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KK 2006 seed grown varieties
(Verne's ranting lecture at the bottom of the page)
KK242 is the synonym for the "official" Trichocereus Peruvianus of Britton & Rose who identified it in the vicinity of Matucana, Peru.

This photo shows how it differs from the general class of these I collectively refer to as "Peruvian Torch."

Bridgesii are nice, too. I think I sold all my seed grown ones and now propagate from cuttings. I've started more bridgesii from seed but it will take years to see what those turn out to be.

The huge advantage of cuttings (plant cloning) is that you get a specimen identical to the donor. Commercial fruit and nut orchards are planted from rooted cuttings; never from seedlings. More information on this topic.
Here is my reference photo for Bridgesii. I found a near dead plant under a bench at Cactus Kate's place 3 years after she died. I guess someone stole the lovely ceramic pot, leaving the plant to die.

It took a year to bring it back to health. At first it rotted when I tried to re-root it. Now, years later I have many cuttings each spring but still cannot produce enough to satisfy demand. After all, this is just a hobby.
San Pedro from Cactus Kate. I purchased cuttings from her in 1987 from which I have produced many tree sized clusters that were lost when the place in Mountain View, California was sold for development into town homes (row houses).

Kate said her San Pedro came from a botanist who brought cuttings to California in the 1960s. They are vigorous growing and to me the standard for San Pedro.

KK seed grown torch. I leave it to you to find an "exact name" for that.
KK seed grown torch. I leave it to you to find an "exact name" for that.
KK seed grown torch. I leave it to you to find an "exact name" for that.
KK seed grown torch. I leave it to you to find an "exact name" for that.
Trichocereus Glaucus. I bought cuttings in 2003 from a creepy eBay guy who sent a battered box of moldy, infected, etiolated cuttings.

With care they lived and through propagation have been resurrected into vibrant blue-gray skinned Peruvian Torches with abundant thick spines.
 
Wild Andes, 2007. The best seed I've ever raised. The germination was insanely high, the seedlings very vigorous.

Half were disease resistant and thrived. maybe 10% of those were superstars. The amazing variations in shape, spines, skin color, etc. have provided me with several rare variations being propagated by cuttings.
Trichocereus Peruvianus (official) as identified by Britton & Rose back in the 1920s. Now assumed to be equal to KK242 because he identifies that site as Matucana, Peru. However, I have yet to see KK seed produce anything like the specimen at left.

My Peruvianus is derived from what Bob Ressler had growing in his yard because I bought many of the plants (after he divorced & left California) that a local cactus guy rooted from there.

The photos of San Pedro and Peruvianus have long been a resource for people to view- but they cannot help resolve the identity of these varieties (in my opinion) to a high degree of certainty. As I am trying to show you, my visitors, there is a lot of subtlety in the variations.

My advice is to grow what you have into as big and fascinating a specimen as you have space for; these do become massive plants that live indefinately.

Interestingly these are identical to 2 plants discovered at Cactus Kate's ghost town 3 years after her death. They were barely visible in the waist high grass.

Peruvianus have lovely blue skin, long brown spines, and a vigorous rapid growth habit. They become tree size.

Peruvianus produces perfume scented white flowers superficially identical in appearance to San Pedro flowers. I love these flowers so much I always bring them into the house to allow the fragrance to fill the rooms.
The perils of growing cactus seed
What if you get zero percent germination?
Suppose you start 6 seed varieties in identical conditions at the same time but one yields zero germination. A waste of your time & energy; the small cost of the seed is of no consequence compared to all the work you do setting up a germination tray, etc. The seed seller, of course, will say "Maybe you did something wrong?"

Imagine that after 3 year of tending, your 500 San Pedro seedlings all develop long spines-not short spines like a San Pedro. You suffered all that work for 3 years to end up with 500 torches you don't want. All because the seed seller was an idiot or a greedy fool. "Hey seed seller! Remember that seed you sold 3 years ago as San Pedro? Well, it isn't!" Good luck.

The lesson
Never waste your time growing seed unless you buy it from a collector who can show you the parent plant, show you photos of how he hand pollinated the flowers, how he then covered the flowers with paper bags to prevent wind born or other means of unwanted pollination, etc.

Back in 2006 I ordered seed from Peru (Karel Knize).
It germinated OK, but not great. In 2007 I placed a second order with him that had zero germination. I never purchased from Karel Knize again.

KK seed is so notoriously unreliable
I'm offering these photos for you to compare with other known varieties. While Peruvian Torches vary greatly in their fine points there are some pillars of sanity with San Pedro, Bridgesii, T. Peruvianus (official), etc.

It comes down to this—what someone "says it is" has no meaning other than what it looks like. We all know what a German Shepherd is, and that a Labrador Retriever is a different dog. But when people start cross pollinating plants (intentionally or inadvertently) no one can predict the results. The only way to get a true specimen is to clone one, not grow seed.

By the way, a German Shepherd crossed with a Labrador is called a German Sheprador.

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(above) Cindy Climber demonstrates the perils of mountain climbing. And her nice butt.


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