Echinopsis candicans (Argentine Giant)

Scientific Name

Echinopsis candicans (Gillies ex Salm-Dyck) D.R.Hunt

Common Names

Argentine Giant

Synonyms

Cereus gladiatus, Helianthocereus pseudocandicans, Echinopsis pseudocandicans, Trichocereus pseudocandicans, Trichocereus neolamprochlorus, Echinopsis courantii, Trichocereus candicans, Cereus candicans, Trichocereus courantii

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Trichocereeae
Genus: Echinopsis

Flower

Color: White
Bloom Time: Late spring

Description

Echinopsis candicans is a cactus with a shrubby growth habit. Individual stems are light green, up to 24 inches (60 cm) tall, up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, and have 9–11 low ribs. The large white areoles are spaced at 1.2 inches (3 cm) and produce brownish-yellow spines. The central spines are up to 4 inches (10 cm) long, while the radial spines are up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long. Flowers are fragrant, white, up to 10 inches (25 cm) long, up to 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter, and open at night.

Echinopsis candicans - Argentine Giant
Photo via desertdabbler.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

If you can grow cacti and succulents successfully, you can likely grow the Echinopsis species without too much trouble. Like many cacti, they prefer a drying period between waterings, even when they slightly wilt. When you water, however, you should water deeply. The plant will noticeably plump up. The cactus mustn't be exposed to prolonged dampness and sitting moisture. Never let your cactus sit in a dish of water. Lastly, make sure to fertilizer during the growing season for the best results.

Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot a cactus, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. See more at How to Grow and Care for Echinopsis.

Origin

Native to northern and western Argentina (Monte Desert).

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