PEYOTE CACTUS Lophophora diffusa

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Lophophora diffusa is endemic to Mexico in the outskirts of Querétaro. Its natural habitat is semi-deserts on slopes and river beds, and under the shade of various shrubs and nurse plants. It is considered vulnerable due to a very small distribution range, small population of less than 3,000 individuals, and illegal collecting. It is collected illegally by people seeking peyote, and as an ornamental plant.

This species contains trace amounts of mescaline; pellotine, whose psychoactive effects are comparatively minimal, is the principal alkaloid.

Caution poison: Ornamental use only. Hallucination, agitation, tachycardia, mydriasis, hypertension and vomiting. Most poisoning occurred after ingestion of the plant or its decoction.

Seeds per pack: 5

Germination: Fill small pots with compost mix, and soak the compost using boiling water to kill parasites. Allow to drain and cool for about an hour.  Sprinkle seeds evenly over the compost mix. Cover the pots with plastic, or place in a clear ziplock bag. Place in a well lit window but not in direct sunlight. Temperature should reach above 80(26 degrees C) to 110(43 degrees C) degrees F during the day, and must dip below 80 at night for best germination results. If seed trays begin to dry out, spray to moisten the surface. Seeds should germinate within 4 to 20 days. When seedlings are about four months old begin acclimatizing by opening the bag to reduce moisture. Keep seedlings in indirect sunlight for about six months. The plants should have a lush green color. If they appear to turn red it means they are getting too much light.

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