Lophophora Williamsii in flower  

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Distribution of the Species Lophophora

Lophophora is one of the most widely dispersed plants in North America ranging from the Rio Grande Regions of Texas, throughout the Chihuahuan Desert and Tamaulipan Thorn Forest while extending as far south into Mexico as the city of San Luis Potosi, and Queretaro where the southern form of the genus, that of Lophophora Diffusa can be found. See Image 2 below for a greater depiction of this distribution.

Natrual Distribution of the Species Lophophora
Image 2 - Natural Distribution of the Species Lophophora

Throughout this vast range, we also have an incredible difference in elevation from north to south for peyote. We have the Rio Grande at approximately 50 meters (150 feet), and in the southern portion around San Luis Potosi, peyote can be found at nearly 1850 meters (6000 feet) of elevation. The somewhat isolated area around Queretaro is at an elevation of about 1500 meters (5000 feet).

Three factors apparently are responsible for the discontinuous distribution of Lophophora between the large northern and the smaller southern population: (1) extensive saline flats in the Rio Verde region east of the city of San Luis Potosi, (2) formidable mountains: the Sierra Gorda extension of the Sierra Madre Oriental, and (3) high elevations even in the broad valleys. The relatively high desert area in Queretaro apparently is an isolated pocket of the Chihuahuan Desert.

Within this range peyote can be found growing under shrubs such as Proso-pis glandulous (mesquite), Larrea tridentate (creosote bush), and rosette-leafed plants, such as Agave lechuguilla and Hechtia glomerata. Peyote can also be found growing in the open with no protection or shade of any kind. In some areas, such as in the state of San Luis Potosi, peyote sometimes even grows in silty mud flats that become temporary, shallow freshwater lakes during the rainy season. And if that isn’t enough of a difference for you, peyote has even been found growing in crevices on steep limestone cliffs.

Lophophora Williamsii in flower

email: dr_frank @ magicactus.com

Mailing address:
Frank Valente
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Toronto, Ontario
M4J 3J3

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