Lophophora williamsii, viable Peyote seeds
Lophophora williamsii belongs to the family of the Cactecaeca, the cactus family. It is native mainly to Texas and Mexico where it is meanwhile under protection. The cactus occurs even in the dry desserts of those countries. Lophophora williamsii is also known as Peyote, this name comes from the old Aztecs.
L. williamsii is a roundish cactus that can reach 1 m in diameter. However it stays mostly quite small with just 8 cm in diameter. The Peyote has no thorns which is unusual for a cactus plant. Lophophora williamsii has just the so called areoles; that are felted pads. Due to that the plant is able to reduce the transpiration to a minimum what is very important in the dessert. The shoot is very thick and greenish bluish, it is able to do photosynthesis. The shoot has hacks. Lophophora williamsii grows very slow and gets first wider and hardly higher.
The flower of the Peyote is rose with yellow stamens. The flower is actinomorphic and stands single at the shoot. The flower reaches 2 cm in diameter. The flower of the Peyote is self- fertile, but cross pollination between flowers of different individuals is much better. The flowers open in the afternoon and close again in the early evening. The blooming time of a single flower is quite short. The fruit is roundish, oblong, rose to reddish in color and includes the seeds. The seed should be well cleaned if one wants to store them. The root is thick.
Lophophora williamsii contains various alkaloids. One of them is mescaline. The natives of Mexico used the plant for traditional, religious rituals. The shamans believed that they could have a connection to god and other ghosts of the nature via the Peyote. In the flush one believed that the plant has a godly origin and due to that the plant was used against many different diseases. Lophophora williamsii has really an antibiotic effect. Fortune tellers also take the Peyote. They can see future things much clearer in the flush. As the Europeans arrived in America they discovered also the exhilarating effect of the Peyote. However the consume was forbidden quite fast. In Germany it is forbidden to own and consume mescaline. The concentration of alkaloids can strongly vary within and between the plants. Therefore the hallucinogen effect can be hardly evaluated. This can easily lead to intoxication.
Cultivation of Peyote from seeds:
Peyote seeds do not need a pretreatment. However a short stratification of about 2 weeks can raise germination success. At a temperature of about 25°C and constantly moist substrate germination should occur after just 2 weeks. The adult plant should be rarely watered. Like all cactus L. willisamsii is able to store water in the shoot. Over winter L. williamsii should be kept inside at a temperature of about 10°C. L. williamsii needs even less water during winter. One time water in a month is enough. If one waters the plant to much the shoot will rot off.
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