Ajuntament de Barcelona

Echinopsis spachiana

Mossèn Costa i Llobera Garden

    Spanish name: 
    Antorcha dorada
    English name: 
    Golden torch
    Botanical synonyms: 
    Cereus spachianus, Trichocereus spachianus, Echinocereus spachianus, Cereus santiaguensis, Trichocereus santiaguensis, Echinopsis santiaguensis
    Species characteristics
    Family: 
    Cactaceae
    Origin: 
    Argentina and Bolivia
    Habitat: 
    Clayey soils
    Characteristics: 

    Ramified from the base plant, with many ascendant columnar prickled branches, up to 2 m tall and 5-6 cm in diameter. They are light or lime green, although the oldest plants use to have faded base. It has 10-15 short and rounded ribs with big yellowish, turning to grey when aging, areolas (spot where the prickles are grouped), up to 1 cm between them. The central prickles (up to three and 0.8-2 cm long) are yellowing on the trunk and reddish on the top and the radial ones (8-10 and the same size) are golden. When aging, the prickles become white.

    The flowers, near the stems top, are very big (18-20 cm long and up to 15 cm in diameter), bright and colourful, with white petals and a green tube, which has many scales and is covered by a kind of black wool. They are nocturnal (opening at night), odorless and have a short life, no more than 24 hours after the blossoming.

    The fruit, with bright black seeds and from green to red, is medium sized and covered by a kind of black wool.

    Flowering time: 
    Late springç
    Uses and properties: 

    In some tropical countries, this cactus, once dry, is used in the food industry.

    History and curiosities: 

    The scientific name Echinopsis spachiana consists of the genus name Echinopsis, coming from the Greek words εχινος, “hedgehog”, and οφις, “appearance”, “similar to a hedgehog”, and spachiana, term in honour of the Alsatian botanist Édouard Spach (1801-1879).