Echinopsis Species, 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


Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Camp Verde, Arizona

Gilbert, Arizona

Green Valley, Arizona

Kingman, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Sierra Vista, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona(3 reports)

Bonsall, California

Fresno, California

Hayward, California

Hesperia, California

San Leandro, California

Santa Clara, California

Las Vegas, Nevada

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Simpsonville, South Carolina

Plantersville, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 4, 2018, williethehog from Lady Lake, FL wrote:

Our Argentine has been in our care approx. 16 years and was 2ft tall with two arms. Not sure of the actual age. He has spent his life thus far in a 16" pot in Ocean City. MD. Outdoors during spring and summer and indoors with indirect sunlight only every winter. He is now approx. 4.5ft tall with numerous arms. He has never flowered but does grow slowly during his periods outside. We recently moved him to central Florida and will be planting him in the ground this spring.
He is a very hardy plant and impressive with the long spikes(thus his name...spike).
Hope someone finds this useful.


On Feb 20, 2018, desertflowers from Albuquerque, NM wrote:

I am growing this plant in Albuquerque zone 7b. It is on the south side of my house about 1 ft. from a wall. It is about 20 years old and a little over 7 ft tall but is growing about a foot a year now. It made it through a bad freeze in 2011 when we got down to -16 F but has some scarring near the base as a result. I cover it on cold nights if it has a chance of going below 15 F. It still hasnt bloomed or developed any branches but I hope it does soon.


On Jul 22, 2017, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Today I planted one I had bought a month ago in a 14" pot. When I took it out today- there was only about 1" of soil between it and the pot. So,its a hefty son of a gun and about 16" tall. I didn't see any large roots either..interesting they were all fine and white.
Its in spot that gets full sun for most of the it grows the sun becomes more all day. No worrys on its cold tolerance or that it needs hot summers. It doesn't. As huge ones at UC Berkeley do just fine on 72f summers.
Its nice to start out with a bigger sized plant. Makes an impression now.


On Mar 18, 2015, thistlesifter from Vista, CA wrote:

Two specimens from Harry Johnson estate were planted in one of our hill gardens 28 years ago. These have thrived here on very little 'hose' water. We have had a history of two winters with 30" plus rain on these plants and they sucked it up. One has not flowered. the larger of the two has flowered many times and has large white flowers (fragrantly odoriferous). Flower opens after dark and before dawn.

Neither of these have branched in spite of the 10'+ height of the tall one.

These specimens here are surrounded by desert shrubs, cactii and trees and so it is difficult to capture complete digital images that illustrate their profiles.

The Harry Johnson estate Had two Huge specimens with transport custom built structures supporting wide arms on... read more


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


On Jan 26, 2005, Xenomorf from Phoenix, 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).


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.