Echinopsis arboricola Species Plant
Cactus species Echinopsis arboricola Is a rare, hard to find Echinopsis species with narrow, cylindrical stem growth that grows pendant once stems reach 1ft. in length or longer. Stem growth is dark green to light green averaging 1" to 1-1/2" inch+ in diameter and can grow up to 6'ft.+ long. Individual stems have needlelike spines. It usually has 9-10+ ribs with very small subtle bumps over the areoles, which are slightly cotton felted. The areoles are up to 1/4" to 3/8" apart from each other. It develops aerial roots and has very fine hairs on the areoles. Echinopsis arboricola has between 10-16 spines, which are very thin and similar to the spines on some Cleistocactus species. Echinopsis arboricola is somewhat rare to find, but a very interesting & unusual plant to grow. It also produces edible fruit as do other Echinopsis species and hybrids.
Specimen Size: 20" tall by 3" in diameter, with blooms.
Synonyms : Trichocereus arboricola
Native to : Agentina and Bolivia. Distribution : This species occurs in southern Bolivia (Tarija) , and in adjacent northern Argetina (Salta), at elevations of around 1,100m asl. But few specimens have been located/found in the wild, relatively scarce.
Flower/ Fruit : Large 6" diameter nocturnal white bell shaped flowers with light green to yellow-green back petals. The bloom is very large compared to the smaller diameter growth. Of all the smaller non-columnar type Echinopsis species Echinopsis arboricola is the only on said to produce tasty, descent sized edible fruit. Fruit is about the size of a kiwi fruit when ready to harvest.
More Info : The botanical name arboricola derives from the Latin words arbor for 'tree' and Cola for being inhabited and refers to the epiphytic habitat of the species tending to grow in trees. Grows erect later becoming pendant at 12"+ stem growth. Best to grow in hanging baskets but can also adaptable to be trellised. Echinopsis arboricola is a fairly new species and was described only recently in 1997 by Myron Kimnach. Because of that, it´s not included in many of the older cactus books.
Care : Not very cold hardy, Echinopsis Arboricola is a tropical Echinopsis and is recommended for zones 10 and up. Below 50 degrees it can get some slight stem damage, below 32 for prolonged periods and severe stem damage can occur. If given some protection though such as inside a shade cover structure, does ok here at the nursery-zone 9a-9-b. Likes part-shade to some full sun part of the day. Rich but good draining soil mix. Regular water in summer when in full active growth, but occasional water in winter when semi-dormant. As growth is pendant best to grow in a hanging basket, but can be grown in a greenhouse basket or trellised, or as a house plant if given bright indirect light.