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Lophophora williamsii (Peyote)

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Scientific Name

Lophophora williamsii (Lem.) J.M.Coult.

Common Names

Peyote, Peyōtl, Cactus Pudding, Devil's Root, Diabolic Root, Divine Cactus, Dry Whiskey, Dumpling Cactus, Indian Dope, Mescal Button, Mescal Buttons, Turnip Cactus, Whiskey Cactus, White Mule

Synonyms

Anhalonium lewinii, Anhalonium williamsii, Ariocarpus williamsii, Echinocactus williamsii, Lophophora echinata, Lophophora lewinii, Lophophora lutea, Mammillaria lewinii, Mammillaria williamsii, Oreocereus celsianus var. williamsii

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Lophophora williamsii is a slow-growing, usually solitary, spineless cactus with blue-green, yellow-green or sometimes reddish-green stem. It is usually solitary, but sometimes forms groups with numerous, crowded shoots. The stem is globular, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) tall and up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) diameter. From the cusp areoles, arises a tuft of soft, yellowish or whitish, woolly hairs. The flowers are pink or white to slightly yellowish, sometimes reddish, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long and up to 0.9 inch (2.2 cm) in diameter. They open during the day.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °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 which 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 in order to initiate flowering.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Lophophora.

Origin

Lophophora williamsii is native to southwestern Texas and Mexico.

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