Lophophora Williamsii in flower  

The new home of Lophophora Williamsii
and its closest friends

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Growers Notes... New Species or Not??

Lophophora Diffusa var. koehresii

Lophophora Diffusa var. koehresii grows around the outskirts of Queretaro Mexico spanning quite a bit further than its predecessor Lophophora Diffusa inhabiting a large flat basin between the Rio Verde in San Luis Potosi and Tula in Tamaulipas. It seems to be one of the more interesting members of the Diffusa family, in that it tends to grow in shallow lake beds in the soft alluvial sediments of the drainless basin and becomes totally covered by water for days if not weeks at a time during the rainy season. The plant also seems to grow one of the largest tubers, growing somewhat wider than the plants visible head and incredibly deep when compared to others within the genus of Lophophora of the same age. This tendency can be viewed in the slightly over exposed photo at the bottom of the page... bad picture indeed but it should offer a nice comparison of the extreme tuber growth this variation has. Although the tuber is one of the largest when compared to its body and stem it is indeed one of the smallest grower with dimensions of ten centimetres in diameter rarely reached.

During the dry season, Lophophora Diffusa var. koehresii is said to pull itself deep into the ground to a point of being completely buried until the rainy season appears. Although I have not had the chance to observe this tendency because I keep my plants "under potted" to prevent the possibility of rot, I have found this species to be quite resilient to the elements and possibly the most hardy within the Diffusa family of plants.

L. Diffusa var. koehresii, tends to have a much darker skin tone than any other Lophophora, producing a very interesting flower with pink to brownish coloured strips as shown in the photo here below. Once again, as proven with others within the Diffusa family, this species is self sterile requiring cross pollination for seed production. It is an incredibly prolific plant, flowering often and producing many large somewhat cream toned seed pods which do most often turn to a nice rosy pink as shown in the photo at the bottom of the page, containing twenty plus seeds in each pod.

Although the plant is said to grow as a single headed plant in its native habitat, I have learned that with time, once a mature plant reaches five to six centimetres in width, pups do begin showing themselves offering another means of reproduction as can be seen on the second picture down on the bottom left.

Seeds germinate quite readily and the plant is one of the easiest to grow within the Lophophora family as it seems to be quite resistant to rot. L. Diffusa var. koehresii tends to maintain a smaller size than any other plant within the entire Lophophora family, which makes it a nice window sill plant for many years without taking up much space.

Lophophora Diffusa var. koehresii

Above: Lophophora Diffusa var. koehresii 14 months old

Lophophora Diffusa var. koehresii spring flower

Above: Lophophora Diffusa var. koehresii Spring Flower

Lophophora Diffusa var. koehresii spring wake-up

Above: Lophophora Diffusa var. koehresii just waking up for spring in my greenhouse 03/18/11

Lophophora Difffusa var. koehresii variegated specimen

Above: Lophophora Diffusa var. koehresii variegated specimen

This variegated specimen of Lophophora Diffusa var. koehresii has proven to be quite an amazing specimen with its extreme colour variation both in body and in flower. The rarity of variegated specimens makes it quite a collectable item but also a most interesting one. Although the body still maintains the same look expected from any plant within the koehresii species, it's flower so closely resembles that of a Lophophora Diffusa var. fricii that the two plants could almost be interchanged. In fact after having a recent look at the plant, it is now growing pups which is another unusual feature of this plant as it begin turning my thinking as to its label possibly actually being that of a fricii variation. More pictures to come as the plant changes.

Lophophora Diffusa var. koehresii seed pod

Above: Lophophora Diffusa var. koehresii seed pod

Lophophora Diffusa var. koehresii seedlings

Above: Fourteen month old Lophophora Diffusa var. koehresii seedings

email: dr_frank @ magicactus.com

Mailing address:
Frank Valente
56 Dewhurst Blvd.
Toronto, Ontario
M4J 3J3

© 2008, Frank Valente