Echinopsis lageniformis (Syn. Trichocereus bridgesii) is a fast-growing columnar cactus from the high deserts of Bolivia.
Among the indigenous populations of Bolivia, it is sometimes called achuma or wachuma, although these names are also applied to related species such as Echinopsis pachanoi which are also used for their psychedelic effects.
The plant is of light green colour and usually has 4 to 8 ribs. It can grow 25 m tall with stems of up to 1520 cm in diameter. Spines are honey-coloured to brown and are located on the nodes in groups of up to 4. They can grow up to 67 cm in length and in fully grown plants are spaced evenly on the ribs, 2.5 to 3 cm apart.
As with related species, it seems to have long shamanic tradition of use throughout its homeland. Chemical analysis of some variants of this species have shown it may include some of the most potent of the psychedelic Trichocereus species, although this is not conclusive nor does it apply to all strains of the species. Outside of its native habitat, it is one of the least known and used of the Trichocereus cacti for either its psychoactive or ornamental uses. This is not true in areas where it is the dominant species, for example, the La Paz area of Bolivia.
There exist several mutant varieties of this species that are highly prized by ornamental cactus collectors. These include a cristate variety, two variants of monstrose growth, and a more recently developed clone that exhibits both monstrose and cristate growth. Of the monstrose varieties, one is often known by the name Penis Plant. These all tend to be much slower growing than the standard form of the species, but owing to their highly unusual shapes, they are sought after by cactus collectors.
It contains a number of psychoactive alkaloids, in particular the well-studied chemical mescaline, which it may contain at levels higher than those of the San Pedro cactus.
Trichocereus bridgesii - Achuma
Echinopsis lageniformis Info
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Echinopsis lageniformis