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PlantFiles: Argentine Giant
Echinopsis candicans

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Echinopsis (ek-in-OP-sis) (Info)
Species: candicans (KAN-dee-kans) (Info)

Synonym:Trichocereus candicans
Synonym:Cereus candicans
Synonym:Cereus candicans var. courantii
Synonym:Trichocereus courantii
Synonym:Echinopsis courantii

3 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

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
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

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

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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

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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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral desertdawg On Oct 9, 2012, desertdawg from Scottsdale, AZ wrote:

I don't have any personal experience with this plant yet. I did buy a small one, in a 1" pot at the garden shop at Desert Botanical Gardens last year. They were trying to sell out most of the plants in the shop because the building was to be taken down and replaced by a restrurant. The garden shop will re-open later in a different location. My purchase is still in the pot I bought it in. I know where I want to plant it but must first remove a small tree. Waiting for cooler weather. The plant will grow here in Scottsdale. There is a mature plant growing in a yard near my home. I like it's spreading habit and the large blooms.

Positive JudyVorfeld On Apr 19, 2011, JudyVorfeld from Peoria, AZ wrote:

This plant is very common in the yards of the residents of the Northwest Valley. I can see on outside my office window. There are a number in the neighborhood, and they are seen regularly in Sun City, Westbrook Village, and surrounding areas. Easy to take a cutting and plant, and then one only needs patience. In fact, I realized that I recently transplanted one from my brother's home, and it had buds, so I went into the back yard and discovered one in full blossom. Amazing plants.

Positive tlspiegel On Apr 1, 2005, tlspiegel from Phoenix - Zone 9, AZ wrote:

For the past 7 years, the cactus was originally growing about 3 feet from it's present location. After marking one side, several of my neighbors helped me transplant it to a place where it could spread out more. This was in December when it was moved.

Shortly after it was moved several more 'babies' popped out around the long trunk. Three potential flowers came out 3rd week in March, and in one week 2 of the flowers peaked. They lasted 2 days and then shriveled up. They were 8 inches from top to bottom. They had no scent.

Positive cacti_lover On Jan 26, 2005, cacti_lover from Henderson, NV (Zone 9b) wrote:

This cactus resembles the 'torch cactus' but not as tall and does not stand as straight. It tends to lean on one side and forms pups on the other side. It eventually forms a large clump 4'-6' across. The main stem can be up to 6"-8" across and 3'-4' tall. The stem is medium green in color on the shaded side and yellowish green on the sun baked side. The flowers are bright white on the inside and pink on the outside. They are very large(8"-11" across) and can be profuse. I have a 2 1/2' tall plant that had 13 flowers at one time! The fragrant of the flowers is very strong--perhaps one of the strongest in the cacti family. If you leave the cactus in the house and if it has a couple of flowers, the whole house will be lightly scented. If you have a dozen of blooms, it can be sickening. The flowers open at night and close in the mid afternoon. It can stay open for two or more days if the weather is cool and/or cloudy. It usually blooms in late spring, but can be a early as mid March, and sometimes in September. Easy to grow.

Positive Xenomorf On Jan 2, 2005, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Nocturnal blooming and the flowers close up at about 9am, white with yellow centers, very fragrant. (another night blooming cereus).
This variety is the short spined version of Echinopsis candicans and the long spine version was just recently named to be set apart from the short spined version to 'var. gladiatus'.
The short spined one is very common in cultivation, gardens and landscapes.

Other synonyms include: Trichocereus neolamprochlorus, Helianthocereus pseudocandicans, Trichocereus pseudocandicans, Echinopsis pseudocandicans, Cereus gladiatus & Trichocereus candicans var. courantii.


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

Chandler, Arizona
Fort Mohave, Arizona
Gilbert, Arizona
Goodyear, Arizona
Green Valley, Arizona
Maricopa, Arizona (2 reports)
Mohave Valley, Arizona
Peoria, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Sedona, Arizona
Surprise, Arizona
Los Angeles, California
San Leandro, California
Las Vegas, Nevada
Springtown, Texas

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