Trichocereus santaensis | ‘Lapitog’ | Live plant

Trichocereus santaensis,  cloned from a plant we originally obtained from Germany. Live plant.

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Trichocereus santaensis | ‘Lapitog’ | Live plant

(syn. Echinopsis santaensis)

This listing is for nice Trichocereus santaensis cacti, cloned from a mother plant which we first sourced from a German enthusiast. Reportedly, the mother plant of our mother plant is rather old, so these are good genetics to add to any collection!

Trichocereus santaensis (syn. Echinopsis santaensis) is a sparsely-researched, yet truly beautiful, cactus species, originally found in the Santa Valley (for which it is named), in Peru’s Ancash region. It’s reportedly known by the informal name ‘Lapitog’ (at least in some parts of Ancash) and occurs naturally at an altitude of between two thousand eight hundred to three thousand metres.

Santaensis is a variable, columnar species that reaches roughly five metres tall once mature, growing grey-green-blue, branching upright stems of around fifteen centimetres in diameter from its base. The plant is usually covered with brown-red-yellow spines, approximately two to five centimetres in length, although some almost spineless forms are known to exist too. Its fantastic, white-whitish flowers can be as large as twenty-two centimetres across and are similar in appearance to related species, such as Trichocereus pachanoi (‘San Pedro’).

While relatively rare as a live plant on the commercial market, it can sometimes be found being sold labelled as Trichocereus pachanoi. Recognised and semi-recognised species which are often said to be closely-related to or interbred or synonymous with Trichocereus santaensis include Trichocereus huanucoensis, Trichocereus pachanoi (especially those found around Huaraz) and Trichocereus pallarensis. The species is also often confused with Trichocereus cuzcoensis, with which some santaensis forms can be quite similar in appearance.

As are most of the Trichocereus genus, santaensis is an easy and rewarding cactus to cultivate, either outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11 or indoors. Grow in a well-drained, mildly acidic to mildly alkaline soil and water as necessary (every week or two in summer in much of Europe). If planting in the ground, make sure to leave each specimen at least ninety centimetres apart, so that they have ample room to grow. Provide a growing position in full sun or full sun to partial shade for best results.

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Live plant


1 rooted plant


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