Echinopsis spachiana


Echinopsis spachiana (Golden Torch)

Echinopsis spachiana (Golden Torch) is a columnar cactus that grows up to 7 feet (2 m) tall, branching from its base at the ground level…

Echinopsis spachiana - garden

Origin and Habitat: Western Argentina, Bolivia.

Description: Echinopsis spachiana is a multi-stemmed columnar cactus at first simple, later profusely branching at the base branches ascending parallel with the main stem.
Stem: Stem upright up to about 2 m tall, but usually smaller, 5 to 6 cm in diameter, columnar.
Ribs: 10 to 15, obtuse, rounded.
Areoles: About 1 cm apart, large, covered with curly yellow wool, turning white or grey as they age.
Spines: Radial spines 8 to 10, 6 mm to 1 cm long, spreading, stiff, sharp, amber-yellow to brown.
Central spines: 1 to 3 yellowish, 12 mm long, stronger and longer than the radials all the spines later becoming grey.
Flower: Nocturnal, white, about 20 cm long and 15 cm in diameter lasting about 24 hours from one sunset to the following one.
Blooming time: Late spring.

Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Echinopsis spachiana group

Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
3) Edward Anderson “The Cactus family” Timber Press, Incorporated, 2001
4) James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey "The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass" Cambridge University Press, 11/Aug/2011
2) David R Hunt Nigel P Taylor Graham Charles International Cactaceae Systematics Group. "The New Cactus Lexicon" dh books, 2006
5) Curt Backeberg “Die Cactaceae: Handbuch der Kakteenkunde,” Volume 2 G. Fischer, 1959
7) H. Peter Loewer “The Evening Garden” Macmillan Pub., 1993
8) N. L. Britton and J. N. Rose “The 'Cactaceae', Descriptions and Illustrations of Plants of the 'Cactus' Family” volume 2 Carnegie Institution, 1920
9) John Borg "Cacti: a gardener's handbook for their identification and cultivation" Blandford P., 1970
10) Willy Cullmann, Erich Götz (Dozent Dr.), Gerhard Gröner “The encyclopedia of cacti” Timber Press, 1987

Echinopsis spachiana Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
Echinopsis spachiana Photo by: Paolo Di Varena
Echinopsis spachiana Photo by: Cactus Art
Echinopsis spachiana Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
Echinopsis spachiana Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
Echinopsis spachiana Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
Echinopsis spachiana Photo by: Cactus Art

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Cultivation and Propagation: Echinopsis spachiana is a a much decorative frost hardy cactus easily found in cultivation and grows virtually anywhere. It is a summer grower species that offers no cultivation difficulties. It can be overwintered outdoors if sheltered from rain and severe frosts.
Soil: Use a very a particularly draining substratum, as it is very sensitive to rottenness when in presence of humidity and low temperatures and let the soil dry out between waterings, since it's natural habitat is in volcanic soil, it has adapted to more acidic conditions.
Repotting: Repot in the spring, when their roots become cramped. Generally, they should be repotted every other year in order to provide fresh soil. After repotting, do not water for a week or more. Needs a large pot to accommodate a large root system.
Water: In summer, during the vegetative period, it must be regularly watered, but allowing the substratum to completely dry up before irrigating again (but do not overwater). In winter, it’s to be kept dry. Preferable not to water on overcast days, humid days or cold winter days.
Hardiness: It is a quite frost resistant cactus, hardy to - 10° C (or less if very dry). However in cultivation it is better not to expose it to temperatures lower than -0° C, even if in an aerated and protected location, in order to avoid the formation of anti-aesthetic spots on the epidermis. In presence of high atmospheric humidity avoid any frost as it is particularly sensitive to root rot.
Exposure: Outside full sun or afternoon shade, inside needs bright light, and some direct sun, but, as a former mountain dweller, does not care for extremely high temperatures in summer.
Use: It is suitable for small “desert” gardens, in association with other xerophytes. Where the open air cultivation is not possible due to the climate, it is to be cultivated in pot in order to shelter it in winter.
Grafting stock: Trichocereus spachianus is often used as a rather thick stock.
Propagation: By seeds and by cuttings, provided left drying up well, in summer.

Golden Torch, Torch Cactus, White Torch Cactus

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Echinopsis (ek-in-OP-sis) (Info)
Species: spachiana (spak-ee-AY-nuh) (Info)
Synonym:Cereus spachianus
Synonym:Echinocereus spachianus
Synonym:Cereus santiaguensis
Synonym:Echinopsis santiaguensis
Synonym:Trichocereus santiaguensis


Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


Plant has spines or sharp edges use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Chandler, Arizona(2 reports)

Baywood-Los Osos, California

Las Vegas, Nevada(2 reports)

Gardeners' Notes:

On Jun 13, 2009, hummelbill from Las Vegas, NV wrote:

Rather nervous when we planted golden torch cactus last June as the green exterior browned immediately and looked as if it burned, making us more uncomfortable. This week, 6/11/09, multiple blossoms opened for a day, -overwhelming in beauty. The flower barely lasted a day. Now what to do with the dead flowers on top of the torch?? leave them, cut them off. there are apparently more flowers developing. Where to learn more about this cactus. Thanks

On Jan 24, 2005, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

The next most common botanical name that is referred to as is: Trichocereus spachianus. In fact as of at least today (5/25/2017), it may have been switched back into the Trichocereus genus in the latest classifications. This plant is able to handle full sun, no shade, with a little extra water in the hotter summer months, the other ones i see in other landscapes that get no extra water usually have a burnt side. Blooms at night and closes when the strong sunlight hits it.

On Dec 29, 2004, cacti_lover from Henderson, NV (Zone 9b) wrote:

This cactus is a beautiful plant and fairly easy to grow. It usually blooms from mid April to early July. Sometimes it will bloom again in early to mid fall. The flowers are large(8"-10" across) and strongly scented. They open in the evening and last until noon the next day. During cool or cloudy weather, they may stay open for 2-3 days.

Watch the video: Echinopsis spachiana

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