Peyotl (Lophophora Williamsii), A Hallucinogenic Cactus



The Peyotl (Lophophora williamsii), also called Mescal, is a small cactus that does not exceed 5cm in height but whose parts under the soil surface develop vigorously in the form of thick tuberous roots. Native to the semi-desert regions of South Texas and Mexico, this cactus needs at least 10° C.

Peyotl (Lophophora williamsii), a hallucinogenic cactus

Without thorns, like a carved nipple globe divided into narrow furrows, with woolly white areolas, the peyote can emit a solitary pink petal-colored day flower that lasts only 3 days maximum, followed by a red fruit containing tiny particles. black seeds, which can stay in place for several months.

The peyotl can grow alone but as it develops rejects that agglutinate around the mother-stock, the whole ends up forming a group of peyotls tight against each other.

The "mescal buttons" of this cactus contain isoquinoleic alkaloids and derivatives of phenyl-ethylamine, including mescaline, a powerful psychotropic, which makes the plant hallucinogenic. Amerindians, for millennia, practice an ancestral rite from this cactus, which causes a real waking dream, with colorful visions accompanied by auditory hallucinations, which would allow to come into contact with the afterlife and to predict the future. The Huichols, an indigenous people of Mexico still perpetuate the rite of the peyote, still in a group, which tends to make it more rare when a whole community picks it in the wild while its growth is slow. Yet it is protected by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

Its use is prohibited in France where the peyote is classified as narcotic, however it is on sale in all garden centers!

  • Family: Cactaceae
  • Type: houseplant
  • Origin: Mexico
  • Color: pink flowers
  • Sowing: yes
  • Cutting: no
  • Plantation: all year
  • Flowering: spring and autumn
  • Height: 5 cm

Ideal soil and exposure for peyote

The peyote needs heat and does not survive below 10° C. It is grown in full sun in a special substrate cactus reinforced a little limestone. Outside, the soil must be sandy, alkaline, not very fertile and well drained.

Date of sowing and planting peyote

It is in spring that you sow the peyote in a sandy mixture, between 19 and 24° C.

Since in France you will grow it indoors, it can be planted all year round with a preference for spring.

Board of maintenance and culture peyote

Water at least once a week from April to September and keep dry the rest of the year.

Diseases, pests and parasites of peyote

The peyote is not susceptible to diseases.

Location and favorable association of peyote

It is a plant that is grown as a houseplant in our latitudes or, ideally, outdoors in summer and in the greenhouse or in a winter veranda.

There are only 2 species of its kind Lophophora: the Peyotl (Lophophora williamsii), and Lophophora diffusa which contains pellotin, an alkaloid different from mescaline, but also psychoactive.


Video: Rens eats a whole Peyote cactus (mescaline) | Drugslab.


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