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Lophophora williamsii var. caespitosa

Family: Cactaceae

Subfamily: Cactoideae

Tribe: Cacteae

Botanical Name: Lophophora williamsii (Lem. ex Salm-Dyck) J.M. Coult.

Extensions: var. caespitosa

English Name(s): Peyote, Peyotl, Devil's Root, Dumpling Cactus, Mescal, Mescal Button, Whiskey Cactus.

Synonyms: Echinocactus williamsii, Lophophora lewinii, Lophophora echinata, Lophophora lutea.

Related Species: This is a Lophophora williamsii variety.

Description: This Lophophora williamsii variety is different in that it sends out new shoots far more frequently. Some may only send out a few, while others may send out hundreds; sometimes at every areole. L. williamsii var. caespitosa tends to grow in a similar fashion as Lophophora williamsii but with time, as many new shoots build up, it tends to gain height as well as diameter (group).

Rib form: Generally fairly straight or spiral in form. Many have 5 or 8 ribs, but rib counts increase with size up to 13 ribs. While going from 5 to 8 or 8 to 13 ribs, form may appear wavy much like L. diffusa. These often "straighten" out once larger.

Max. size: Large clumps can attain relatively massive sizes of 50cm+ with time. Single heads often stay smaller, but groups of hundreds of heads can fill a fairly large area!

Skin: Dull bluish green colour, sometimes a little greyish.

Areoles: Spineless and woolly.

Roots: Large tap root, as in all Lophophora, but with the extra branches come extra roots. One plant may have many tap roots as each branch that is in the ground will eventually grow its own root system.

Reproduction: Self-fertile. This variety of Peyote tends to flower less as it spends much energy sending out new offshoots. Will flower year round, but often not as much as regular Lophophora williamsii.

Flower Morphology: Usually located at the areole(s) in the top center of plant, sometimes flowers from the sides (rarely). Flowers are around 2cm across when open, broad funnel form tube. Scales are a green colour on back (easily seen when "buds" are emerging from the wool). Style is white in colour. Stigma lobes 3-6 (what we have seen) often at the same height as the anthers, anthers fold in to the stigma when touched, perhaps a fertilization adaptation. Ovary naked.

Petal colour: Pink

Fruits: Fruits are a shade of pink, naked, about 1-2.5 cm long. Often take approximately 2-8 weeks to develop after fertilization in cultivation. Fruit may contain 0-20 seeds each, sometimes more on the odd occasion.

Seeds:

Notes: This variety is similar in most respects to Lophophora williamsii except it pups much more.

Varieties/Forms

Caespitosa variegata: Just like regular L. williamsii var. caespitosa, variegated caespitosa has many offsets. With this variety, the offsets have a different colour to them. This form often displays green, yellow, orange and/or pink.


[ Lophophora | Lophophora Identification | Lophophora williamsii | L. w. decipiens ]

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