trucha

purple peyote

29 posts in this topic

This specimen of Lophophora williamsii var. echinata was encountered last week while in Texas.

post-900-0-45612300-1301173245_thumb.jpg

Edited by trucha

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beautiful!

is this atypical?

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Purple is due to experiencing extreme cold. Normally if watered and warmer it would be grey.

I don't know how cold it got but it for sure saw a few days with temperatures in the low teens F and maybe colder.

While var. williamsii in South Texas saw temperatures reach the low twenties F this year it would almost certainly die if it got as cold as this purple plant.

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It's dead

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Nope, they are quite alive.

I can post some images of some that are actually dead from the freeze but that seems fairly pointless.

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I used to not water my lophos during the winter at all and they would shrivel as if they are dieing. Once the spring hits in i would start to water and within 2 weeks they would pump up and looks normal again.

However, they never turned purple on me.

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that was my stupid sense of humour! sorry for dat

drunk mutant on the wheel

Mr Trout , CHEERS, you seem to have been right on spot: from all Trichos, terscheckiis delving into puperty and even a more mature gift from UK woke up early and they are all loving it before all cacti are really alive here, and became active earlier than any other trichos. Best Trichos for mediterranean clim?

I hope I have helped spread only a bit the love for these fatty trichos...

Love your work, got to know more about kk336 T.glaucus , very different Tricho.... I wonder if it is any interesting apart from these lovely reddish spines / areoles?

cheers guys, I luv you all, and ethno scene is great, 'cause it highlights the most meaningful stuffs.

show respect and you'll get insight

mutanto

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amazing plants eh? thanks again trucha, always a great thing when you pop in with pics :) I for one would like to see dead frozen loph pics, if your able and its not a huge time suck for you.

i find a lot of species get purple in dehydration and cold. Astrophytum asterias do as well, which i assume you guys have seen in the wild?

Edited by kadakuda

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Purple is certainly a common cold or drought stress color on a bunch of cacti. Red too in some echinata.

I certainly believe you on asterias but I've only seen red-orange myself so far.

This one is dead:

post-900-0-57577900-1301641560_thumb.jpg

It was in a different population that the purple patch and might have seen slightly colder temperatures. It was also more exposed as an individual.

I'm in the process of creating a photo essay on how this winter impacted peyote and other plants. I'll post a link when its done.

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Can get a photo of some asterias and some astrophytum hybrids that turn purple if youd like, mind you this is in cultivation, not teh wild.

was this winter especially different than the "norm" there?

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It was considered a "hundred year freeze" in many areas of West Texas and killed a lot of things regarded as freeze-hardy. In Alpine they saw three days where the highest temp was 10F.

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Oh wow crazy. I was wondering why such large and obviously old lophs would just up and die, not it all makes sense. Hopefully the damage was not too great. Wonder if the lophs from this springs seed batch will be at all more cold tolerant.

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at what age would you estimate those? 30+ years?

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I'd think that the less feeeze hardy would get weeded out? Whether that reflects in shifting the genetics of the survivors to have offspring that have better cold tolerance seems logical but I really do not know.

Considering how hard of life they live I'd suspect they are probably older than 30. However if I was told 30 or 130 I could believe either one.

How old do cacti get? There has been at least one saguaro that was thought to be around 200 based on how long it has been in cultivation when it died.

One nice thing about these populations is that they are under study and are regularly revisited as part of that process. I will bet that either those same plants or their remains will be seen again this summer. The subject of mortality and survival rates have as great an interest as does distribution patterns and the relationships of the various species to each other. Lophophora leaves dead remains behind that can persist for at least a couple of years so its easier to find dead ones than might be the case with some other plants.

Here is a question i can't find an answer to:

How long has peyote been around as the peyote plant as it exists today? 120,000 years? 20 or 50 million years?

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How long has peyote been around as the peyote plant as it exists today? 120,000 years? 20 or 50 million years?

How long has corn been as it is?

There is a link in the mythology between the two plants,

judging from the spread and biodiversity in lophophora I'd assume it is less than 120K years old

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I understand what you are saying and don't disagree that its a relative latecomer.

Wasn't corn, at least in its present form, believed to be deliberately developed by humans either around or since the time that the last glaciation ended?

Its original pre-development form is strikingly different. So much so its almost hard to believe they are the same thing.

I wouldn't think peyote has been around as long as something like hinckley's oak but would think longer than the corn plant we know. Lots of things seemed to appear with some resemblance of their modern form only in the last 120,000 years.

I would bet though peyote was around while Hinckley's was still abundant (that oak species is now almost gone from the planet with only a relatively few occurrences still known). Hinckley's decline is believed to be the results of that part of Texas formerly being wetter and more temperate but growing harsher on both counts. Radiocarbon dating of packrat middens gives the means of dating Hinckley's oak's existence but Lophophora is more of a problem to know much about.

The only really old peyote known isn't even Lophophora but are artifactual and made from a fibrous dough that was dated to 5600 years bce if my memory is right? There were three different dates that got published on that same material.

I'd suggest Lophophora as a genus is in a long term decline and it has been for a really long time. Largely due to climactic changes until recent times when humans started having significant impact.

The northwestern populations saw single digit temperatures multiple times this February. The closest weather station reported they had 8 nights that month when it was below 10 degrees with two nights recorded at 1 degree F. While it seems likely the Lophophora was up to several degrees warmer than that weather station, to me its a miracle that any peyote still survives there.

A lot of people might not understand that the West Texas populations are typically very tiny and scattered. One that was visited this year was found to be contained within a zone only around 120 feet x no more than 30 feet. The one those purple plants are in is not very much bigger - less than 200 feet by 50 feet but that is probably a too generous estimation. Some populations that friends have found appeared to have only a couple of dozen plants in total. It would be really easy for even a single harvester to completely wipe any of the West Texas populations out with only a visit or two and it could be this is why some populations are so small (survivors being seedlings coming up in the years following the complete extirpation of adults). At this point even wild seed collection could have adverse impact on local populations.

Edited by trucha

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some of the people who live on this continent have specific mythology about peyote, i believe it is worth paying some attention to, and they do associate it with corn, as well as deer

i recall seeing a study that found corn (maize) pollen in lake sediments (mexico city) dating to 60-80,000 years ago, but our species bottlenecks around that time...

http://www.pnas.org/content/104/50/19659.full

while the west can pretend that this continent lacked people until recently (<20K years ago), the evidence is clearly against that, but does show that the bottleneck that affected our species was global...

You mention that populations dwindle... yet some survive, this seems to be a major factor in the emergence of species, including our own

i do not believe in ignoring the accounts of the natives, where they say peyote came from is to me an incredibly relevant piece of information

they say it was given to them by a spirit, at least typically, it is the plant spirit who talks with them and gives them the plant to aid them

so much of the origin mythology is common, that we can assume it is just as likely that the people spread out from peyote using ancestors, as opposed to the idea that the use of peyote spread out among existing peoples

then you can look at the context of the use, it is primarily medicinal, not always indicated as being used in a way that is visionary

often the visions are looked at as a bad thing, it is not typically used in the manner that say, San Pedro cacti are used, rather the role it has is typically different...

i think that it is shaped somewhat as a population, over time, by human use

the mythology indicates that it existed before people found it, but it is clear that the use is archaic

the language of the users of peyote is primarily uto-aztecan and it appears that the use of the plant predates at least some of the linguistic divergence known at present

http://www.jstor.org/pss/684121

the spread of this language and diversification is believed by some to be linked with the spread of maize cultivation

this same divergence pattern largely matches the use of peyote prior to the NAC

if we can assume(and perhaps it is flawed to do so) that peyote was as a population shaped by use over time, then we can assume that the form it takes at present is 5-6K years old

however much of the spread of the language and culture is into areas where peyote will not grow, but corn will

if some form of cultivation took place, but was restricted to climate in regards to the plant, then the choice emerges to have either pilgrimages to the area it occurs in, or to cease to use it. that being said the present location of the plant does not necessarily correlate to the original source of the plant in terms of its origin

i'd like to see genetic indications of divergence of peyote populations, I suspect that it may not even occur in the region it initially evolved in, due to climate change, I suspect that it originates in an area more southern than the present populations. At least one form of the origin myth says that it was discovered in a land of desert and Mesas...

I would not be shocked to learn that it originates near San Luis Potosi, a region whose cactus biodiversity indicates a potential epicenter of species diversification

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Corn existed long before people turned it into what it now is. Its among the most impressive efforts at food modification I'm aware of. They did not make it somehow no longer corn or make it have different pollen they just created it into a more useful food crop.

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KT, as far as i am aware of Corn is a cultigen, its seeds do not self sow but are retained in the husk

no wild populations of it have ever been demonstrated to exist, nor has a wild ancestor been demonstrated to exist

the origin of it is a subject of great debate to this very day, and there is no widespread consensus regarding it

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There is always going to be doubt about anything that is not immediately obvious in front of us. Corn obviously existed before man, i doubt we waved our wand and made it. Selective breeding is amazing. A similar amazing feat is the enoki mushroom. but being a more recent doing, the origin is known.

one question i keep asking myself is if we "know" of human use for thousands of years, why do we still use geographic distribution as any kind of meaningful classification tool? we also "know" L. williamsii to be the only useful Lophophora as far as mescaline intoxication. So doesn't it seem at all possible (probably in my opinion) that the geographic distribution of Lophophora is a direct result of human traveling?

nothing can really be rpoved conclusively i dont think, but the simple fact we know williamsii to be the sole specimen used in ceremony, humans travel a lot to get it and bring it around the area, and it is the most widespread of any lophophora seems to at least bust apart natural spread via non human spread.

I am in no position to talk about geographical distributions as i have never been in mexico and have not studied first hand the plants from there in any in depth way, so i am happy you guys are. the theory that one of the species being an ancestral is interesting. perhaps the original L. williamsii was something ancient (say L. diffusa) and was brought around by human travelers and seeds spread, grew etc and the plant grew out. such a large distribution area to me means that if williamsii is not the ancestor plant, it would need to have been distributed rather quickly to remain such a (relatively) consistent plant. or perhaps L. williamsii was an ancestral plant and the other species, which are well known to have relatively limited distribution, were the old williamsii deposited by whomever or whatever and grew into something else in their confined little ecosystems.

KT, are you guys studying anything at all in mexico? Are tehre are looks at other species other than L. williamsii? it always upsets me a little when people studying Lophophora turn a blind eye to L. fricii and L. koehresii when they are so obviously not L. diffusa or L. williamsii. Deep down I am hoping the genetic work will put out some new ideas on Lophophora taxonomy, but i fear they may only look at the 2 species model, whcih is flawed.

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There is always going to be doubt about anything that is not immediately obvious in front of us. Corn obviously existed before man, i doubt we waved our wand and made it.

Several forms of wheat did not exist before human intervention, it is too strong an assumption for me to claim that corn existed before man.

But then I do not share the conclusions that people were not in the Americas >20K years ago, i've seen too much data that suggests otherwise but that is another topic

A similar amazing feat is the enoki mushroom. but being a more recent doing, the origin is known.

I disagree, light controls cap size and C02 controls stem elongation, the cultivated form of the mushroom is merely a result of the conditions it is grown in.

since we know that Acharagma is a close relative of peyote

http://www.herbarium.usask.ca/research/articles/Butterworth_etal_SysBot_2002.pdf

and we know that obregonia is as well

acharagma is from Coahuila and Nuevo Leon

and Obregonia is from Tamaulipas

williamsii occurs in all three of these States

http://www.cactusconservation.org/CCI/cslm00.html

http://www.cactusconservation.org/CCI/cslm01.html

Dr. Terry writes that he feels that the plants in Coahuila and Tamaulipas are very close to those found in west Texas...

this gives superficial support to a distribution schema

http://www.lophophora.info/e_index.htm

images of the plants in habitat can be viewed at the above site

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Several forms of wheat did not exist before human intervention, it is too strong an assumption for me to claim that corn existed before man.

forms maybe not, but wheat did. Nothing comes from nothing, they were all there before and man just put different combinations together.

There are some good theories as to distribution, but how can one skirt around the fact that people have been trotting around north america with these plants?

Obregonia seems to hybridize somewhat with L. diffusa in my trials, for what its worth. But i need to grow plants up more to see really.

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several forms of plants are the result of intervention and breeding and have no wild ancestors bearing a resemblance to the form itself, while they did not come from nothing it is still significant if they cannot exist independently of people, such as maize

maize is a greatly debated topic and i don't have any answers, but there are a lot of unanswered questions about it, the link to it and Lophophora in native American cultures is undeniable and to my mind significant

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indeed the forms are result of human intervention, but they are still "from the forest"

but how is a plant like corn, that has probably been selectively bred for XXXX years similar to a cactus that is ritualistically hunted and gathered (not selectivley bred)? interested to hear your thoughts on it.

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