Trichocereus bridgesii ‘Sam’ | ‘Achuma’, ‘Bolivian Torch’ | 25 seeds
Another UK exclusive – the mysterious Trichocereus bridgesii ‘Sam’, a magnificent ‘Achuma’ plant named for its grower… We’ve only managed to grab a few of these seeds for stock, so order now if you want to try growing something new!
A fast-growing columnar cactus native to Bolivia and Peru, bridgesii (syn: Echinopsis lageniformis) is popularly known as ‘Achuma’ or ‘Bolivian Torch’. Reaching roughly six metres in height once mature (it grows up to thirty centimetres a year in ideal conditions!), this species branches from the base to form stems up to twenty centimetres or so thick.
As with most columnar Trichocereus cactus species, ‘Achuma’ seeds are easy to germinate and grow. The main requirements for successful germination consist of relatively high humidity, free-draining soil and adequate light, nutrients and water. Naturally occurring at high altitude, bridgesii copes well with temperatures right down to below -12°C and can be easily grown indoors too. The species is prized by collectors for its gorgeous appearance and for its fragrant and very large (up to twenty centimetres wide) flowers.
Closely related to the well-known Trichocereus pachanoi (‘San Pedro’) and Trichocereus peruvianus (‘Peruvian Torch’), bridgesii really is a beautiful plant, recognisable by fierce spines that can reach up to ten centimetres in length! As with some other Trichocereus species, bridgesii has been used by Bolivian shaman in healing rituals and is regarded as possessing sacred and protective properties.
Besides their traditional use, Trichocereus bridgesii (along with Trichocereus pachanoi) is regarded as a universal grafting stock, offering a high success rate and a long-lifetime of speedy and consistent 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 useful in Bolivia as a hedge plant and as spiky natural fencing against human or animal intrusion!
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was ethically and sustainably sourced in 2018