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Lophophora diffusa (False Peyote)


Scientific Name

Lophophora diffusa (Croizat) Bravo

Common Names

False Peyote


Lophophora echinata var. diffusa, Lophophora williamsii var. diffusa, Lophophora viridescens, Lophophora ziegleri, Lophophora ziegleriana

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Cacteae
Genus: Lophophora


Lophophora diffusa is a solitary or clump-forming cactus with globular, spineless stems and large taproot. The stems are yellow-green or grey-green, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) tall and up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) in diameter. The tufts of hair are usually spread unequally on the prominent podaria. Flowers are whitish to yellowish-white and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter.

Lophophora diffusa - False Peyote

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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 that have decomposed limestone present in the soil. In cultivation, Lophophora does best in a 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, but 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 in a manner very similar 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 shocking to initiate flowering.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Lophophora.


It is endemic to Mexico on the outskirts of Querétaro.


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