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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Ordo: Caryophyllales

Familia: Cactaceae
Subfamilia: Cactoideae
Tribus: Cacteae
Genus: Lophophora
Species: L. diffusa – L. fricii – L. williamsii
Source(s) of checklist:

Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Lophophora in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Mar 15. Reference page.


Lophophora J.M.Coult., Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 3(2): 131. 1894.
Type species: Lophophora williamsii (Lem. ex Salm-Dyck) J.M.Coult.


Cactus sect. Lophophora (J.M.Coult.) Kuntze, in Post & Kuntze, Lex. Gen. Phan. 86. 1903.
Echinocactus [infragen.gruppe] Williamsiani Vaupel in Engl. & Prantl (ed.), Nat. Pflanzenfam. 21: 622, 623. 1925.
Echinocactus subg. Lophophora (J.M.Coult.) K.Schum., Gesamtb. Kakt.(5): 292, 318. 1898.

Lophophora sect. Diffusae Bohata, Myšák & Šnicer, Kaktusy Special 2 (2005): 3. 2005.
Type species: Lophophora diffusa (Croizat) Bravo
Peyotl Sotomayor, Arredondo & M.Martínez, Cactus & Co. 5(4): 219–221-226-228. 2001, nom. illeg.
Type species: Peyotl zacatensi Sotomayor, Arredondo & M.Martínez, nom. inval.


× Gymnophora – × Turbiniphora
Native distribution areas:

Continental: Northern America
Regional: Mexico
Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southwest, Texas

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Coulter, J.M. (1894) Contributions from the United States National Herbarium 3 (2): 131.

Additional references

Korotkova, N., Aquino, D., Arias, S., Eggli, U., Franck, A. , Gómez-Hinostrosa, C., Guerrero, P.C., Hernández, H.M., Kohlbecker, A., Köhler, M., Luther, K., Majure, L.C., Müller, A., Metzing, D., Nyffeler, R., Sánchez, D., Schlumpberger, B. & Berendsohn, W.G. 2021. Cactaceae at Caryophyllales. org–a dynamic online species-level taxonomic backbone for the family. Willdenowia 51(2): 251–270. DOI: 10.3372/wi.51.51208 Open access Reference page.


Korotkova, N. et al. 2021. Lophophora (Cactaceae) in Cactaceae at A global synthesis of species diversity in the angiosperm order Caryophyllales. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Nov 16. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Lophophora in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Mar 15. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Lophophora. Published online. Accessed: Mar 15 2021. 2021. Lophophora. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 15 Mar 2021.
Hassler, M. 2021. Lophophora. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2021. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Mar 15. Reference page.

Vernacular names
suomi: Myrkkykaktukset, meskaliinikaktukset
polski: Jazgrza
svenska: Giftkaktussläktet

Lophophora (/ləˈfɒfərə/) is a genus of spineless, button-like cacti. Its area range covers southern through northeastern and north-central Mexico to Querétaro in central Mexico. The species are extremely slow growing, sometimes taking up to thirty years to reach flowering age (at the size of about a golf ball, excluding the root) in the wild. Cultivated specimens grow considerably faster, usually taking between three and ten years to reach from seedling to mature flowering adult. The slow rate of reproduction and over-harvesting by collectors render the species under threat in the wild.


Lophophora means "crest-bearing", referring to the tufts of trichomes that adorn each tubercle. Lophophora has been reported to have two species, L. diffusa and L. williamsii. Another three species have been proposed[by whom?]: L. fricii, L. koehresii, and L. alberto-vojtechii.[1] Recent DNA sequencing studies (Butterworth et al. 2002) have shown that L. diffusa and L. williamsii indeed are distinct species. DNA evidence from the alleged species L. fricii and L. koehresii would allow for more accurate classification.[2]

Image Scientific Name Description Distribution
Lophophoradiffusa1.jpg Lophophora diffusa (Croizat) Bravo The plants are yellow-green, usually lacking well-defined ribs and furrows. The podaria are rarely elevated, but are broad and flat. The tufts of hair are usually spread unequally on the prominent podaria. The flowers are commonly whitish to yellowish-white. This species contains zero to trace amounts of mescaline; pellotine is the principal alkaloid. south end of the range of the genus in Querétaro state, Mexico
Lophophora williamsii.jpg Lophophora williamsii (Lemaire ex Salm-Dyck) J.M.Coult. The plants are blue-green, usually with well-defined ribs and furrows. The tufts of hair are usually equally spaced on the ribs. The flowers are pinkish or rarely whitish. The mescaline content in dried "Peyote" can reach almost 7%. the full range of the genus except in Querétaro state, Mexico


Lophophora species easily adapt to cultivation, requiring warm conditions and a free-draining substrate, and to be kept dry in winter.

Snicer, Jaroslav; Mysak, Vojtech; Bohata, Jaroslav (2005). "Lophophora Coulter". Kaktusy. Special 2005/2 (41).

C. A. Butterworth & J. H. Cota-Sanchez, & R. S. Wallace (2002), ”Molecular systematics of Tribe Cacteae (Cactaceae: Cactoideae): A phylogeny based on rpl16 intron sequence variation”, Systematic Botany 27 (2), 257-270.

Edward F. Anderson, The Cactus Family (Timber Press, 2001) ISBN 0-88192-498-9, pp. 396–397
Edward F. Anderson, Peyote: The Divine Cactus (University of Arizona Press; 2nd edition, 1996) ISBN 0-8165-1654-5
Lyman Benson, Cacti of the United States and Canada (Stanford University Press, 1983) ISBN 0-8047-0863-0, pp. 680–683
John M. Coulter, Preliminary revision of the North American species of Cactus, Anhalonium, and Lophophora (Contributions from the U. S. National Herbarium 3(2), 1894)
Rudolf Grym, Rod/Die Gattung Lophophora (Vydavateľstvo Igor Dráb, 1997) ISBN 80-85441-11-X

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