Trichocereus peruvianus – Huantar (cactus)
Trichocereus peruvianus is a fast growing columnar cactus native to the western slope of the Andes in Peru, between about 2000–3000m above sea level. Common names include Peruvian Torch. Used traditionally for divination and medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Also called Echinopsis peruviana.
There is a cactus that grows around the 3000 year old ruins of the temple of Chavin de Huantar, and is likely what is represented in the oldest known human artwork depicting a succulent plant in the entheogenic rock carvings present there. The Huantar cactus was collected from an area to the north of Chavin de Huantar.
Care and Cultivation of Trichocereus peruvianus
Trichocereus cacti are native to regions of Ecuador, Peru and into Bolivia. Other species have a more southern distribution, several as far as Argentina. They dislike high humidity and tend to grow best in the more southern areas of Australia, the best specimens are in Victoria and South Australia. They also do very well in arid and subtropical situations. Use a soil mix like you would for a normal garden plant, ie. not cactus mix. We top dress with 5-7mm gravel. Regular applications of fertiliser and dolomite lime keep growth strong. Water when dry or more frequently, they are pretty adaptable! They can be planted into a well drained part of the garden in full to part sun.
1 cactus seedling, 70-120mm tall
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