Trichocereus peruvianus ‘KK242’ | ‘Peruvian Torch’ | Live plant

Get ready for some classic Karel Kníže cactus confusion! Live plant.

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Trichocereus peruvianus ‘KK242’ | ‘Peruvian Torch’ | Live plant

(syn. Echinopsis peruviana, Trichocereus macrogonus subsp. peruvianus, Trichocereus macrogonus var. peruvianus)

Get ready for some classic Karel Kníže cactus confusion, with Freaky Cacti’s entrancing Trichocereus peruvianus ‘KK242’, available as live, rooted plants…

For those who don’t know, Karel Kníže was a colourful character who is often credited with bringing many, many cactus species to the commercial market, via his seed and plant collections in Peru. However, he’s probably equally strongly thought of negatively by many poor collectors, due to his propensity for supplying mislabelled or unlabelled plants, and the fact that his ‘collection numbers’ merely indicate the geographical area where a particular plant or seed was obtained – nor do they distinguish between Kníže’s regional collections made from neighbouring but distinct populations of similar plants, or at different points in time. Etcetera!

So, Kníže described his ‘KK242’ as being a form of Trichocereus peruvianus (the ‘Peruvian Torch’), originating from collections made at roughly two-thousand metres above sea level, from Peru’s Matucana region…and that’s it.

Presently, the most commonly available ‘KK242’ on the commercial market and in private collections appears to be a semi-specific form of the close relative of peruvianus, Trichocereus cuzcoensis. But… All sorts of people have grown out all sorts of plants from Kníže’s seed, ranging from “beautiful blue Matucana peruvianus” to beyond! Seemingly, there are multiple plants distributed under the ‘KK242’ identity…

According to Keeper Trout’s correspondence with Kníže, “in his view, [KK242] represents up to 9 different populations “above Matucana”, 6 of which are short spined and all of which fall within the spectrum of pachanoi-peruvianus” and that “any accurate definition of what KK242 represents needs to incorporate all of those AND the KK242 seed-grown T. cuzcoensis AND the KK242 seed-grown T. bridgesii” (this latter strangeness appears to have resulted from one or more batches of mislabelled seeds). European collector Patrick Noll lists several distinct ‘KK242’ collection sites on his excellent website, along with clues to the identities of some resulting plants (our apostrophes): ‘Trichocereus peruvianus’ form. Langa, ‘Trichocereus peruvianus’ from Huancavelica (“probably” ‘genuine’ peruvianus), ‘Trichocereus peruvianus’ from Matucana (“frosted stem, brown spines”), ‘Trichocereus peruvianus’ from Rio Chillon, in central Peru and Trichocereus peruvianus from Lurin Valle or Rio Lurin (“actually a peruvianus”). And then there’s all the other ‘KK242’ genetics shared by growers in various forms to consider…

All that said, as can be seen from the example photographs accompanying the present listing, ‘our’ Trichocereus peruvianus ‘KK242’ certainly appears to tend more toward the cuzcoensis end of the spectrum than what we commonly know as peruvianus (at least in our humble view), but we’ve listed here under the name ascribed to it by its progenitor. Given its notoriety we think this makes sense…

As with most of the Trichocereus cacti, these plants are quite easy to take care of, either indoors or outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-11. Their main requirements at this stage are a mildly acidic to mildly alkaline, free-draining soil and sufficient light, water and nutrients. If planting them in the ground, space them a few metres apart so that they enough room to grow nice and big!

Product Details

Product Type

Live plant


1 rooted plant


Size is added here when this item is in stock.

Common Name

Peruvian Torch









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