Echinopsis mirabilis-Flower of Prayer

Echinopsis mirabilis on 3-30-19, #557-1.

Flower of Prayer

Echinopsis mirabilis

ek-in-OP-sis  mih-RAB-ih-liss


Setiechinopsis mirabilis

Echinopsis mirabilis Speg. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Echinopsis. It was named and described as such by Carlo Luigi Spegazzini in Anales de Museo Nacional de Buenos Aires in 1905.

The genus, Echinopsis Zucc., was named and described by Joseph Gerhard Zuccarini in Abhandlungen der Mathematisch (short version) in 1837. Plants of the World Online currently lists 70 accepted species in the Echinopsis genus (as of 4-2-19 when I am making this page).

Setiechinopsis mirabilis (Speg.) Backeb. ex de Haas was first named and described as such by Curt Backeberg. The name wasn’t validated until it was described by Th. de Haas in Succulenta (Netherlands) in 1940 giving the credit to Mr. Backeberg. This species is now a synonym of Echinopsis mirabilis.


Echinopsis mirabilis on 3-30-19, #557-2.

I brought this Echinopsis mirabilis home from Lowe’s on March 29, 2019. The label stated it was Setiechinopsis mirabilis. When I did my research I found that name is now a synonym of Echinopsis mirabilis, which was the name it was given in 1905. I thought the plant was very interesting, being very dark green in color with the fuzzy appendages sticking out.

The plant was growing in a 4 oz. (approximately 2 1/2” diameter x 2 1/4” tall) pot. The plant measured approximately 1 1/8” wide x 2 5/8” tall without the spines. It had what appeared to be a side branch with an old flower on the end sticking out of the top. There are several other fuzzy looking buds sticking out of the side.

The plant is from Altman Plants and the label states:

“Drought tolerant when 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 in hotter months.”

Luckily, I found this plant without one of those goofy strawflowers hot-glued to the top.


Echinopsis mirabilis on 3-30-19, #557-3.

Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) says Echinopsis mirabilis is “much underrated in cultivation, perhaps because it is so easy to grow, notwithstanding this, it is one of the most fascinating and showy species.”


Family: Cactaceae
Origin: Eastern Argentina
Zones: USDA Zones 10a-11 (30-40° F)*
Size: Dave’s Garden says under 6”
Light: Sun to part shade
Soil: Very well-draining soil. Potting soil amended with pumice or chicken grit and perlite.
Water: Regular watering during the summer. Very little, if any, during the winter.
Flowers: Showy white flowers at night.


Echinopsis mirabilis on 3-30-19, #557-4.

When you buy a plant there is only so much a small stick-on label can tell you. This plant actually has more in common with some Cereus species than species in the Echinopsis genus. The flowers open at night and for only one night. The flowers are self-fertile and supposedly produce “hundreds” of seeds per fruit whether they have been pollinated or not. BUT… this silly plant is strangely monocarpic which means it will die sometime after flowering. Fortunately, it will produce several flowers in succession. The fuzzy appendages will apparently lead to more flowers. The one coming out of the top is from an old flower and the dried seed pod is hanging off the end. They flower in ther second year and the plants seldom grow to more than about 6″ tall.


Echinopsis mirabilis on 3-30-19, #557-5.

The Echinopsis mirabilis appears to produce one central spine and multiple radial spines from its fuzzy areoles. There are longer spines, approximately 1″ long. on the upper part of the plant. There appear to be 12 columnar ribs on this plant.

This will definitely be an interesting plant to grow. I will continue adding more photos and information as time goes by.

Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) has more information that you may find useful. Click on the link below for further reading.

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.