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
    Argentina and Bolivia
    Clayey soils

    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).