Trichocereus (Helianthocereus) grandiflorus, the Red Torch Cactus, native to Argentina, forms clusters of stems to 40 cm in height with beautiful clear red flowers to 10 cm diameter. Over the years, many hybrids of been developed in cultivation, resulting in flowers of nearly all the colours of the rainbow. Colours now includes yellow, gold, white, pink, light pink with rose midstripes, orange, red, and purples. Some flowers are actually bi-coloured. In a some cases, flower size has increased to 20 cm in diameter, rivalling some of the Epiphyllum or "Orchid Cacti". Very few cacti can surpass the flowers of the T. grandiflorus hybrids for sheer flower power!
Through hybridisation, the actual appearance of the plant as changed as well. The stems of the type species are somewhat slender, and sometimes become a bit prostrate. Many newer hybrids have thick, cylindrical bodies to 30 cm in diameter, with offsets forming specimens that span over a metre in diameter. This can be quite an awesome sight, with large, brilliant flowers open on each stem!. Porous cactus soil with adequate drainage should be used. Bright light is needed. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Protect from frost.
This specimen is growing in the System Garden of the University of Melbourne and is a naturally occurring non-hybridised species, which nevertheless is very beautiful.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.