Trichocereus bridgesii | ‘Achuma’, ‘Bolivian Torch’, ‘Wachuma’ | Seeds
Trichocereus bridgesii (Syn: Echinopsis lageniformis) is a fast-growing columnar cactus originating from Bolivia. Bridgesii can grow up to around 6 metres tall, branching at the base and forming stems of up to 15–20 cm in diameter. Mature bridgesii can grow up to 30cm per year in ideal conditions!
Closely-related to the well-known Trichocereus pachanoi (‘San Pedro’) and Trichocereus peruvianus (‘Peruvian Torch’), Trichocereus bridgesii is a beautiful cactus plant, recognisable by its 4-10 cm long spines. Like several other Trichocereus species, bridgesii has been utilised by Bolivian shaman and is regarded as a sacred and protective plant under these practices.
Besides their traditional shamanic use, Trichocereus bridgesii (along with Trichocereus pachanoi) is regarded as a universal grafting stock, offering a high success rate and a long-life span of steady fast growth – despite scions grafted onto Trichocereus species initially taking slightly longer to begin their growth burst when compared to other grafting stocks. Bridgesii is also used in Bolivia as both a hedge plant and is often placed on top of walls as a spiky protection against human or animal intrusion!
Growing naturally at high altitude, bridgesii is capable of withstanding temperatures below -12°C and can be grown indoors in the UK. The species is prized by cactus collectors both for its gorgeous appearance and for its very large (up to 20cm in diameter) fragrant flowers, which are absolutely wonderful and bloom on Summer nights.
The seeds are quite easy to germinate and grow – their main requirements consisting of high humidity levels, a free-draining soil mix and enough water, light and nutrients.
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was freshly and ethically sourced in 2018