Pachanoi or pachanot; Smith’s observations

 

    Michael Smith’s observations

   The topic revolves around a deceptively simple observation made by Michael S. Smith:
What is most commonly recognized as Trichocereus pachanoi in the USA differs from the published description for Trichocereus pachanoi.

 His primary point of contention that concerns the pachanot is based on the following rather simple comment from Britton & Rose 1920:

“…ovary covered with black curled hairs; axils of scales on flower-tube and fruit bearing long black hairs.”

    page 134 in The Cactaceae

  Its good to remember that Britton & Rose had initially reported pachanoi from Ecuador and Backeberg expanded its reported range into Peru in the 1930s. Backeberg encountered it at Huancabamba being called San Pedro. Many wild collections and herbarium vouchers have been made.

  To lessen some unavoidable confusion, its important to be aware that bona fide pachanoi commonly exists with long spines and with very short spines. Sometimes both can be present on a single plant. Or its spination can be somewhere in between the two extremes.

 The crazy range of variability for pachanoi itself makes it tempting to dismiss Smith’s questions offhand without taking time for a close look.

 Just for fun, let’s take that closer look.

  The reason that comment of Britton & Rose provoked some conflict with observation of the pachanot is the latter deviates by typically showing white, light brown or grey woolly hair on its ovary, tube and fruit.

 Hair color seems like a really trivial feature to make very much of anything out of, especially considering how most of the other features on these cacti can be so extremely variable. This is yet another reason that it’s easy to dismiss this subject without giving it much thought.

  If, however, it had just been Britton & Rose’s description it could have ended there.

  Fortunately we are lucky enough to have more descriptive comments available to us (and we also have some nice views of what still exists in South America today that are available for sake of enabling a comparison).

  If it was just the hair color that was different this conversation might never have begun. It was this small observation however that led into what has proven to be an unusually illuminating and thought provoking pathway of questioning.

   Curt Backeberg modified his description of pachanoi hair to brown which nicely fits some of the plants still growing where he collected in Peru.  

  In the 1931 description that Curt Backeberg wrote for Cereus pachanoi Werdermann was the comment:

“Fruchtknoten und Röhre […] mit langen, braunen Wollhaaren.”

    page 79 in Neue Kakteen

John Borg made a similar statement in 1937.

 “…with ovary and tube covered with long brown hairs.”

    page 183 in Cacti

 

 However by 1959 the description coming from Backeberg’s hand had grown more towards Britton & Rose’s black:

 “Ov. und Röhre mit schwärzlichen Haaren besetz.”

     page 1118 in Die Cactaceae

 

 Friedrich Ritter similarly referred to blackish-brown and black in his description of pachanoi in 1981:

 “Fruchtknoten […] mit reichlichen schwarzbraunen Wollhaaren”

&

“Blütenröhre […] langen graugrünen Schuppen und schwarzen, 15–25 mm langen Wollbüscheln”

    page 1324 in Kakteen in Südamerika

 

  In 1984, Carlos Ostolaza wrote another description of pachanoi with detailed floristic comments:

 “Pericarpel […] is covered with scales with brownish hairs 15 mm (.6″) long on the axils [….] floral tube […] has fewer scales […] with more hair on axils.”

&

“The fruit […] covered with scales and black hairs.”

    page 102 in the Cactus & Succulent Journal (US) 56.

(pericarpel = ovary)
 

Another description came from Jens Madsen in 1981:

 “[areoles of the floral bracts]…bearing clusters of brownish black, 1-22 mm long, curled and twisted hairs.”

    page 28 in Flora of Ecuador.

 

Edward Anderson’s 2001 The Cactus Family:

“pericarpels and floral tubes with black hairs”

    page 276.

 

The 2006 New Cactus Lexicon of David Hunt:

 “pc [pericarpel] and hyp [hypanthium] with black hairs”

    page 98.

(hypanthium = tube)


Hmmm.
There seems to be something amiss with our ‘San Pedro’.
While I may be accused of splitting hairs, these photos should raise some questions:

 

pachanot ovary hair
 

“…ovary covered with black curled hairs;
 

axils of scales on flower-tube […] bearing long black hairs.”?
  

pachanot-flower-sideview

 

“…fruit bearing long black hairs.”?
 

pachanot fruit after rain


The fruit in the lower photograph above
has seen its surface features fortuitously exposed by rain.
This example is the “blackest” hair I have
thusfar encountered on a pachanot fruit.
 

Several questions spring to mind but I have no real answer for any of them.

As a first set:

  What happened here?

&

  How, where & when did this come to be the predominate pachanoi in US horticulture?

  No matter what the answers turn out to be, there are two separate topics that exist as a result of this observation:

Topic 1) 
       ‘Backeberg’s clone’ is a misnomer – as the pachanot could not have come from Backeberg.

See a view of the so-called “Backeberg’s clone”
compared to what *Backeberg actually knew as pachanoi*.
 

Topic 2) 
       The pachanot and pachanoi may look rather similar but they have predictable differences if their flowers and/or fruit can be examined.

Compare South American
Trichocereus pachanoi
to the “pachanot
 

  Take a look at a pachanoi growing in Ecuador today.

Trichocereus-pachanoi-Quito-HubbieSmidlak

Thanks for reading!
 

Back to the opening page
You are on the “Smith’s observation” page
On to Topic 1: “Backeberg’s clone”
On to Topic 2: pachanoi compared to pachanot
Additional material to ponder: 

pachanot compared to bridgesii

hybrids

pachanoi or pachanoids

unanswered questions

 

All photographs © copyright by their photographers.
Photos are by Keeper Trout except where indicated otherwise.
Please contact us or them to obtain reuse permission.

 

P.C.Hutchison 1597

Trichocereus pachanoi  P.C.Hutchison 1597

 

  Trichocereus pachanoi Peru 57.0884.
Material came from Huancabamba Prov., Piura Dept., Peru. [Link 1] [Link 2]
Paul C. Hutchison collected this as live clones during the late 1950s. 

Hutchison Huancabamba T. pachanoi

    Sadly the display specimens of P.C.Hutchison 1597 periodically experiences heavy predation by thieves and is removed from public display to enable it to recover and survive. Almost all Botanical Gardens have regular plant sales that make such thievery a crime that is directed against everyone.

 

pachanoi or pachanot?

Additional material to ponder: 

 


Copyright © by Keeper Trout

 

Trichocereus pachanoi Knize

Knize‘s Ecuadorian Trichocereus pachanoi shipped from Lima, Peru.

 

Ecuadorian Trichocereus pachanoi from Knize viewedcloser Ecuadorian Trichocereus pachanoi from Knize viewed closer Ecuadorian Trichocereus pachanoi from Knize viewed closer Ecuadorian Trichocereus pachanoi from Knize viewedcloser

     Karel Knize’s collection numbers have created some lasting identification problems due to commonly being locality numbers rather than actual specimen collection numbers. What this means, if unfamiliar, is that the same number is assigned to plants that the collector believes are identical and growing within a given range of elevations in a particular region. Clearly that is a practice that is sometimes going to miss the mark.

     In this case, of course, Trichocereus pachanoi is an easy one to identify. 

Back to the article

 

pachanoi or pachanot?

Additional material to ponder: 

 


Copyright © by Keeper Trout

 

 

 

Trichocereus pachanoi at Vilcabamba, Ecuador

Image

   There are abundant Trichocereus pachanoi in the adjacent countryside.
Typically they are growing amidst the cover of nurse plants, this sometimes is including stands of Anadenanthera trees. Alana Cory-Collins has commented on there being a historical succession from snuff to cactus for the Chavín in Peru but was unclear where their Anadenanthera had come from only that it obviously came to them as a trade item.

 Trichocereus-pachanoi-Vilcabamba-HubbieSmidlak

Trichocereus-pachanoi-Vilcabamba-HubbieSmidlak

Trichocereus-pachanoi-Vilcabamba-HubbieSmidlak

Trichocereus-pachanoi-Vilcabamba-HubbieSmidlak

Trichocereus-pachanoi-Vilcabamba-HubbieSmidlak

 

 

This last image is a closer view of the preceding photograph.

Copyright by Hubbie Smidlak 2008

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pachanoi or pachanot?

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Backeberg’s view

Image

 

This is Curt Backeberg’s view of Trichocereus pachanoi 
The image below was published in Backeberg’s 1959 Die Cactaceae.
It shows the Trichocereus pachanoi that was identified
and collected by Backeberg at Huancabamba.
Backeberg_1959_pachanoi_Abb1074

  Assuming there really is such a thing as “Backeberg’s clone” it will look like the tip above and not like the pachanot.
   If anyone knows anything about the material Backeberg said he brought into horticulture I would love hearing about it. Drop me an email or snail mail.

  

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Europe

Image

 

Some of the assorted horticultural pachanoi presently in Germany are shown in the following images. In many, perhaps most cases, the origin information for the assorted forms and collections of Trichocereus pachanoi forms that are present in Europe is not known.

Many more Trichocereus images from Europe and elsewhere can be found at http://trichocereus.net.

The first image is of a cultivar originally collected in Peru by a German collector named Kaiserwerth. This is sold under the name Trichocereus peruvianus

 

Trichocereus-pachanoi-Kaiserwerth-peruvianus-Peru

 

 

This was obtained from a cactus vendor in Spain.

 

 

 

Trichocereus-pachanoi-Spain-EvilGenius

 

 

Some other pachanoi present in German horticulture; these are are lacking further information.

 

 

 

Trichocereus-pachanoi-Germany-EvilGenius-tip

eg_pachanoi_8

Trichocereus-pachanoi-Germany-EvilGenius-

Trichocereus-pachanoi-Germany-EvilGenius-

Trichocereus-pachanoi-Germany-EvilGenius-

Trichocereus-pachanoi-Germany-EvilGenius-

 

 

This is thusfar the oldest representative of a cactus line sold commercially as a pachanoi that Evil Genius can locate in Germany.
He has some questions concerning its identity and is working on learning more information.

 

Trichocereus-pachanoi-Germany-EvilGenius-

 

All images are copyright © by Evil Genius; Reproduced with permission by Trout’s Notes


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pachanoi or pachanot?

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pachanoi fruit compared to pachanot fruit

Image

      The lack of black and dark brown hairs on the fruit of the pachanot (on the right below) might not be so conceptually challenging for me if Trichocereus pachanoi did not actually exist with blackly or dark brownly hairy fruit (on left below).

fruit-compared-

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Comparison of the areoles of a pachanot and a Trichocereus pachanoi

Image

   Areoles of “our pachanot” (top) and Trichocereus pachanoi (bottom) compared.
While it would be possible to assemble a whole page comparing their areoles, I suspect that  enough already exist elsewhere in this article, so only a simple pair is being included below.

 

Detail of the areoles on pachanot

Our pachanot above

Trichocereus pachanoi below

details of areoles on Trichocereus pachanoi in Germany Copyright by Evil Genius

 

Copyright © by Keeper Trout (top) and by Evil Genius (lower)

Ecuador – short-spined Trichocereus pachanoi

Image

  Three images shared by Michael Smith of  short-spined Trichocereus pachanoi growing in Ecuador.
  Spine length can be extremely variable so it surprisingly can often be a feature that does not help much with species assignment in this area. (Trichocereus peruvianus similarly expresses a range of spination from short to long.)

pachanoi-Ecuador

 

 

Cochabamba, Bolivia Trichocereus pachanoi

Image

  Cochabamba, Bolivia holds at least one fascinating Trichocereus pachanoi form.

  These are apparently propagated by a convent.

Cochabamba_Dani

The following images are enlargements of sections of detail on several of the images above.

 

Photographs are copyright by Dani; reproduced with permission.

My THANKS to Michael S. Smith for noticing these
and for obtaining permission for their inclusion!