The genus is not numerous, contains 4 main species: Williams’ lophophora, yellow, hedgehog, green, and about 10 varieties. The stem is fleshy up to 15 cm in diameter, bluish-gray-green in color, flat-spherical, with wide rounded blunt or divided ribs into low large tubercles. Spines are absent. Areoles large, with a tuft of gray or white hairs. Flowers 2-3 cm in diameter, white, yellow or pink.
- Family: cactus (Cactaceae).
- Homeland: Mexico, where the Lofofora cactus grows at an altitude of 1500-2000 meters above sea level on the slopes of limestone mountains among dense thickets of shrubs.
- Root: thick turnip.
- Fruit: berry, pale pink, appearing in the 2nd year after flowering.
- Blooms from June to mid-September.
- Conditions of maintenance: May – October +20 +25°С, regular moderate watering; October-April +8 +10°C, does not need watering.
- Propagated by seeds and side shoots.
- Keeps viability in the soil not less than 8 years.
Lofofora – plant species with a description and photo
Lophophora diffuse (L. diffusa) or vague – with a spherical, matte, light yellow flattened stem, reaching 15 cm in diameter. The stem has 10-15 flat, wide ribs divided into large smooth tubercles by thin grooves. Flowers up to 2 cm in diameter are yellowish-white or pure white, with slate-like elongated petals. Root up to 10 cm long, thick, turnip-shaped. Seeds black, tuberous. Most often found naturally in Texas, where it grows in the shade of shrubs .
Yellow Lophophora (L. lutea) or lutea – with a yellowish-green, with a brown or gray tint, a stem up to 10 cm in diameter. The ribs are practically absent, and the rhomboid tubercles on the stem are spirally arranged. Areoles are slightly pubescent, flowers are light yellow or yellowish white up to 3 cm in diameter.
Hedgehog Lophophora (L echinata) – with a bluish-green flattened, spherical stem up to 13 cm in diameter, rarely forming side shoots. The stem has about 10 ribs, consisting of large 5-6-sided tubercles up to 3 cm tall. Areoles with tufts of hair, considerably distant from each other. The flowers are white, up to 2 cm in diameter. The fruits are light pink.
Greening Lophophora (L viridescens) – with a dark green spherical stem up to 20 cm in diameter with numerous ribs along the entire length. The flowers are white up to 2 cm in diameter. It grows in the rocky deserts of Mexico.
Lophophora mescaline (L mescaline) is a fleshy small cactus up to 10 cm long and up to 8 cm in diameter, with a rounded gray-green top, tufts of white hairs and a carrot-like long root.
Lophophora Williams (Lophophora williamsii)
The cactus is a plant with a flattened-spherical, gray-green, stem up to 8 cm in diameter, with a hairy deepened top. It has a thick, up to 15 cm long turnip root.
Lophophora Williams blooms several times throughout the summer, appearing at the top of the stem with pale pink flowers up to 2 cm in diameter. The fruit of the plant is a long berry of dark pink color. It blooms beautifully indoors and is the most hardy plant among cacti .
Biological feature: contains the alkaloid mescaline, a narcotic substance that can cause auditory and visual hallucinations. And, that is why the cultivation of Williams lophophore is prohibited by law in many countries.
Lophophora Williams peyote (Lophophora williamsii Peyote)
It is a small, flattened, squat cactus with a matte brown stem up to 10 cm tall and up to 7 cm in diameter, with eight flat wide ribs, divided by thin grooves into large smooth tubercles.
Lophophora Williams peyote has several buds without needles, located at the top, resembling a mushroom in appearance, which contain mescaline. The flowers are pale pink up to 1.5 cm in diameter, appearing in the center of the top. The fruits are oblong, pale pink, up to 1 cm long, contain several seeds, appear 9-10 months after flowering.
Lophophora Williams – description
Under natural conditions, it is widely distributed in Northeastern Mexico and in areas of Texas. It is a small plant of a flattened spherical shape with smoothed ribs, without thorns, up to 8 cm in diameter.
Areoles from densely drooping, forming a hard, continuous carpet over the plant, to almost bare. Small pink flowers appear at the top and bloom throughout the wet period. The fruits contain 5 to 12 large black seeds, elongated small red berries emerging from the woolly crown of the plant throughout the summer. The root is turnip-shaped, up to 10 cm long, which has the property, in the dry season, to draw the aerial part of the plant into the ground, shrinking.
Lophophora – plant transplant
For young, actively growing individuals (up to 3 years old), the lophophore is transplanted annually, for adults, as needed (usually 1 time in 2-3 years) into a pot 3-4 cm in diameter larger than the previous one, which must correspond to the structure and size root. If necessary, you can cut the rhizome, but not more than 1/4 of the part, then you need to sprinkle the cut with dispersed sulfur or charcoal powder.
The best time for a transplant is the period from late March to mid-May. 4-5 days before transplanting, you need to stop watering the plant, which will allow the earth to dry out and make it easy to free the root from the soil.
The transfer is carried out as follows:
- at the bottom of the new pot , drainage from gravel or fine expanded clay is laid and sprinkled with sand, a layer of 2-3 cm;
- a cactus is lowered into the pot to the desired depth, evenly sprinkled on all sides with a soil mixture, which is lightly rammed to remove voids. As a soil mixture, a special substrate for desert cacti, sold in flower shops, or a universal substrate, coarse sand and fine gravel in a ratio of 4: 1: 0.5, respectively, is best suited;
- the root neck is sprinkled with coarse sand or fine gravel, a layer of 1-1.5 cm.
After transplanting, the cactus should be left in a place protected from bright light and in dry soil for 5-7 days. During this time, the wounds on the roots will heal, and the plant will not get sick when watering, and the cactus is gradually accustomed to full coverage.
Lophophora – plant reproduction
The plant is propagated by seeds and side shoots. The seed propagation method is mainly used for lophophore. Sowing is very simple and not tied to a specific season. This requires a sterile soil mixture consisting of sifted flower soil and washed sand 3: 1.
Seeds must be fresh and free of fruit residues, in which case the germination rate will be approximately 80%. The substrate is poured into a shallow bowl and lightly compacted, the seeds are distributed evenly (2-4 pcs per 1 cm 2 ) and slightly sunk into the soil, and covered with a layer of fine gravel on top. The bowl is placed in water for 20-25 minutes, until the substrate is saturated with water. Then the bowl must be placed in a plastic box or wrapped in cellophane, which will provide constant moisture and protection from insects. The soil should be moistened as needed. The bowl should be under bright light for 10-12 hours a day, at a temperature of +20 +30°C. After 1.5-2 weeks, the first shoots will appear, which after 1-1.5 months will finally get stronger and will be ready for transplantation.
Lofofora when propagated by shoots in autumn gives good results. Shoots are placed on a layer of perlite and kept until spring. In the spring, powerful roots are formed on the cuts, ready to be placed in the ground.
Lofofora – houseplant care
The plant is unpretentious, in the summer months lophophora requires care with regular watering and placement in a sunny place. In autumn, watering should be gradually reduced, preparing the plant for dry winter maintenance at a temperature of +8 +10 ° C. In spring, the plant should be shaded from bright sunlight, watering should be gradually resumed after the start of growth and fertilized with fertilizers for cacti for 2 months at intervals of 1 time in 8-10 days.