The trivial name "San Pedro" was created as part of the ritual use of the cactus as a traditional medicine and extension of perception. The consumer was said to be able to reach the sky without having to leave earth just by taking the bitter medicine. In Roman Catholic Church Saint Peter is seen as the "gatekeeper" of heaven and owner of the key to paradise.
The scientific name of the "San Pedro cactus" is Echinopsis pachanoi where "Echinopsis" refers to the genus and specific the epithet "Pachanoi" honors the discoverer of this beautiful cactus crop Abelardo Pachano.
In the home country of the Pachanoi -Ecuador- he is also known by the name Achuma, Hahuacollay, Gigantón, Aguacolla, and Huachuma.
San Pedro cactus can reach a height of up to 23 foot! Also, the diameter is huge with up to 8 inches. Of course, such large specimens are usually also very old and almost exclusively found in the wild.
The plant shoots grow upright in height, have a cylindrical shape and are up to a certain degree flexible. Shoots of the san pedro cactus are distinguished by their six to eight ribs, which are relatively round. While younger shoots and head pieces have an aesthetic light green, older sections are characterized by a blue-green to green color.
The spines of Echinopsis pachanoi are characterized by their color, which is a yellowish to light brown. Although the thorns can be up to 1 inch long, an accidental contact with them is not particularly problematic because they have developed no barbs such as the prickly pear Opuntia ficus indica (cactus friends among us may already have experienced the joy of removing them from the own hand)
Trichocereus pachanoi spread in different ways. The least surprising and most typical way of propagation -for most plants- marks the development of seeds. While nature has its own mechanisms to send the plants in the flower, in an artificial environment the gardener has to help the plants to do so. This happens by sending the san pedro cactus to its contemporary "exile" in the basement about the end of September, where he will stay until spring in a cool (not less than 4 ° C) location with a moderate incidence of light. The san pedro cactus is hardly poured at this time. If stored correctly in winter, chances are that the cactus is about to develop multiple blooms in summer, which can be pollinated by another san pedro cactus. This will result in a small amount of seeds which can be used to cultivate new cacti.
Another type of reproduction is cloning, in this case a head piece of the cactus is cut and placed on substrate, if the soil is not too wet or contaminated the cactus will generate a system of healthy roots and a new scion is created. It's that simple!
Due to its relatively high resistance and unpretentiousness, the san pedro cactus is widespread. However, it originally comes from the higher regions around 2000 to 3000 meters of the Andes.
What makes the san pedro cactus the perfect "home cactus"?
-Its (at least for a cacti) high cold tolerance
-Its strong growth (up to 50 cm / year)
-Its level of tolerance concerning water deprivation (can survive months without being watered)
-Its resistance to hyperhydration (because the cactus is native to the high Andes -a very rainy place- he is not that strongly vulnerable to root rot, such as the Peyote is)
Buy a san pedro cactus
If you want to buy a San Pedro cactus, you should consider that only ungrafted plants with original roots (ideally grown from seed) have a strong growth and a high psychoactive potential.
I made pretty good experiences with an online retailer who passionatly cultivates the cactus himself with dedication, also does not accept any compromises when it comes to the safe delivery of plants. Each piece is carefully packaged individually and in excellent condition. The shipping is fast and the customer service was more than satisfactory.
Remember that each cactus grows at least 30 cm a year even with little professional care, so consider buying a small san pedro cactus and give the plant time to grow, so you can gater more psychoactive material.
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