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Wile E. Peyote

Developing simple Loph sp. descriptions

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I’m hoping to describe L. williamsii, L. diffusa, L. fricii, L. koehresii and L. alberto-vojtechii using about three sentences for each. I’d like for these descriptions to focus on traits that can be used to distinguish each species from one another, with minimal technical language to increase accessibility for a mainstream audience.


I have tried comparing the original published descriptions of each these species but 1) they are too long and detailed for the resource I’m producing and 2) different terms are used for similar traits in different species by the authors - because of language choices it is not always clear if a trait is similar or different between species.


Any suggestions for description text or further resources would be greatly appreciated :)

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Flowers are probably the way to go. It would be great if you could share any pics, descriptions or links relating to typical flowers for each of these species in this thread :)

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I have compiled images of flowers for each species from KT's sacredcacti.com website. I will make a post with these images for each species. Keen to hear opinions on which images best demonstrate the flowers typical for each species.

First up, L. williamsii

Williamsii flowers- grown from Starr County seeds (JAV).jpg

Williamsii flowers- Jim Hogg County 1.jpg

Williamsii flowers- Jim Hogg County 2.jpg

Williamsii flowers- Jim Hogg County 3.jpg

Williamsii flowers- Presidio County (same population as the preceeding image).jpg

Williamsii flowers- Presidio County 1.jpg

Williamsii flowers- Presidio County 2.jpg

Williamsii flowers- Presidio County 3.jpg

Williamsii flowers- Presidio County 4.jpg

Williamsii flowers- Presidio County 5.jpg

Williamsii flowers- Val Verde County 1.jpg

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Posted (edited)

The most useful resources I've been able to find are;



I've given up on trying to use flower descriptions to distinguish species for the moment, although I'm happy to hear more opinions on this. My current simple descriptive overview is;


Lophophora sp. can be found in northern Mexico and southern USA. Šnicer et al. (2009) recognise these plants in two different categories – section Lophophora and section Diffusae.


L. williamsii is the only species within the Lophophora section, although two different forms within this section are commonly identified – northern and southern. Within section Diffusae there are four species – L. diffusa, L. fricii, L. koehresii and L. alberto-vojtechii.


These species are all somewhat similar in shape, with a flat to convex crown, cone shaped root and a tendency to grow in clumps. A key difference between plants in the Lophophora and Diffusae sections is that plants in the former group contain approximately 10-20 times the concentration of mescaline of plants in the latter group. Further, L. williamsii are autogamous, while plants in the Diffusae section are heterogamous. Diffusae Lophophora sp. (except for L. alberto vojtechii) tend to have a greater number of ribs (up to 21) than L. williamsii (up to 13). Diffusae ribs also tend to be undulating, while L. williamsii ribs are typically straight. L. williamsii skin is often thicker, tougher and darker than the skin of plants in the Diffusae section.


Edited by Wile E. Peyote

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