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PlantFiles: Argentine Saguaro, Cardon Grande
Echinopsis terscheckii

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Echinopsis (ek-in-OP-sis) (Info)
Species: terscheckii (ter-SHEK-ee-eye) (Info)

Synonym:Trichocereus terscheckii
Synonym:Cereus terscheckii
Synonym:Pilocereus terscheckii
Synonym:Trichocereus werdermannianus
Synonym:Echinopsis werdermanniana

One vendor has this plant for sale.

13 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting
From seed; direct sow after last frost

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

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5 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative Mudbug1960 On Sep 11, 2013, Mudbug1960 from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

E. Terscheckii is supposed to be OK in USDA zone 8b. Some Austin cactusheads would disagree. We has lows of 17 in 2010 and 2011, and many of our Terscheckiis have suffered burns, usually on top. One of mine sprouted a branch (or a cockeyed segment) right out of the damaged tissue. The other one is doing fine, but with brown hair.

Positive hampson On Apr 23, 2013, hampson from Kingman, AZ (Zone 8b) wrote:

We have had these growing in Kingman for the last 12 years. Beautiful blooms!

Positive acactus On Jul 28, 2010, acactus from Silverado, CA wrote:

This is a great cactus it grows like a Saguaro but it grows much faster, is more cold tolerant, & handles cold & moisture better. I have a 10 foot plant that has been growing in Hesperia, CA zone 8 (3500 feet) for 10 years. It has survived temperatures down to 15 degrees with little to no damage. However young plants are less cold tolerant.

Positive baiissatva On Feb 5, 2009, baiissatva from Dunedin
New Zealand wrote:

Zone 9b coastal otago New Zealand

I have been assured that these tricho/echinopsis type cacti *are* hallucinogenic, and down here hippies steal them from your garden. However I predict that like most alleged hallucinogens, the only reliably freaky thing youre likely to see is the contents of your stomach about 20 mins after ingestion. Wow! Why not just eat something off the footpath?

Seriously though, I have one outside in a pot suffering complete neglect and it's come through the occasional -5C withough damage. That's with really soggy conditions thrown in. So they're pretty tough.

Neutral ogrejelly On Nov 24, 2007, ogrejelly from Gilbert, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Purchased this plant last year and have seen little to no growth. It is currently only receiving morning to early afternoon sun at its current heigth so perhaps this is the reason. It was reported to grow faster than the Arizona native but so far I have not seen it.

Positive oliverbutthead On Aug 6, 2007, oliverbutthead from Plantersville, TX wrote:

Beautiful and resilient large columnar cactus. Seems to handle a good amount of rain with good drainage of course. Here north of houston about 50 miles has withstood temps down to 17 degrees F for short duration without damage and in the last few months, it has been on the receiving end of record rain fall for this already high rainfall area. In the last 2 months, it has withstood nicely with over 20" of rain and is growing and looking very healthy and nice. I must add though that the bed it is planted in is built above existing groundlevel and prepared well for excellent drainage. One of my favorite cactus. Very robust and not too finicky.

Neutral Xenomorf On Jan 26, 2005, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This species forms an 18 inch thick trunk with age and many branches. Grows up to about 40 feet high. Flowers are white and bloom at night (another night blooming ceroid).

Positive palmbob On Mar 1, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Nice looking cactus from ARgentina- probably pretty cold tolerant, but not sure how cold tolerant. Grows up to 20' and is exported a lot for it's skin. Not sure why, either- looks, potpoiri?.. but used to be eaten by the Indians locally. Suspect there is something hallucinigenic about it.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Camp Verde, Arizona
Gilbert, Arizona
Green Valley, Arizona
Kingman, Arizona
Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)
Fresno, California
Hayward, California
Hesperia, California
San Leandro, California
Simpsonville, South Carolina
Plantersville, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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