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!
 

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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

 

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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. 

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pachanoi or pachanot?

Additional material to ponder: 

 


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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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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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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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Ecuador – a spiny Trichocereus pachanoi

Image

  A closer view of a spiny Trichocereus pachanoi cultivated at Quito, Ecuador.

  Both long and short spined forms of pachanoi are common in Ecuador (similar to the picture in Peru). It has been proposed that the short spined versions were developed by human selection but as far as I can tell this is entirely still speculative.

Ecuador pachanoi Hubbie Smidlak 2008

Image copyright by Hubbie Smidlak 2008;
reproduced with permission by Trout’s Notes

 

More pachanoi at Quito, Ecuador
pachanoi at Vilcabamba, Ecuador
pachanoi in Peru
pachanoi in Bolivia 

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pachanoi or pachanot?

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Trichocereus pachanoi in Peru

Image

   Trichocereus pachanoi in Peru exhibits a fascinatingly wide range of forms. It is believed to have been introduced from Ecuador some millennia ago so this suggests either that is in error or that it has undergone some surprisingly rapid changes since its introduction. How much of that is due to potential interaction with previously existing Peruvian Trichocereus species and how much is the result of simple recombinant events and local environmental shaping over time remains to be studied.
  Trichocereus pachanoi has been intensively cultivated by humans for an unclear number of millennia although it is clear, based on the archaeological evidence, that it has been at least several. During that process it has been moved all over the Andes, apparently from Ecuador to Argentina, and has become naturalized in a number of areas in Peru. It is popularly cultivated and widely admired for its bountiful fragrant flowers.

   The existance of short and long spined variants is what has helped a perception of intergrading that has confounded botanists and caused some to pronounce a synonymity between Trichocereus pachanoi and Trichocereus peruvianus. Since Trichocereus peruvianus shows a similar spectrum of spination the resulting confusion is understandable.

pachanoi in Peru by Grizzly

pachanoi in Peru by Grizzly

 

Images are copyright © by Grizzly

pachanoi in Ecuador

pachanoi in Bolivia

 

 

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pachanoi or pachanot?

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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

 

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Photos are by Keeper Trout except where indicated otherwise.

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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.

 

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Photos are by Keeper Trout except where indicated otherwise.

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