Trichocereus pasacana


Cereus atacamensis
Cereus eriocarpus
Cereus pasacana
Echinopsis Pasacana
Echinopsis atacamensis
Echinopsis formosissima
Echinopsis rivierei
Helianthocereus atacamensis
Helianthocereus pasacanus
Trichocereus atacamensis
Trichocereus rivierei


T. pasacana is native to the South America, in particular it grows in Northwest Argentina, Bolivia, North Chile. In these countries the cactus grows on slopes of desert regions and can live up to 2000 m of altitude.


T. pasacana is a columnar cactus that can reach 10 m in height and 40 cm in diameter, this plant can live for a long time indeed (almost 300 years). The stem is green and consists of 18-22 ribs, it tends to branch and can form up to 30 lateral branches. Crowded and pointed yellow spines up to 15 cm long cover the stem. When the plant grows it tends to lose its thorns in the apical region. The blooming is in May-June and the flowers are white-pink, 10 cm long and covered by long dark hairs. The flowers blooms in the evening and lasts 18-40 hours, after pollinating they produce a dark green hairy edible fruits borne on the sides of the stem.


This plant is easy to grow and is a fast growing cactus. The perfect soil is a well-drained soil that let the water to drain away and avoid root rot. You can water regularly (every 10 day) in the growing season but check that the soil is completely dry before watering again. During the winter is advisable to stop watering to allow the plant to resist low temperatures and to enter dormancy. For a lush vegetative growth, you can use some fertilizers specialized for cacti. For the sun exposure the best one is direct sunlight as it is in its habitat. The plant can withstand to low temperatures as happens in its habitat where the winter can be very cold.


Propagation can be done by seed or by cutting. By seed is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam soil and keep it with high level of humidity. By cutting you can use the offsets that grow at the base of the plant. Cut the offset as close as possible to the base of the stem and then let it dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice.


The species name “Trichocereus pasacana” is a combination of both Latin and Greek terms. “Trichocereus” is derived from the Greek words “thrix” meaning hair and “cereus” meaning waxy, possibly referring to the hairy appearance of the plant.

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