Echinopsis huascha (Desert’s Blooming Jewel, Red Torch)

Echinopsis huascha after I brought it home on 9-21-18, #510-3.

Desert’s Blooming Jewel, Red Torch

Echinopsis huascha

ek-in-OP-sis  WAS-kuh


Trichocereus grandiflorus

try-koh-KER-ee-us  gran-dih-FLOR-us

Synonyms of Echinopsis huascha (*43) (Updated on 12-6-20): Acanthocalycium hyalacanthum (Speg.) Backeb., Cereus andalgalensis F.A.C.Weber ex K.Schum., Cereus huascha F.A.C.Weber, Cereus huascha var. flaviflorus F.A.C.Weber, Cereus huascha var. rubriflorus F.A.C.Weber, Echinopsis huascha var. auricolor (Backeb.) H.Friedrich & G.D.Rowley, Echinopsis huascha var. rubriflora (F.A.C.Weber) H.Friedrich & G.D.Rowley, Echinopsis hyalacantha (Speg.) Werderm., Echinopsis pecheretiana (Backeb.) H.Friedrich & G.D.Rowley, Echinopsis vatteri (R.Kiesling) G.D.Rowley, Helianthocereus andalgalensis (F.A.C.Weber ex K.Schum.) Backeb., Helianthocereus huascha (F.A.C.Weber) Backeb., Helianthocereus huascha var. auricolor (Backeb.) Backeb., Helianthocereus huascha var. macranthus Backeb., Helianthocereus huascha var. rubriflorus (F.A.C.Weber) Backeb., Helianthocereus hyalacanthus (Speg.) Backeb., Helianthocereus pecheretianus Backeb., Helianthocereus pecheretianus var. viridior Backeb., Lobivia andalgalensis Britton & Rose, Lobivia formosa var. hyalacantha (Speg.) Rausch, Lobivia grandiflora Werderm., Lobivia grandiflora var. lobivioides (F.Ritter) Rausch, Lobivia huascha (F.A.C.Weber) W.T.Marshall, Lobivia huascha var. andalgalensis (F.A.C.Weber ex K.Schum.) Rausch, Lobivia huascha var. calliantha (F.Ritter) Rausch, Lobivia hyalacantha Speg., Lobivia purpureominiata F.Ritter, Salpingolobivia andalgalensis (F.A.C.Weber ex K.Schum.) Y.Itô, Salpingolobivia huascha (F.A.C.Weber) Y.Itô, Soehrensia huascha (F.A.C.Weber) Schlumpb., Soehrensia huascha var. rosiflora Y.Itô, Soehrensia lobivioides (F.Ritter) Schlumpb., Trichocereus andalgalensis (F.A.C.Weber ex K.Schum.) Hosseus, Trichocereus andalgalensis var. auricolor (Backeb.) F.Ritter, Trichocereus auricolor Backeb., Trichocereus callianthus F.Ritter, Trichocereus catamarcensis F.Ritter, Trichocereus grandiflorus Backeb., Trichocereus huascha (F.A.C.Weber) Britton & Rose, Trichocereus huascha var. flaviflora Hosseus, Trichocereus huascha var. pecheretianus (Backeb.) R.Kiesling, Trichocereus lobivioides F.Ritter, Trichocereus vatteri R.Kiesling
*I didn’t update the list of synonyms when this page was last updated on 11-6-21. Plants of the World Online is updating their synonyms and some of the pages are not ready.

Echinopsis huascha (F.A.C.Weber) H.Friedrich & G.D.Rowley is the correct and accepted name for this cactus. It was named and described as such by Heimo Friedrich and Gordon Douglas Rowley in ISO Bulletin in 1974. It was first named and described as Cereus huascha by Frédéric Albert Constantin Weber in Monatsschrift für Kakteenkunde (Berlin) in 1893.

My plants more resemble Echinopsis huascha var. grandiflora as named by Britton & Rose, but that name was not validly published… (See Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) link at the bottom of the page).

The genus, Echinopsis Zucc., was named and described as such by Joseph Gerhard Zuccarini in Abhandlungen der Mathematisch (short version) in 1837.

As of 11-6-21 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online by Kew currently lists 71 accepted species of Echinopsis. It is a member of the plant family Cactaceae with 146 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.


Echinopsis huascha on 9-21-18, #510-4.

I bought these Echinopsis huascha from Lowe’s on clearance on September 21, 2018. The labels said they were Trichocereus grandiflorus Hybrids. When I checked with Plants of the World Online and Llifle, I found the name had changed. Plants of the World Online says Trichocereus grandiflorus is now a synonym of Echinopsis huascha. Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) agreed but also listed three infraspecific names and another species in the Echinopsis huascha Group. Reading their descriptions, I find that the species and the other varieties have longer spines than the plant I brought home. The Echinopsis huascha var. grandiflora has shorter spines like mine but that name and its description wasn’t validly published.

Echinopsis huascha on 9-21-18, #519-5.

The label says:

Drought tolerant once established. Needs well-draining soil. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Protect from frost to prevent possible scarring. Looks best with regular watering during the hotter months.

The above plant was growing in a 4 oz. (2 1/2” diameter x 2 1/4” tall) pot. The plant measures approximately 3” tall x 2” wide without the spines.

Echinopsis huascha on 9-21-18, #510-2.

I also bought a cluster of cactus on clearance in a bulging 3.8 quart pot (8” diameter x 6 3/8”). There are 6 individual plants of varying sizes around the pot but the one that was in the center had died. I didn’t realize I had already selected the above cactus until I came home and read the label on the big pot… The label says the same thing with the addition of: Height: 18”+ Width: 12”. Temp.: 15° F.

Family: Cactaceae
Origin: Northwest Argentina
Zones: USDA Zones 9b-11 (25-40° F)
Size: Hmmm… Dave’s Garden says 24-36” but that is for the species. The other varieties grow much smaller.
*Light: Full sun to light shade
**Soil: Very well-draining soil. If grown in pots, use 2 parts potting soil with one part grit (chicken grit) and one part additional perlite. You can use 50% potting soil and 50% pumice.
**Water: Average water needs during the growing period and sparsely, if any, from fall until spring.

*During the summer, I keep most of my cactus on the back deck where they receive full sun. During the winter most cactus aren’t picky about the light because they are basically dormant. For several winters, mine were in front of the east-facing sliding door in the dining room so they didn’t get much light. I built a new shelf for the bedroom so now they are in front of a west-facing window. The succulents are on a shelf in a south-facing window in a cool bedroom.

**I used 2 parts Miracle Grow Potting Soil with 1 part additional perlite and 1 part chicken grit for many years. I started using a 50/50 mixture of Miracle Grow Potting Soil and pumice in 2018 with favorable results. I also use Schultz Potting Soil which has fewer chunks of bark. I purchased the pumice online from General Pumice but you can get smaller quantities on Ebay. The problem with Miracle Grow and other peat-based potting soil is that once it gets dry it doesn’t absorb water very well. So, during the winter months, the mixture can become hard. Sometimes I repot in the fall with a fresh mixture so the potting soil will be loose for the winter. The timed-release fertilizer in the potting soil won’t be activated until you water anyway. Pumice also has nutritional value. Cactus and succulent enthusiasts recommend not to use peat-based potting soil, but around here that is difficult to find. I haven’t tried coir yet… There is a lot of cactus and succulent recipes online and you just have to experiment to see what you and your cactus like.

***I water my cactus and succulents on a regular basis during the summer but barely ever in the winter (maybe a little in January) until close to time to take them back outside. 

Echinopsis huascha on 10-10-18, #519-28.

I moved all the potted plants inside on 10-10-18 because there was a chance of frost predicted in a few days. I re-potted several cactus that day including the big pot of Echinopsis huascha. Normally I keep the cacti in pots not much bigger than the base of the plant but I kept these five plants in a pot together and discarded the dead one that was in the center when I bought it. Of course, anyone would have probably done that. 🙂 Since I had also purchased a smaller plant, I didn’t want seven individual plants.

Echinopsis huascha, the smaller one, on 10-10-18, #519-29.

I also put the smaller one in a larger pot with fresh potting soil. I had just received a bag of pumice so I used it in the mix. I just realized fall was a good time to re-pot cactus and succulents so their soil would stay nice and loose over the winter. After watering on a regular basis during the summer months, the potting soil can become very hard while not watering during the winter.

Echinopsis huascha on 11-29-18, #534-11.

November 29 was a nice spring-like day so I took the cactus outside for a photoshoot. I was working on a new post comparing the different cactus in my collection. The six plants I put in this pot are all doing well. The largest plant in the center measures approximately 3″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide.

Echinopsis huascha is an upright or sprawling basally branching cactus that can grow up to 36″ tall. They are known for their beautiful flowers that grow about 4″ long and grow on top of the plant. Flowers can be yellow, orange, and red. Echinopsis huascha var. grandiflora only produces red flowers.

The post is titled Cactus Talk and Update…OUCH! and there is a lot of information.

The smaller Echinopsis huascha on 11-29-18 #534-12.

The smaller Echinopsis huascha in its own pot still measures approximately 3″ tall x 2″ wide.


Echinopsis huascha close-up on 12-1-18, #535-10.

The species is “variable” and some photos show plants with longer spines. According to the Llifle (encyclopedia of Living Forms), the species can have spines as long as 5-6 cm., which is about 2-1 1/4″. Echinopsis huascha var. grandiflora grow shorter spines, around 1 cm., which is less than 1/4″. However, that infraspecific name isn’t accepted and is considered a synonym of Echinopsis huascha… At some point, I hope the botanists “in charge” of what is and isn’t accepted will realize the need to “accept” the many varieties, forms, etc. which further identifies the plants based on specific characteristics.


Echinopsis huascha on 6-22-19, #593-12.

The Echinopsis huascha are on the back porch enjoying the summer in the sun.

Echinopsis huascha on 6-22-19, #593-13.

The six plants seem to be enjoying their new pot…

Echinopsis huascha at 3 1/2” tall x 2 1/2” wide on 10-11-19, #639-23.

I had to move the potted plants inside because an “F” and lower even temperatures were in the forecast. I don’t leave the plants outside if evening temps fall below 40° F. As always, I photographed and took measurements before bringing them inside. The smaller plant by itself measured 3 1/2″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide. That is 1/2″ taller and wider since the last measurement on 9-21-18 when I brought it home from Lowe’s.


Echinopsis huascha on 10-11-19, #639-24.

The six plants have enjoyed their pot. The largest plant in the center measured 4 3/4″ tall x 3 1/8″ wide. It was 3″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide on 9-21-18. So, it grew quite a bit.


The smallest Echinopsis huascha, 3 7/8″ tall x 2 1/4″ wide on 10-15-20, #747-27.

I had to move the potted plants inside for the winter on October 15. As always I photographed and measured the cactus. The smaller Echinopsis huascha in the pot by itself measured 3 7/8″ tall x 2 1/4″ wide. So, it grew 5/8″ taller and lost a little around the waist. It’s not uncommon for cactus and had a lot to do with the amount of water they have retained. I accidentally took a photo of its bad side. Hmmm… Brown spots can be caused by several things but this looks like possibly fungal lesions that can be caused by cool, damp weather.

The pot of six Echinopsis huascha. The largest plant in the center measured 6 7/8″ tall x 3 1/2″ wide on 10-15-20, #747-28.

The pot of six Echinopsis huascha are doing very well. The latest plant in the center measured 6 7/8″ tall x 3 1/2″ wide on October 15. This photo is a little weird and they seem smaller than in person. These cactus are all touching each other now because they have grown so much.


Echinopsis huascha offset on 10-15-20, #747-29.

The big plant in the center of the pot has a new kid… 🙂


Echinopsis huascha (var. grandiflora)(Desert’s Blooming Jewel) at 5″ tall x 2 1/4″ wide on 10-28-21, #853-5.

What can I say? I am not sure why this particular Echinopsis huascha has this fungal disease (or whatever it is) when the six in the other pot are just fine and have been treated the same. It is A LOT worse than before. It is supposed to be caused by overwatering in cool temps. Any cactus can have this issue and Echinopsis are no more succeptable than any other. Even so, this plant has grown to 5″ tall over the summer. It was 3 7/8″ tall last October 15 and 3″ tall when I brought it home from Lowe’s on September 21 in 2018.

Echinopsis huascha (var. grandiflora) (Desert’s Blooming Jewel). The largest plant in the center of the pot was 6 3/4″ tall x 3″ wide on 10-28-21, #853-6.

As you can see, the six in this pot are doing just fine and sending out offsets. The largest plant in the center of the pot was 6 3/8″ tall x 3″ wide. SOOO, it either shrunk or I mismeasured it last October… 🙂

I will continue adding more photos and information as time goes by.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.


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