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Evil Genius

Trichocereus Lookalikes Archive Thread

Question

Hi Guys, lets use this thread as an archive thread for pics of Trichocereus lookalikes.

Those are the links that Trout posted earlier today but i think we should enclude em here as well as they look very similar to Trichs! Please feel free to add pics of cacti that someone could mistake for a Trichocereus species in here!


Another one that people sometimes mistakenly label as Trichocereus is Stenocereus Griseus. I once bought a huge one on ebay that was labeled Trichocereus Peruvianus.

Stenocereus (Ritterocereus) Griseus
http://www.columnar-cacti.org/stenocereus/s_griseus.jpg

Edited by Evil Genius
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:worship:

This thread should be stickied (perhaps even in the id subforum) to help newbies prior to starting a new thread. Even though it's not really a look-a-like to the extent the other ones you've posted are, perhaps Cereus peruvianus should be included for the simple fact that it is the most commonly confused one by newbies...maybe even Pilocereus azureus.

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I have pinned this thread and moved it to the ID forum.

Another group of plants that are often confused with Trichocereus is Borzicactus

borzicactus-roezlii.jpg

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Corryocactus brevistylus in Colca Canyon.

post-19-0-73871200-1303047720_thumb.jpg

~Michael~

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Evil G! Stenocereus Griseus grows naturally in the country where I am from. :-)

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Evil Genius -

It's a good thread, but I must admit that I have been looking at the plants in this thread so many times now (and on other sites, googling etc.), and I still don't really know what features I should look for to know if a cactus is a pachanoi or one of the lookalikes.

Many of the similar cacti look quite identical to a Trichocereus Pachanoi to my eye, apart from spination. But as spination is so variable, how can this be used to differentiate ?

Can anyone help by noting a few words for the pictures, what features are the "smoking gun" that tells you it's not a pach?

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Once you become familiar with pachanoi, you will wonder how you ever had trouble distinguishing it. It's easier for those of us who are familiar with it to remember what it was like when we first started out.

I'll have a shot at making some notes for some of the cacti in this thread starting from the beginning. I'm not personally familiar with a lot of the cacti mentioned in this thread, so I can't give you distinguishing features of those, but I can look at the pictures provided in this thread and tell you why it's not a pachanoi. Also, I'm not very familiar with a lot of the unusual pachanoi that are rare in australia, so most of my comments will relate mostly to the two main types available in australia: the PC pachanoi, and the 'true' pachanoi that Yowie is a form of. Hopefully other people can weight in on that.

Gymnocereus Altissimus

2229007940068030261S600x600Q85.jpg

Firstly' date=' pachanoi spination may be variable, but they would never have spines this long. The closest thing to a pachanoi that has spines that long is a T. Bridgesii. The notches are very deep and hard edged on the Gymnocereus. It is like a straight line cut into it above each areole. Pachanoi will often (especially if well watered) have little in the way of visible notching, but instead have a smooth indent that causes the areole to point slightly upwards.

Example:

[img']http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/99/Starr_070320-5800_Echinopsis_pachanoi.jpg[/img]

When they are visibly notched, the notches will be soft edged. You can also see this in the above photograph on some areoles. The sides of each rib are almost parallel on the Gymnocereus. On a pachanoi the angle should be at least about 60 degrees. A well watered one may have ribs that are just sweeping curves.

The areoles are too large. On the pachanoi, the areoles are very small. The skin colour looks too dark for a pachanoi, though I don't know if it's just the photos.

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Thanks a lot Ballzac, you're really helping this beginner out :)

Some of the features you mention could be the result of a thirsty cactus (the sharp defined lines of the ribs), a closely related species (long spines) or a bad picture of an unhealthy cactus (the colour), but I think the point you made about the size of the areoles and the shape of the notches above them was that 'smoking gun' i was looking for.

Even though the notches are also variable, it seems they would never take that "scowling" shape of the Gymnocereus in a Pachanoi.

But what about the Browningia Utcubambensis? It has no notches. Looks ugly, but couldn't it simply be a sickly specimen of a long-spined variant of Pachanoi?

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Some similar observations could be made about the utcubambensis. The large areoles and the almost parallel sided ribs. The spines aren't quite as long and perhaps may be consistent with some of the rarer forms of pachanoi. There are many others who will have a better idea on that than I do. The profile of the ribs is similar to pachanoi, but on pachanoi, the areoles are tilted upwards, they are not vertical like that. All in all, it's about putting together all the pieces. A dehydrated pachanoi might have ribs that are narrowish, but no conditions will produce areoles that size. If one aspect of it looks off, it could possibly be just an unusual form (or an unhealthy specimen) of pachanoi, but when you put it all together, and you have incorrect cross-section, incorrect orientation of areoles, incorrect areole size, incorrect spination, there is no mistaking that it is a different species.

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In some cases, there is no key that can be applied to rule out a Trichocereus. The problem is that Trichocereus is not even a valid Family anymore and it contains a whole lot of diffrent Cacti. Some may not even belong into the group with all the other ones. Then there are the Helianthocereus and other cereoid species like Browningia and Azureocereus which are very close to Trichocereus as well. The Browningia you mentioned has some very characteristic wool on the areoles what gives it away after you´ve seen it a few times. But to be honest, i dont even know all the Trichocereus lookalikes. Thats why i think this Thread is important. I have about 100 cactus books in which most of the great Specialists of the past pretty much disagree on most cacti with each other. This is a huge subject and i will write about this again later when i have more time but i cant give you a general rule of thumb how to ID a Pachanoi over another columnar cactus. After a while, you just have them saved up in your head and can pretty much rule the others out. bye Eg

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Thanks a lot, both of you ! It's amazing how many details there are to be found in what appears to be "just another cactus" before you start to understand and see the nuances ..

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There's also the details to ignore. When I first started, one of the most obvious things for was the number of ribs, and the first few I saw labelled as pachanoi had odd ribs, so I assumed that it must be a defining feature, but in fact the number of ribs tells you nothing about what it is, in spite of the fact that some numbers are more common than others in particular species.

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The smoking Gun is in the flowers... & fruit... Tricho... cereus...

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The smoking Gun is in the flowers... & fruit... Tricho... cereus...

Yes, if the cactus is flowering..

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My point precisely, there is no smoking gun otherwise.

Subtle nuances learnt with study & patience, something these plants can teach you...

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shruman is right. that's a basic taxonjomic treat

let me rave a bit ....

I hate it that our cactus section is so monolithic and so focused on trichos! and we are supposed to be discreet? there a ton of sticked topics on how to ID certain species of trichocerei and discussions. there are tons of discussions on phenotypes. why another?

well here's my short take. Trichocerei and columnars in general are quite difficult to ID taxonomically speaking. The reason that so many people in such forums as this have great knowledge of the interesting Trichocerei phenotype is that they have grown so many types of them, not necessarily because they are aces in cactus-IDing or taxonomy in general.

I aqcuired much if not all of the initial spark and knowledge , as well my first cactus [a trichocereus kk339, perhaps the archetypical pachanoi] from this site, but the true knowledge comes with growing the damn plants and experience! If you like the taxonomy game, then the trichocereus complex we study here is a only a small example of the diversity and the thrill in the cactus world , plant or fungi. Noticing the variation is a great game, a game in which some ambitious people have based their careers on.

I dont feel obliged to play by their rules, necessarily, seeing how things in taxonomy constantly change, mushrooms too. [note that mushrooms and cacti are pretty newly discovered and studied in comparison to regular plants, maybe this is more true in the former..]

In my book, EG, Trichocereus is valid as a name, and only to be scientifically [and politically] correct I would call Trichocereus bridgesi Echinopsis lageniformis. Or in some later point in time, if stuff get nasty over trichocerei

The most efficient way to learn to recognize f.e. pachanoi is to get one and grow it.

There is no way to learn this from pictures, or some cool hot tips to learn pachanoi alone, if you dont study a lot and grow them.

AND YEAH, I mistook Pilosocereus azureus for T.peruvianus earlier in my cactus path. The big difference between me and some other dude, is that I grew the Pilosocerei, I grafted on them [they're OK] , and this year one of them even flowered, producing a much much different flower from trichocereus, which was simply awesome. I am saying these because I believe in order to understand a genus, and what makesit, its a good idea to learn another.

this is very true f.e. when picking wild psilocybes, and you GOT TO [or its a great idea] learn to recognise potential Galerinas [genus of look-alikes , fatally toxic] .

Ballzac's got some points

and like he says

.....the size of areoles, or the V notches , or the rib number , skin colour, spine length, spine number, spine arrangement or many of them combined still CANNOT give you a fool-proof method to tell the species and genus.

Additionally , some cacti can become unrecognisable when neglected or grown in very harsh or bad-light situations.

F.e. the spines become much more prominent [longer, more colourful, in greater numbers] in intense sun, and this is for ALL cacti - the opposite happens in low light, cacti grow non-distinct and additionally plants grow more thinny.

There is a good reason why people who know cacti well say columnars are difficult to ID.

So, you can get a pachanoi easily these days. To learn to ID it or describe the difference from similar species? there are tons of threads on this already, and some good info here.

I started the adventure of studying taxonomy and IDing with mushrooms, eight years ago - not magic mushrooms only In that game, you are not allowed to make a mistake, y'know? Cause you can claim this plant is this and that mushroom is that, but its a loooot different when you come to eat it for food, y'know? Then you have to be right you got the right mushroom. That's how I learnt to ID, despite the fact I am not the eye type of guy, y'know the visually observant type.

I also have come to find out some people are better in 'getting' the taxonomy state of mind better than others. Let alone some [few] are thrilled by it - others are not tunt on by it, so this must play a role. In my book, there nothing better than growin Thisgenusi X along with Thisgenusi Y,and note all of their differences, but still see the main themes than make them 'cousins', and thus together in the genus Thisgenusi

I have 'taught' so to speak or showed around the automn forest floor to quite a number of people. Spoon feeding people with concentrated info is not always worthless - f.e. in the forest, with a live specimen, there's a whole world of observations to take place, not the story with pictures, especially one view, bad pictures with no detail and taxonomic knowledge when taken. Some with sharp minds seem to be able to absorb it. In any case, I find people should be taught how to learn themselves and what to learn, and this is much more productive and awesome in the long term. Problem is people usually are hasty learners and wanna conquer the world in 3 days.

The same is with a cactus garden. Wanna see and maybe feel the differences ? got to find a botanical cactus garden or a cool cactus collection with lots of trichocerei species. My roof or any SAB member with a decent trichocereus collection is the best place.

I intended for long to do a grow-thread, showing phenotypoes of different species etc, but I havent got to do it yet. One reason holding me is that I have been chopping my trichos for propagation heavily.

another short answer??

GET TROUTS BOOK. This is a must for tricho-obsessives. but the book will make it obvious its not an easy ride,the ID & taxonomic part

another short answer distiguishing the tricho species

note this is if you got the genus right, and then its no fool-proof guide:

[and since I got in the phenotype discussion after all, lol, feel free to correct me suggest something I missed, I wrote this in a hurry]

1) scop: very short or tiny spines and pretty sparse areoles, can have tendency to go 4 rib, usually 4-6 ribs, green body, large phenotype

2) bridgesii: quite spiny , relatively sparse areoles, some clones go 4 rib, but in general 5-7 is more usual, bluegreen body, thinny phenotype

3) pachanoi: of variable spination, relatively short spines in general, areole density sparse to medium , 5-8 ribs usually, green or bluegreen body, fast grower medium sized phenotype, fast grower,

4) peruvianus/cuzcoensis/macrogonus, very spiny, but some shorter spined phenotypes exist, especially in true peruvianus. areoles density is medium, even though it seems sparcer in true peruvianus forms. the true paruvianus forms also seem to have less thickish spines, especially at the base. medium to large sized phenotype . skin is pretty bluer than other trichchocerei bluegreens, in some forms [true peruvianus] in particular. real peruvianus seem to be faster growers

terschecki, pasacana, taquimbalensis, chilensis etc are extremely spiny and they are pretty fatter, the giants of the Trichocerei, and grow much slower in general.

you will notice the pachanoi traits I mention are quite general and not so distinguishable, and given with key words as usually,and relatively, but that is because I compare a limited number of 8-12 trichocerei species.

I think I am done and hope I have helped as much as I have showed off :)

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They aren't very common, but there are a few lookalikes in Brazil:

Pilosocereus arrabidae

DSCN9683.jpg

Pilosocereus-arrabidae.jpg

Pilosocereus_arrabidae.jpg

Pilosocerus quadricostatus

DSCN9744.jpg

Cipocereus minensis

DSCN9853.jpg

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What about Cereus Peruvianus? From looking at the photos I've seen it sold on e-Bay listed as Tri. Peruvianus. My Guess is that people just don't know and think it is Trichocereus. I find the main difference is Cereus has thin segments that are very deep, while the Peruvian Torch like most Tri. is fat with small rounded segments.

Edited by Third Wheel

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Here are some common little columnars in baby cutting form... with labels from the nursery
I rescued them after they were viciously attacked by straw flowers and a hot glue gun...

post-11432-0-32758900-1363543307_thumb.j



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Stetsonia coryne

IKR! i used to think stetsonia coryne was werdermannianus and it has a "magickal" green glow to it often on a good fat specimen that has been in low light for a while

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