NMCR 2010 A-H


A few of the plants at NMCR in 2010:
from Ariocarpus through Hoodia 


If a viewer is not an old-time cactus grower it is possible that they might have questions as to why anyone would be so interested in the remnants of a closed cactus nursery. It is perhaps even likely in those instances where the subjects are rather bedraggled in appearance.

On the other hand, if they are familiar with NMCR I suspect some of those same images might be found amazing if it is with the understanding that what they are looking at was the mother plants of their cuttings. Horst planted cactus seeds and grew & sold the resulting plants but his primary sales stock was new growth that he sold as cuttings. In some cases, such as the Trichocereus riomizquiensis mother plant, the resulting physical exhaustion (due to the demands placed on the plant by repeated harvesting) can still be seen in those images. If it is understood that what we are about to tour was jam-packed as a cutting production facility filling the live cactus orders for a highly successful mail-order business it might actually be seen as something impressive.

An unrealistic attempt was made to photograph all of the plants possible with the first priority being locating those which came with questions for me.  Summer heat in a small greenhouse combined with our heat tolerances, harsh & uneven lighting, awkward or impossible access to good views of some specimens and a window of only a partial day limited the results in reality to being well below the level of what I would have preferred but it was a very productive trip in terms of images and answers to many questions.

My intention is to post all of the images that came out accepably but in some cases I’m including photographs I would normally reject. This is limited to instances where both no other image was available and the data or question-answering potential outbalanced the lack of quality. The first page is entirely nonTrichocereus and the remaining pages will largely be Trichocereus species. A nice set of cuttings was kindly provided by Horst and those are luxuriating in a Texas greenhouse awaiting a time for future research. Images of their new growth will also be included here in the future.

All of the plants on this page were grown from seed by Horst.

The Ariocarpus and Astrophytums on this page were grown from seeds planted in 1980 so were 30 years old when these images were shot.

I apparently did not manage to capture additional data for the plants on this page. If it comes to hand it will be added.


My visit is divided as :

Visiting NMCR in 2010
A-H Ariocarpus – Hoodia (You are here)
M-R Mammillaria – Ritterocereus
Trichocereus bridgesii – deserticola 
Trichocereus macrogonus — pachanoi
Trichocereus poco — Trichocereus thelegonus

I hope that you enjoy seeing NMCR!



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)


    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.”?



“…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 real pachanoi growing in Ecuador today. 


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


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.


NMCR 2010 bridgesii – deserticola


Some of the Trichocereus that were still at NMCR in 2010:
from bridgesii through deserticola.


    Trichocereus bridgesii longispinus was a Ritter collection obtained as seeds from Fernando Rivière de Carault and planted by NMCR in 1980.
I really enjoyed Horst’s wisecrack that this does not seem to be any more ‘longispinus‘ than other bridgesii.


    Trichocereus bridgesii monstrose is one of a very few NMCR plants that were not started from seed.
Origin was noted to be from Miles in 1985, Horst added it to his horticultural offerings in 1994.


    Trichocereus bridgesii came from KK seeds. No KK# was indicated. Seeds noted as being either harvested by or sourced from Knize in February 1977, sown by NMCR in July of 1980.


    Trichocereus chilensislongispinus was obtained as seeds from Robert Field in 1976, planted by NMCR in 1980.


    Trichocereus conaconensis KK nn; KK921 “BO Conacona Cochabamba 2800M” Note on tag: “(bridgesii compl.)”
Seeds were obtained from Knize in 1973. Planted by NMCR in 1980.



    Trichocereus conaconensis KK nn; (no KK#)  “BO Conacona Cochabamba 2800M”
Seeds were obtained from Knize in 1975. Planted in 1980 by NMCR.
Clearly this is quite different than Knize’s 1973 offering.



    Trichocereus culpinensis  KK924 “BO Culpina 2800m”
Seeds were acquired from Knize February of 1977. They were planted by NMCR in 1980.

The only acceptable image of Trichocereus culpinensis that was acquired on this trip is included at the top of the page

    Trichocereus cuzcoensis

This was labeled Trichocereus pachanoi var. cuzcoensis.

My assumptions, back in the day, when on seeing this offered by NMCR was that it came from one of Knize’s schizoid cuzcoensis offerings. However, this turned out to have been grown from seeds that Horst acquired from Rivière de Carault  in 1980 and planted the same year. They had arrived labeled Trichocereus cuzcoensis.  Horst eventually changed the name based on its appearance.



    Trichocereus deserticola was started from seed in 1980 by NMCR.
Seed source was noted as “W”.



My visit is divided as :

Visiting NMCR in 2010
A-H Ariocarpus – Hoodia
M-R Mammillaria – Ritterocereus
Trichocereus bridgesii – deserticola  (You are here)
Trichocereus macrogonus — pachanoi
Trichocereus poco — Trichocereus thelegonus

I hope that you enjoy seeing NMCR!


See images of the cuttings that were obtained in 2010 showing New Growth in 2011 (forthcoming here)

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


   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.








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

Copyright by Hubbie Smidlak 2008

Use your back button to return

To go back to the article:

pachanoi or pachanot?

Additional material to ponder: 


Copyright © by Keeper Trout



Backeberg’s view



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.

  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.


Use your back button to return.

Or to go to:

pachanoi or pachanot?

Additional material to ponder: 








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





This was obtained from a cactus vendor in Spain.







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












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.




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

Use your back button to return

To go back to the article:

pachanoi or pachanot?

Additional material to ponder: 


Copyright © by Keeper Trout


pachanoi fruit compared to pachanot fruit


      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).


Copyright © as indicated 

Use your back button to return.

Or to go to:

pachanoi or pachanot?

Additional material to ponder: 




Comparison of the areoles of a pachanot and a Trichocereus pachanoi


   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)