One of the largest of the Echinopsis species, this fast-growing, attractive, columnar cactus reaches heights of twenty-five feet or more. Mature plants will develop branches or side arms that are ten inches in diameter and have eight to fourteen deep ribs with yellow spines. In late spring, it produces showy, white, nocturnal blossoms that are eight inches long with dark red to green outer segments. Use it as a substitute or in combination with the saguaro cactus, where a strong, vertical accent plant is needed. Plant the cardon in wide-open spaces where it has plenty of room to grow and mature. This large cactus can also be used as an exotic plant in xeriscape gardens. The cardon is native to northern Argentina.
The cardon grande grows best in full sun with reflected heat and thrives in hot, dry climates. It is drought-resistant and does not like to be watered during the winter season. The cactus prefers most soil types as long as they are well-draining and have good aeration. It is hardy to eighteen degrees Fahrenheit, and is low-maintenance and easy to grow.