Trichocereus candicans ‘San José de Jáchal’ | ‘Argentine Giant’ | 25 seeds
This is a great example of the ‘Argentine Giant’, Trichocereus candicans (syn. Echinopsis candicans, Trichocereus gladiatus), which was collected around the small city of ‘San José de Jáchal’, in Argentina’s San Juan province. This one’s another of our UK exclusives!
Candicans is a clumping, light yellow-green columnar cactus native to the desert of northern and western Argentina. Clumps of this extremely variable species have been recorded up to three metres across, while individual stems reach roughly sixty to seventy–five centimetres in length. The stems have a diameter of up to fifteen centimetres and generally between nine and eleven ribs. Brown-yellow spines grow between four and ten centimetres in length. As with all the other Trichocereus species, candicans forms very beautiful and highly fragrant flowers! In this case, they’re commonly white to whitish (although can be red or yellow too, given the greatly intermingled genetics of the species), self-sterile, average roughly twenty centimetres across and bloom only at night (between mid-spring and early summer).
A naturally gregarious species, candicans is considered to be especially closely related and/or to interbreed with Trichocereus huascha (syn. Trichocereus grandiflorus), Trichocereus lamprochlorus, Trichocereus neolamprochlorus, Trichocereus pseudocandicans and Trichocereus strigosa. Further, there are many recognised varieties (notably Trichocereus candicans var. gladiatus, Trichocereus candicans var. robustior, Trichocereus candicans var. rubriflorus and Trichocereus candicans var. tenuispinus) and popular artificial hybrids. As with Trichocereus pachanoi, candicans provides excellent grafting stock.
The ‘Argentine Giant’ is very easy to cultivate from both seed and cuttings in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11. The seeds germinate at between 24-30°C. Sow in a mildly acidic to mildly alkaline mineral-based soil, allowing approximately one and a half to two metres space between each plant (so they have sufficient room to reach maturity). Position in full sun to partial shade and water moderately whenever the soil is completely dry to the touch. Candicans is quite drought and frost tolerant (minimum average temperature: 10°C), considering its origins.
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was freshly and ethically sourced