Some peruvianus in the garden

Some of the Trichocereus peruvianus presently surviving in my garden.

 

A rather typical Trichocereus peruvianus.

Trichocereus peruvianus on 24 July 2015

Trichocereus peruvianus

Trichocereus peruvianus on 24 July 2015

Trichocereus peruvianus

Trichocereus peruvianus on 24 July 2015

Trichocereus peruvianus

Trichocereus peruvianus on 24 July 2015

Trichocereus peruvianus

Trichocereus peruvianus on 24 July 2015

Trichocereus peruvianus

Trichocereus peruvianus on 24 July 2015

Trichocereus peruvianus

Trichocereus peruvianus on 24 July 2015

Trichocereus peruvianus

 

 

A rooted Trichocereus peruvianus cutting from the Eltzner collection.

This form stays completely erect and commonly grows to at least 15 feet tall and 6.5 inches in diameter. It can get bigger on both counts. A basal section that was almost 10 inches in diameter has been observed in Oakland, California.

Trichocereus-peruvianus_Eltzner_17july2015_IMGP7073

Trichocereus-peruvianus_Eltzner_17july2015_IMGP7084

Trichocereus-peruvianus_Eltzner_17july2015_IMGP7075

Trichocereus-peruvianus_Eltzner_17july2015_IMGP7076

Trichocereus-peruvianus_Eltzner_17july2015_IMGP7077

Trichocereus-peruvianus_Eltzner_17july2015_IMGP7083

Trichocereus-peruvianus_Eltzner_17july2015_IMGP7080  Trichocereus-peruvianus_Eltzner_17july2015_IMGP7082

A Trichocereus peruvianus from GF’s collection (ELF?)

This form shows a strong tendency to arch and often falls over becoming prostrate after it has reached a few feet in length. If not synonymous with, this is at least very similar to the Type from the canyon of the Rio Rimac in Peru.

Trichocereus peruvianus (GF)

Trichocereus peruvianus (GF)

Trichocereus peruvianus (GF)

Trichocereus peruvianus (GF)

Trichocereus peruvianus (GF)

Trichocereus peruvianus (GF)

Trichocereus peruvianus (GF)

Trichocereus peruvianus (GF)

Trichocereus peruvianus (GF)

Trichocereus peruvianus (GF)

Trichocereus peruvianus (GF)

 

 

 

 

 Images of the Type of Trichocereus peruvianus occurring near Matucana.

The next four photographs were taken by Grizzly of wild plants.

Trichocereus peruvianus photographed near Matucana by Grizzly

Trichocereus peruvianus photographed near Matucana by Grizzly

Trichocereus peruvianus photographed near Matucana by Grizzly

Trichocereus peruvianus photographed near Matucana by Grizzly

Trichocereus peruvianus photographed near Matucana by Grizzly

Trichocereus peruvianus photographed near Matucana by Grizzly

Trichocereus peruvianus photographed near Matucana by Grizzly

Trichocereus peruvianus photographed near Matucana by Grizzly

 

aff. huanucoensis (HBG)

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

A cutting was acquired from the Huntington some years ago thanks to the kindness and generosity of Gary Lyons. As soon as growth permitted it was cut half and rooted.

The mother plant has lost its accession card (and therefore its data) but Jon Trager told me that, due to its accession number and placement in their garden, he suspected it may have been grown from seeds provided to HBG by Harry Johnson during the 1950s.

The plants of Johnson, Akers, Ritter and Hutchison which would have been described in a monograph in preparation on Trichocereus was completely derailed by Curt Backeberg’s deliberately rushed 1956 publication of the horribly flawed Backeberg & Rauh “Descriptiones Cactacearum novarum“. Backeberg’s apparent motivation was in scooping them and he was criticized loudly by Myron Kimnach for doing so. In a review (quoted farther below) Kimnach comments: “[…] the customary low quality of  Backeberg’s work sinks to a grotesque level [..] he  has employed questionable ethics in publishing a number of Rauh’s collections which he knew had been collected earlier  by Johnson, Ritter and Akers and which he also knew the latter were planning to publish.” (Backeberg’s response to a friend was quoted to be “I must require that my special and  unusual method is consented.”)

This one, however, appears to me to be a rather typical T. pachanoi as might come from Peru.

Trichocereus aff huanucoensis

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

aff. huanucoensis

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

Trichocereus aff. huanucoensis

A cutting that appears to be identical was sent to me by a correspondent who acquired his plant unlabelled many years earlier at the *truly amazing* California Cactus Center. This is one of my all-time favorite nurseries and is owned by some really nice people.

thought synonymous with aff. huanucoensis (CCC)

thought synonymous with aff. huanucoensis (CCC)

Interestingly, friends who were visiting Huanuco, Peru were unable to locate any pachanoi-peruvianus types in the area until Grizzly thought to explore the nearby wooded ravines. Images of his finds from near Huanuco can be viewed in Cactus Chemistry By Species.

Kimnach’s review of the 1956 ‘Descriptiones Cactacearum Novarum I‘ appeared in the  1957 Cactus & Succulent Journal of America 29: 146.

“The work will probably always be regarded as a curiosity  of botanical literature, for here the customary low quality of  Backeberg’s work sinks to a grotesque level. Indeed, it could  well be used as a classroom example of what the conscientious  taxonomist should avoid in his own work. In the first place he  has employed questionable ethics in publishing a number of
Rauh’s collections which he knew had been collected earlier  by Johnson, Ritter and Akers and which he also knew the latter were planning to publish. Secondly he seems to have  described every minor variation so that for example we are  confronted with some 20 new Haageocereus species from one  river-valley in Peru! The descriptions are ridiculously short  and he fails to mention how the new species differ from one  another and from older species. The result is that practically  none of his new taxa are established as being actually distinct.
“It can be imagined what the effect of these 200 newly  published, but inadequately distinguished, species will be on  the revision of Peruvian cacti now in progress by different  workers. Their task has been difficult at best, due to the  amateurish manner in which most of the older species were  published. Now that confusion, for which Backeberg was  also largely responsible, has been fantastically multiplied.”

The outcome of Backberg’s shenanigans was that the revision that was then underway in the hands of far more competent botanists was  abandoned by those workers. Very little remains as evidence outside of Hutchison’s herbarium voucher sheets for Trichocereus huanucoensis.

Sold as San Pedro

A Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru)
Claimed to have been collected from the slopes above Matucana but corroboration would be nice.

This is one of a few from this vendor (HdP). Several of the others can be seen at http://troutsnotes.com/sold-as-san-pedro-2/

Shows features that seem intermediate for pachanoi and peruvianus.

It will be interesting to see what this does with some good sun and free root run. I’m betting that the flowers are going to be awesome.

 

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru)

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru) shown in 2015

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru)

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru) shown in 2015

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru)

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru) shown in 2015

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru)

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru) shown in 2015

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru)

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru) shown in 2015

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru)

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru) shown in 2015

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru) in 2013

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru) shown in 2013

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru) shown in 2013

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru) shown in 2013

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru) in 2009

Trichocereus sold as San Pedro (Peru) shown in 2009

Trichocereus-peruvianus_shortspined_Matucana_arrival

Trichocereus short-spined from Matucana immediately upon unpacking after arrival from Peru

   Over the years, Karel Knize has marketed at least half a dozen assorted short-spined collections of wild collected Peruvian plants falling into or in-between T. pachanoi and T. peruvianus under the name & collection number “Trichocereus peruvianus KK242“; all of which he asserted had come from a given range of elevations on the slopes above Matucana despite including geographic names like “Río Chillón” and “Río Lurím” which place them in completely different river systems (The town of Matucana is located in the canyon of the Río Rimac).
While all of the KK242 that Knize has sold as live plants have been either T. peruvianus or T. pachanoi and while some of Knize’s KK242 seeds have in fact produced T. peruvianus plants (for instance what was grown out by Abbey Garden for analysis by Pardanani), it is also true that far more of his seeds, apparently the majority of them, have turned out to be of T. cuzcoensis and some KK242 peruvianus seeds have grown into beautiful T. bridgesii plants. Then there is Knize’s Trichocereus peruvianus KK242 f. Matucana which is unmistakeably a pachanoi. Like so much from Knize, lots of beautiful plants accompanied by a perplexingly excessive amount of noise and confusion about their origins and identities.

  Karel Knize actually gives Curt Backeberg a run for the money so far as which weighing which one of the two contributed the most confusion into the world of cacti and cactus nomenclature.

Trichocereus peruvianus KK242 Rio Chillon from Knize

Trichocereus peruvianus KK242 Río Chillón from Knize

Trichocereus peruvianus KK242 forma Matucana from Knize

Trichocereus peruvianus” KK242 forma Matucana from Knize

 

However, Grizzly shared these images a few years back from that same locale above Matucana, Peru:

Trichocereus peruvianus above Matucana with short spine (Grizzly in 2008)

A Trichocereus peruvianus with short spines above Matucana (Grizzly in 2008)

Trichocereus peruvianus above Matucana with short spine (Grizzly in 2008)

A Trichocereus peruvianus above Matucana showing short spines (Grizzly in 2008)

Trichocereus peruvianus above Matucana with short spine (Grizzly in 2008)

Grizzly holding a large cutting of a short-spined Trichocereus peruvianus above Matucana in 2008

Trichocereus peruvianus above Matucana with short spine (Grizzly in 2008)

Trichocereus peruvianus with short spines above Matucana (Grizzly in 2008)

Trichocereus peruvianus above Matucana with short spine (Grizzly in 2008)

Trichocereus peruvianus with short spines above Matucana (Grizzly in 2008)

 

This has been disputed and a counterclaim has arisen that short spined T. peruvianus forms do not exist anywhere around Matucana. (The same person insists that no pachanoi occur in the area except for one single person’s plant which is cultivated inside of town.) Since collections from three sources are also known that claim does not seem to have always been the case but perhaps it is a conclusion that may be true now? Or perhaps the friend dismissing it simply visited too soon after Grizzly’s harvest and no new growth had become visible? I do not know as I have never been to Matucana to find out. Grizzly commented on them being uncommon. Considering that what they found was cut down and chopped into pieces and the other two claims for short spined peruvianoids from above Matucana were both commercial cactus vendors who were selling them as cuttings, perhaps that may hint at one possible reason underlying the perception of scarcity, lack of visibility or even absence?

I am reminded of a joke about an entomologist bragging that he had finally managed to pin enough individuals to elevate the ranking of an endangered species from G2 to G1.