Lophophora diffusa (Croizat) Bravo
Lophophora echinata var. diffusa, Lophophora williamsii var. diffusa, Lophophora viridescens, Lophophora ziegleri, Lophophora ziegleriana
This species is endemic to Mexico. It occurs only in a small area near Vizarron in Querétaro in semi-deserts on slopes and river beds and under the shade of various shrubs and nurse plants.
Lophophora diffusa is a small cactus with a large taproot and soft, yellowish-green to grey-green, somewhat globular stems, usually lacking well-defined ribs and furrows and with tufts of hair spread unequally on the prominent podaria. It grows solitary or forms clumps of several stems. The stems are up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) tall and 5 inches (12.5 cm) in diameter. Flowers are usually white or faintly pink, sometimes yellowish-white, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, nearly equal in diameter, and appear in summer.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Lophophora is more tolerant of soil types than its relatives and typically grows in areas with decomposed limestone present in the soil. In cultivation, Lophophora does best in fast-draining mineral-based soil, which is about 2/3 sand.
Abundant water is beneficial in the summer months when the temperatures are over 90 °F (32 °C) and exposed to full sunlight for maximum growth. The soil must be allowed to dry out completely between waterings.
They should also be fertilized twice a year. Over-fertilizing will typically result in the Lophophora developing cracks and splitting.
At times, some Lophophoras will develop a corky material on the plant body if exposed to pesticides or insecticidal soap. This corky condition will usually heal very similarly to human skin if the plants are exposed to full sunlight.
Lophophoras are free flowering in cultivation, and although they can withstand low temperatures during winter, they do not require a cold shock to initiate flowering.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Lophophora.
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