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Lophophora diffusa

Family: Cactaceae

Subfamily: Cactoideae

Tribe: Cacteae

Botanical Name: Lophophora diffusa (Croizat) Bravo

Extensions: N/A

First Published Description: Croizat in Dessert Plant Life. 16: 44 (1944). Published as "Lophophora echinata var. diffusa"

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

Synonyms: Lophophora echinata, Lophophora ziegleri.

Related Species: Lophophora alberto-vojtechii, Lophophora fricii, Lophophora koehresii.

Description: Lophophora diffusa is an overal lighter green colour compared to L. williamsii. Its rib pattern is very uneven and wavy in appearance. Often, but not always, L. diffusa will put out many offsets once a little larger, unlike most L. williamsii. In cultivation it will also have a more bloated look and often grows much taller than L. williamsii when given more water than normal.

Lophophora diffusa flowers have similar petal shape as L. williamsii, flower petal colour is white (L. williamsii is pink).

Rib form: Wavy and variable. Lophophora diffusa is known for its variable rib shape, and can be a help in distinguishing it from Lophophora williamsii. Ribs are still always in 5, 8 or 13 (or in between when growing more).

Max. size: With age single heads of 20 cm are possible, but diffusa tends to branch a fair bit from a younger age (around 5cm) so larger "group" plants are common.

Skin: A nice green colour, sometimes dull usually not.

Areoles: Spineless and wooly.

Roots: Large tap root, as in all Lophophora. Large Lophophora diffusa may have 20cm long tap roots. We have noticed (this may just be nothing) that L. diffusa roots tend to branch a bit more and has more capillary roots. Just an observation, could be nothing.

Reproduction: Self-sterile. Lophophora diffusa is a seasonal flowerer usually flowering twice a year; spring and fall. There are exceptions and they may sometimes flower at different times of the year.

Flower Morphology: Usually located at the areole(s) in the top center of plant, sometimes flowers from the sides (rarely). Flowers are around 2-2.5cm across when open, broad funnel form tube. Petals are slightly rounded with points at the tips. 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: White [Photo]

Fruits: Fruits are white, naked, about 1.5-3 cm long. Often take approximately 4-12 weeks to develop after fertilization in cultivation (slower than L. williamsii fruits). Fruit usually contains many seeds compared to L. williamsii; 10-60 seeds each, sometimes more on the odd occasion. [Photo]

Seeds:

Notes: It is suggested by some that Lophophora diffusa is more close to L. fricii and L. koehresii. From my own attempts, Lophophora diffusa has not successfully crossed with either of these 2 types. I have not devoted much time to trying to "hybridize" them, but so far it does not look promising.

Aside from reproductive compatibility, diffusa, fricii and koehresii all show considerable rib variation. Flower petals however seem like diffusa has its own look, and fricii and koehresii are similarly shaped.

Varieties/Cultivars

Big Breast: Lophophora diffusa forma. Big Breast originated in Japan and has been refined in other countries, such as Taiwan. It is basically a L. diffusa that has been bred to have extremely large tubercles. Some have no hair, others are bred for very long hair.


Cristate:


Variegata: L. diffusa var. variegata is the same as regular L. diffusa but it is mixed with yellow colour. Some display more or less, from almost solid to green to solid yellow.



[ Lophophora | Lophophora Identification | Breeding Lophophora ]

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