PERUVIAN TORCH CACTUS (Trichocereus peruvianus)

I received the Cacti & Succulent book I’d ordered in the mail the other day and I’m labouring my way through the photos trying to match some of my unidentified cacti images (made in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens) with the book.

I was very disappointed to find that there are no Common Names mentioned.

How extraordinary I thought to myself.

Both my Australian Plant Encyclopaedias  and Weeds in Australia book list the Common Name first (with the Genus, species and family second).

All I can say is that at least it might give me some clues to narrow down my cacti identification without labouring through multiple websites.

In the meantime, my photos of the Peruvian Torch Cactus (Trichocereus peruvianus) were already identified from a name plaque at the base of the plant in the RBG.  Not only are the flowers stunning on this fast-growing columnar prickly cactus, but the flower buds are equally interesting.

I’ll leave you to look up more about this plant if you’re interested, as this blog is about Nature Photography, not Gardening or Botany per se.

Melbourne’s RBG (Royal Botanic Gardens) were only 5 minutes walk away from where I used to live and work on the south-east side of Melbourne’s main river for the benefit of those new to my nature blog.  So when I had to take ‘early retirement’ due to ill-health in 2010 and bought a camera and took up Photography as a hobby, it was initially my main source of photo subjects.  But I already knew the RBG intimately BC (Before Camera), as I walked in and around its many paths for something like 25 years.  When you live in a small apartment, who can complain about having no garden or backyard of your own, when a 38 hectare site with some 55,000 plant is on your ‘doorstep’.

9 thoughts on “PERUVIAN TORCH CACTUS (Trichocereus peruvianus)

  1. There’s no question that this is a relative of my Cereus peruvianus. I’ve got a bunch of photos, but here’s a quick view of its bud. It’s bloomed for me two years, with two or three flowers each time. I’ve had it for many, many years, and it finally got so big I couldn’t handle it, so I went to work and trimmed it. Now, I have several in pots that I can lift. In spring, some will need to be repotted, but at least they’re of a size now that I can handle if an evacuation is necessary. They’re beautiful plants, both of them.

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      1. Except that the one I have is an extraordinarily slow grower. Really slow. My problem is that I kept repotting the darned thing, which allowed it to get even bigger. Eventually, the combined weight of the large pot, the dirt, and the cactus was just too much to handle, even if I’d done a dirt replacement rather than going with another larger pot.

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      2. Re-potting is a trap I fell into quickly with my balcony garden. I ended up with pots that were far too heavy for my fragile back (to turn and move so the west-facing sun made the pots all grow evenly). Anyway, I’ve got rid of all the big pots now, except the Nemesia flower and after the severe gusty winds and rain of the last few days, many branches are broken now. As soon as the wild weather dies down, I’ll have to go out and……finally……empty the last large pot. Gosh, its been like winter this past week and only another week until Summer starts in Australia.

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