample alkaloid contained in these parts, just significantly less than in the green layer. It is also likely there is even less in the central vascular bundle and core itself.

   Another interesting result was noted among SMOLENSKI and coworker’s multitude of general alkaloid screenings. When testing Pachycereus pecten-aboriginum they reported Roots: ++, Stems: – and Ribs: +++. As slicing off the ribs would remove most of the cortical tissues this is in line with the above observations. Their account provides no further information on tissues evaluated (samples provided to them as a previously prepared extract).

   There is additional support for this; DJERASSI et al. 1953b determined that the majority of the alkaloid content in Lophocereus schottii was in the green epidermis (6.7% crude alkaloid); only a minor portion in the cortex (1.1% crude alkaloid) and almost no alkaloid in the core & pith (0.2% crude alkaloid).
   By cortex Djerassi means the epidermis, by green epidermis Djerassi refers to the chlorophyllaceous parenchyma. Djerassi was a natural products chemist not a botanist.
The casual and nonconsistent use of the words epidermis and cortex has caused confusion for many readers who did not stop and ask what was being actually meant by the user of those particular words and instead translated them based on what they themselves would have meant by those words.]

   Anderson described TODD 1969 as finding little difference [qualitative] between the alkaloids of root and top in peyote except for hordenine which was only present in the root. While true in most aspects, this is a little misleading as concentrations in the roots are far lower than in the tops. Please see more details under the Lophophora williamsii entry. [In Sacred Cacti 3rd ed. Part A or in Sacred Cacti 2nd ed.]

   This is also in at least partial conflict with the reports of other workers.

   Todd collected his samples during June. Curiously, lophophorine was apparently observed as the major alkaloid in L. williamsii. [See also comments on the seasonal fluctuations of alkaloids in peyote.]

   GUTTIERREZ-NORIEGA 1950 (citing CRUZ SÁNCHEZ 1948) appears quoted as saying that the alkaloids are primarily in the “bark” of T. pachanoi. His word, corteza, translated in the English summary as bark, also means ‘cortex’ or ‘skin’ in Spanish.

    Apparently CRUZ SANCHEZ worked with the outer layer due to the slime resulting from use of the whole stem interfering with his extraction procedure. He reported 5% in the dried outer layer.

   This area needs further work. While many alkaloids may indeed be higher towards the outside of the plant there are known exceptions. Hordenine being observed in the root rather than the top (in peyote) is a good example. Its highest concentrations being in the root was reported again in Mammillaria microcarpa by KNOX and coworkers.
It is noteworthy also that all of the alkaloids measured by KNOX were much higher in the cortex itself as compared to the chlorophyll rich tubercles and several were higher in the vascular tissues than in the tubercles.

      An Entheogen Review reader wrote to say that they had found an unspecified amount of the cores of San Pedro to be active but they provided inadequate information for us to understand HOW they actually determined this or how much they observed.

   This should not be any surprise should a person ingest a large enough amount.

   PUMMANGURA et al. 1982 reported that mescaline did not transmigrate between grafted T. pachanoi and T. spachianus regardless of which was used as stock and scion. Their conclusion was that mescaline was locally produced and noncirculating.

   While it may or may not be true that transmigration of alkaloids does not occur, SINISCALCO 1983 reported that the normally mescaline-free Myrtillocactus geometrizans was found to contain 0.3% mescaline by dry weight after having previously been grafted with Lophophora williamsii.

   Many questions immediately arise. None are presently answerable.
Trichocereus scopulicola NMCR

Trichocereus scopulicola FR991 seedling (NMCR); from Ritter’s species but using seed acquired from Riviere de Carault.

In an odd e-mail that I received in 2004, Karel Knize commented

        “Some flowers are used (cont ca 4%) plant itself 2-3.5%
the strongest type are 9-12 ribs or 3-4 ribs
Knize did not elaborate further (and I’d suggest this be taken with a large grain of salt). 

        A friend has claimed to have had good results from the flower masses they collected from peruvianoids and terscheckii but preserved no details.
In more recent years, additional friends ingesting pachanoi and peruvianus flowers and ovary could discern no effects whatsoever.  Clearly some analytical work seems in order to know what to believe.
There IS something that perhaps may be true? In evaluating the reports of human bioassays it is always important to be able to identify and preclude the contributions from any “non-negative placebo responders” (to borrow Jim Ketchum’s wonderful phrase).

        It is almost unbelievable that no one has looked into the matter of alkaloid distribution within cacti more thoroughly.

        The analysis of only the outer green layers and only looking at only mescaline has become the predominate analystical approach. This is for practical reasons not a reflection of a fixation on mescaline.
        The reasons are simple:
1. It is easier to work with the slimy inside of the cactus if only the outer green layer is used.
2. Most researchers would LOVE to look at every alkaloid in their plants but due to a lack of reference materials the necessary standards are simply not available through commercial sources. Out of the 63 alkaloids reported from peyote, for example, only 5 or 6 can be obtained from fine chemical houses.
        Historically workers doing structural analysis would accumulate and save their purified alkaloids. These were then shared with other people doing the same work. When they were still active in research, Jerry McLaughlin & Arnold Brossi were the actual reference standard resources for multiple other workers.
        Synthesis is also possible but the actual cost and ability to create an functional set of basic cactus alkaloids reference standards via synthetic means is out of the reach of the average grad student performing analysis on the alkaloids of a plant. Mescaline, by contrast, is relatively easy to obtain as a pure reference standard so it now tends to be the only target being identified and quantified.

 

 

Trichocereus scopulicola Oz

 

Trichocereus scopulicola grown from seed in Oz. All of these originated as FR991 seed that were acquired from Ritter’s sister Hildegarde Winter but Australian cactus producers have been generating and relying on their OWN domestic seed production from the *plants* that were produced from Winter’s seeds since the 1960s.

 

 

Islaya

Islaya minor Backeberg

Curt Backeberg (1934) Kaktus-ABC 258, as Islaya minor
Carl Friedrich Förster (1861) Hamburger Gartenz, 17: 160, as Echinocactus islayensis.
Fred Katterman (1994) Succulent Plant Research, 1: 117, as Eriosyce islayensis.

Ritter_1981_3_1185_Islaya_krainziana_ill

Image above is from Ritter. I have not been able to locate who owns Ritter’s copyrights so have not obtained permission for the use of this image. If someone can give me more information on how to organize formal permission it is most welcomed or if the presence is objectionable it will be removed promptly.

 

According to Anderson 2001, all of the former genus Islaya has been merged as a highly variable Eriosyce islayensis (C.F. Förster) Katterman.

Mescaline present in trace amounts (0.0017% in dry plant)

Origin: Found in southern Peru (above Mollendo, dept. of Arequipa). [Named for the town of Islaya.]

Habitat: Arid, dry desert regions with little rainfall. Mineral rich alluvial sediments, on sand dunes and exposed windy slopes. Most moisture is derived from fog.

Forms simple (unless apically damaged) short plants up to 13 cm tall and 7 cm wide.

Ribs are 6 mm in height and number around 17. The areoles initially bear whitish-grey felt.
Spines are rigid black, later becoming grey.
There are 20 to 24 six mm long thin radial spines and 4 cruciform (usually) centrals which are stouter, thickened below and up to 18 mm [20 mm] long.
3/4 inch [2-2.2 cm.] flowers arise from the felted area and vary from golden to light greenish-yellow.
Hairy, carmine fruit starts globular and ripens elongated. Perianth and a few bristles persist on the top of the fruit.
Backeberg 1977 page 217.
and Pizzetti 1985 Entry #137. (Pizzetti has a color picture with fruit.)

These are represented in collections as beautiful but small and slow growing specimens.

Backeberg notes that wild collected plants of Islaya are sometimes difficult to grow.

Reported analysis of Islaya

Mescaline was present at 0.0017% in the dry plant. (tlc, gc)
3,4-Dimethoxy-β-phenethylamine present at 0.0038% in the dry plant. (tlc, gc)

 

Also observed but did not quantify (using tlc only):
β-Phenethylamine
Hordenine [N,N-Dimethyltyramine]
3-Methoxytyramine
N-Methyltyramine
Tyramine [4-Hydroxyphenethylamine]
Pellotine [6,7-Dimethoxy-1,2-dimethyl-8-hydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-isoquinoline]
Corypalline [7-Hydroxy-6-methoxy-2-methyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline] (The only reported occurrence of this alkaloid within the Cactaceae)
Doetsch et al. 1980

 

 

 

External links:

Dave’s Garden’s
IPNI
ThePlantList
Tropicos

Trichocereus bridgesii “Lumberjack”

Trichocereus bridgesii purchased by someone at a Lumberjack store. Name was intended to be funny.

Trichocereus bridgesii (Lumberjack)

Trichocereus bridgesii (Lumberjack)

Trichocereus bridgesii (Lumberjack)

Trichocereus bridgesii (Lumberjack)

Trichocereus bridgesii (Lumberjack)

Trichocereus bridgesii (Lumberjack)

Trichocereus bridgesii (Lumberjack)

Trichocereus bridgesii (Lumberjack)

Trichocereus bridgesii (Lumberjack)

Trichocereus bridgesii (Lumberjack)

Trichocereus bridgesii (Lumberjack)

Trichocereus bridgesii (Lumberjack)

Trichocereus bridgesii (Lumberjack)

Trichocereus bridgesii (Lumberjack)

Trichocereus bridgesii (Lumberjack)

 

yet more

Apologies on the image quality this AM.

I’ll reshoot these subjects as soon as I get a chance. Hopefully this can help for now.

 

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