Setiechinopsis mirabilis (Syn. Echinopsis mirabilis) (Flower of Prayer)

Setiechinopsis mirabilis (Flower of Prayer) on 3-30-19, #557-1.

Flower of Prayer, Flower of Preaching

Setiechinopsis mirabilis


Echinopsis mirabilis

ek-in-OP-sis  mih-RAB-ih-liss

Synonyms of Setiechinopsis mirabilis (5) (Updated on 12-7-22 from Plants of the World Online): Acanthopetalus mirabilis (Speg.) Y.Itô (1957), Arthrocereus mirabilis (Speg.) W.T.Marshall (1941), Arthrocereus mirabilis var. gracilior (Backeb.) Donald (1975), Echinopsis mirabilis Speg. (1905), Setiechinopsis mirabilis var. gracilior Backeb. (1963)

Setiechinopsis mirabilis (Speg.) Backeb. ex de Haas is now (or one again) the accepted scientific name for this species. The genus and species were described as such by Th. de Haas in Succulenta in 1940. He gives credit to Curt Backeberg for naming both the genus and species. It was first named and described as Echinopsis mirabilis by Carlo Luigi Spegazzini in Anales de Museo Nacional de Buenos Aires in 1905. I couldn’t find any information online about Th. de Haas…

Echinopsis mirabilis Speg. was the former 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.

As of 12-7-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 1 species in the Setiechinopsis genus. It is a member of the plant family Cactaceae with 150 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.

When making updates for this page on 12-7-22, I found out the accepted scientific name had changed from Echinopsis mirabilis to Setiechinopsis mirabilis. This change was due to testing which confirmed the change. You can read the article on Research Gate by clicking HERE.


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

I brought this Setiechinopsis 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 was 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. So many times the labels on plants (especially cacti) are synonyms. It is funny how the name on the label was a synonym then turned out to be correct a few years later. 

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.

Setiechinopsis 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.

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

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.

Setiechinopsis 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.

Setiechinopsis mirabilis bud on 5-5-19, #566-23.

On May 5 I noticed it was about to flower. WOW! I got pretty excited! This was going to be a whole new experience!

Setiechinopsis mirabilis on 5-15-19, #572-1.

I almost forgot all about it until May 15 when I took the above photo. I thought how neat this was going to be for this plant to flower.

Setiechinopsis mirabilis on 5-18-19, #574-1.

The Setiechinopsis mirabilis bud was just about ready to open on May 18.

Setiechinopsis mirabilis on 5-18-19, #574-2.

I was getting pretty excited and checked on it several times during the day.


Setiechinopsis mirabilis on 5-19-19, #575-11.

I checked the next afternoon, expecting to see a flower, and instead, I saw this! The flower had opened and was already wilted! GEEZ!

Setiechinopsis mirabilis on 5-19-19, #575-12.

I had forgotten, or overlooked, the fact that the Echinopsis mirabilis is a night bloomer. GEEZ!!!

Setiechinopsis mirabilis on 5-19-19, #575-13.

On the bright side, there is another one starting to grow. I am wondering if all those other fuzzy appendages are past flowers or where new flowers will be.

The sad thing is that this species is monocarpic and will die after it is finished flowering at some point. The good news is that the flowers are self-fertile and produce 100’s of viable seeds. That would be really interesting if their seeds came up.

Setiechinopsis mirabilis on 5-25-19, #576-25.

Still working on it…

Setiechinopsis mirabilis on 6-3-19, #581-4.

On June 3, the flower stem had grown a lot longer…

Setiechinopsis mirabilis bud on 6-3-19, #581-5.

And the bud was getting bigger.

Setiechinopsis mirabilis at 7:20 PM on 6-4-19, #582-1.

At about 7:20 PM Tuesday evening on June 4, I thought I better go check on this plant to see what the bud looked like. It was getting really close and I knew it would open that night.

Setiechinopsis mirabilis bud at 7:20 PM on 6-4-19, #582-2.

The twisted appearance is pretty neat. Kind of like it is unwinding. 🙂

Setiechinopsis mirabilis flower at 10:34 PM on 6-4-19, #582-3.

Setiechinopsis mirabilis


WOW! AMAZING! BEAUTIFUL! I was nearly speechless! There have been a few times in my life I have seen something so amazing I was speechless! A miracle of nature right before my eyes! I ran back inside to grab the camera…

Setiechinopsis mirabilis flower at 10:35 PM on 6-4-19, #582-4.

It’s like everything, every movement, every breath, every thought stopped when I was looking at this flower. Everything except taking photos.

Setiechinopsis mirabilis flower at 10:35 PM on 6-4-19, #582-5.

The flower is so HUGE in comparison to the size of the plant itself!

Setiechinopsis mirabilis flower at 10:35 PM on 6-4-19, #582-6.

It’s like the love of your life looking you right in your eyes for the first time. Her smile, the twinkle in her eyes as she peered into your very soul! (Then you meet her for the first time after 36 years of shopping in Walmart and you strike up a conversation. Then she says, “Who are you?”). Well, that actually did happen when I saw my first girlfriend shopping at Walmart in 2017… We hadn’t seen each other since the early 1980’s. We spoke, then she actually did ask who I was. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Setiechinopsis mirabilis flower at 10:35 PM on 6-4-19, #582-7.

So beautiful and amazing! I took a whiff to see what it smelled like. It was weird. Barely any scent at all… Good thing it is self-pollinating. 🙂

Setiechinopsis mirabilis on 6-5-19, #583-16.

The day after… Such a shame the flower only lasts one night…

Setiechinopsis mirabilis on 6-15-19, #590-7.

The Setiechinopsis mirabilis with two more buds on June 15.

Setiechinopsis mirabilis on 6-22-19, #593-14.

I check almost every day to see how the buds are progressing.

Setiechinopsis mirabilis at 6:52 PM on 6-26-19, #596-6.

Hmmm… On June 25 I checked and it looked like both buds would open on the evening of the 26th. Then, when I checked on the 26th, one had already opened during the night. I MISSED IT!

Setiechinopsis mirabilis at 7:46 PM on 6-26-19, #596-7.

Well, I wasn’t going to miss it AGAIN! I know I said that before… At 7:46 PM I thought I would have time to take a photo every hour to see how it progressed. Well, I guess I had other distractions and that didn’t happen.

Setiechinopsis mirabilis at 10:20 PM on 6-26-19, #596-8.

Then at 10:20 PM the flower was open.

Setiechinopsis mirabilis at 10:21 PM on 6-26-19, #596-6.


Setiechinopsis mirabilis at 3 1/2″ tall on 10-11-19, #639-25.

I had to move the potted plants inside on October 11 because an “F” was in the forecast. I always take photos of the plants as I bring them inside and measure the cactus and some of the succulents. The Setiechinopsis mirabilis measured 3 1/2″ tall at the time. It was 2 5/8″ tall x 11/8″ wide when I brought it home from Lowe’s on 3-29-19. That is pretty good growth over the summer plus with all the flowers!

Setiechinopsis mirabilis in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-8.

I repotted several cacti and succulents so their soil would be nice and loose for the winter and some needed bigger pots. I decided I better put the Setiechinopsis mirabilis in a larger pot since it had been in the same small pot since I brought it home. Well, even though it was supposed to die after flowering, I thought I would give it the benefit of the doubt… 

The Setiechinopsis mirabilis was definitely a neat plant to grow and watch. Of course, it died since it is monocarpic… I will definitely bring home another one if I run across it again. 

Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) has more information that you may find beneficial. 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.

There isn’t a lot online about this species except for those who are selling it. If you check, you probably should use both names Echinopsis mirabilis and Setiechinopsis mirabilis. It takes time for new names to sink in and many sites will likely not change the name… 


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