lophophora diffusa vs williamsii; lophophora williamsii care; lophophora diffusa seeds

Lophophora Diffusa Vs Williamsii

It can be very frustrating when you can’t find proper information about two different cactus species to tell them apart. I have always had a knack for peyote cactus. But the problem is that there are two species of peyote that people can’t identify the differences. 

So, I took this as a challenge to conduct thorough research and identify the key differences between Lophophora Diffusa Vs Williamsii. In this content, I will guide you through a journey of identifying peyote cacti according to their characteristics. 

Before highlighting the differences, let’s figure out what a Peyote is.

What is a Peyote?

From the book of Edward Anderson, we can know the following information –

Peyote is a spineless cactus that is small and soft and has the colour grade of blue-green. Peyote is used for creating a hallucinogenic drug that contains mescaline. Blue torch cactus psychedelic drugs are highly addictive. This drug leaves psychoactive effects on the human brain, which can be very harmful.

On the other hand, these are used in religious ceremonies regularly by native Mexicans.

Peyotes are native to Mexico. According to Edward F. Anderson, including peyote’s related sibling, false peyote, which has a similar growth form, many separate species are available there. Such as –

  • Lophophora jourdaniana
  • Lophophora Lewinii
  • Lophophora fricii
  • Lophophora Diffusa
  • Lophophora Williamsii

Before you jump over to the descriptive part of this debate, let’s quickly examine different aspects of these two types of peyote and identify their differences.

Lophophora Diffusa Vs Williamsii – Difference at a Glance


Lophophora Diffusa

Lophophora Williamsii

Found in

Querétaro, México

Chihuahuan Desert, South Texas

Altitude (Above sea level)

1,300 to 1,800 meters

100 to 1,900 meters


2-7 cm tall, 5-12 cm diameter

6 cm tall, 12 cm diameter


5 to 13

7 to 13

Rib shape

Wavy, flat and broad

Rounded, broad, straight, or spiraled


With tufts of hair

Round spineless and bearing flowers

Flower color

Whitish to yellowish-white

Red to pinkish

Flower size

1.5-3 cm diameter

2 cm long

Lophophora Diffusa

The plant L. diffusa is a spineless cactus found in the state of Querétaro in México. It grows naturally in a small valley between Bucareli, Vizarron and Toliman. The usual elevation from sea level is between 1,300 to 1,800 meters.

These cacti grow in the stoniest and driest areas of the desert. The soil it grows on is called calcareous. The specialty of this soil is that it allows the tuberous roots of the cacti to grow feely because the soil type is dry but deep. It mainly grows between a few local shrubs and probably a nurse plant.

Like its brother from this distinct species, cacti L. Fricii and L. Diffusa have well-defined ribs. The plant is a famous one in the case of keeping them at home. Also, as I’ve said earlier, there’s a negative usage of the plant to make drugs from it. It is being illegally exported to the United States so that native Americans can do drugs. Due to illegal collecting, the species is slowly becoming endangered.

lophophora williamsii seeds; lophophora diffusa flower; is lophophora williamsii legal

Basic characteristics

The body colour of the stems is usually grey-green or yellow-green, with a height of 2-7cm and a diameter of 5 to 12 cm. The lophophora diffusa cactus doesn’t have well-defined ribs. They are wavy, flat, broad and very rarely elevated.

On the prominent Pandaria, areolas like tufts of hair and unevenly spread. Some people think L. Diffusa has a pink flower, but in reality, the flower is yellowish-white or pinkish-white. Lophophora diffusa seeds are small.

Lophophora Williamsii

The plant L. Williamsii is a spineless cactus you can find in the Chihuahuan Desert of South Texas. These plants grow naturally in rocky and low hills of Jim Hogg, Starr, Web and Zapata counties. The usual altitude it grows in is between 100 to 1900 meters.

These can grow isolated or in a group in rocky and dried deserts on slopes and river beds in calcareous deserts. It also requires deep soil so that the root can go deep. L. Williamsii is also used for making drugs because it contains Alkaloid content and mescaline.

The saddest thing is due to the reducing number of the plant; it has been announced illegal to collect them. Also, as people focus more on agriculture, farmers are destroying different cacti, including L. Williamsii and the places where you can get lophophora williamsii seeds.

Basic characteristics

The stem of the L. Williamsii is very succulent and flat with a dull bluish, greyish-green or glaucous green texture. The size of the stem with a woolly top is 6 cm in height and 12 cm in diameter. The roots are 8 to 11 cm in length.

Williamsii has a pink flower. The size of the flower when it opens up is 1.5-2.5 cm across. They bloom during summer. The fruit is red or pink with a club-like shape. It is edible.

Growing Peyote

As these plants are used for making drugs, there are a few regulations if you want to grow them. Such as –

  • Can only be grown in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon and New Mexico.
  • NAC (Native American Church) membership required.
  • You need to write a Declaration of Religious Belief, get the document notarized, and drop the document at the County Recorder Office.
  • The documents should be at the place where you’re growing the plant.

Plantation Regime

The plant does not need any proper attention. All you need is to find a place that doesn’t have any moisture in the soil and is deep enough for the roots to grow. As they are cacti, they don’t need much watering. You have to let the soil stay dry.

The soil doesn’t require too much fertilizer. But during summer days, you have to water the plant twice a week and apply fertilizer once or twice a year. The suggested water type should have a 5.1 pH level which can help different minerals mix with the plant.

Lophophora Diffusa and Lophophora Williamsii Care

The watering plan of both lophophora is very simple. During hot weather, when the temperature hits over 1000 F, the plant can grow rapidly if it is watered properly.

In Winter, when the temperature falls below 400 F, the water turns into ice. So, water in such weather conditions is strictly prohibited. The plant may die if water freezes and turns into ice under the plant.


1. Can I grow Lophophora Williamsii?

Yes, you can grow Lophophora Williamsii, but there are some legal proceedings that you have to maintain. Without them, it’s illegal to grow them. You can read the “Growing Peyote” section to know the rules.

2. How to identify Lophophora Williamsii?

It’s really easy. You have to look for the top of the plant and the stem. The stem would have a dull bluish, greyish-green or glaucous green texture and the crown on top looks like a button that has the shape of a disc.

3. Is Lophophora Williamsii legal?

Unfortunately, no. Growing these plants is not legal. You have to get some special permission to grow them.

4. How long does peyote stay in your system?

The peyote drug can stay in your system for the last two days to the max duration of three months. It remains in the blood for 24 hours. It can remain in the saliva for up to 10 days.

Final Words

That’s all you need to know about Lophophora Diffusa vs Williamsii. These plants are endangered and illegal. My suggestion would be not to grow them.

But if you have to grow them, ensure you have the proper permissions and don’t do drugs from them. 

Other cactus species you can consider and which you can grow without restrictions are the Selenicereus Anthonyanus and Epiphyllum Anguliger. Here is an article on these two cactus species: Selenicereus Anthonyanus Vs Epiphyllum Anguliger

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Robert Silver

Robert Silver is a writer, speaker and certified master gardener who has been sharing his landscaping experiences through personal blogs. Taking it to the next level, Robert Silver has come up with this progardeningblog.com to shine a light on new planters and experts, discussing plants, landscape projects and much more. He has published numerous research articles on horticulture that have helped many people attain fruitful outcomes.