Echinopsis pachanoi St. Peter cactus
This beautiful cactus is native to the Andes mountains and grows at 2,000~3,000 metres of altitude. I found this plant at a restaurant at approx. 1,000 metres above El Chorro and the Costa del Sol. Sometimes there are spines on the plant, but this one was spineless and it can grow up to 6 metres in height. Large white flowers open at night and these can be up to 25cms (10 inches) in length and 7 inches wide. The flower stems are covered in tiny black hairs. It has traditionally been used in medicine and contains many chemicals including psychedelic drugs. It's common name is St. Peter, who holds the key to heaven's gate, there is a belief that using the plant allows you to reach heaven without leaving earth! It is banned from many countries due to it's chemical contents, especially mescaline.