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Lophophora williamsii (Peyote)


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


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


Lophophora williamsii is a spineless, slow-growing cactus with blue-green, yellow-green, or sometimes reddish-green stem. It usually grows solitary, but sometimes forms groups with numerous, crowded shoots. The stem is flattened spherical, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) tall, and up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) in diameter. A tuft of up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) long, yellowish or whitish, woolly hairs arises from the areoles. Flowers are pink or white to slightly yellowish, sometimes reddish, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, and up to 0.9 inches (2.2 cm) in diameter. They appear in summer and open during the day.

Lophophora williamsii (Peyote)


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 with 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 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.


Lophophora williamsii is native to southwestern Texas and Mexico.


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