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ECHINOPSIS huascha

Image of Echinopsis huascha

Michael Charters, www.calflora.net

Family

Cactaceae

Botanical Name

ECHINOPSIS huascha

Plant Common Name

Red Torch Cactus

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Good size overall and abundant flowers make this a superior choice for both container gardens and desert landscaping. It is native to northern Argentina where plants are widely adaptable to a wide range of exposures. The plant is composed of many stems that originate at the base, standing upright at the center and growing more procumbent around the edges of the clump. Each stem, about the diameter of a baseball bat is dark green, averaging 14 to 17 low rounded ridges, which bear areoles from which spines and flowers originate. Each areole features 1 to 3 central spines surrounded by 9 to 11 short radial spines, which may take on a golden cast.

This is typically a fire engine red flower, but the species is so variable both yellow and orange blooms are known on wild plants. Flowers are produced near the stem tips on newly formed areoles. As a daytime bloomer, the hummingbird is likely the primary pollinator. A large plant can produce many blossoms while producing new buds in abundance for an extended period of color. Small fruits follow pollination, maturing pale green with a yellow or red cast. Slow growth and a tidy form early in life makes this big bloomer a popular plant indoors and on the patio. It is vital to provide very granular soil to assure rapid drainage. Feed often but lightly during the spring and summer growing season, then provide dry conditions over winter.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    12 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    12, 13, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    1'-3' / 0.3m - 0.9m

  • Width

    1'-3' / 0.3m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    North America, Argentina

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Red, Orange

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Red, Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Houseplant, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No