Lophophora Williamsii in flower  

The new home of Lophophora Williamsii
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Growers Notes... New Species or Not??

Lophophora Williamsii
var. pentagona

Lophophora Williamsii var. pentagona is another questionable variety that has been available for years, yet has no known origin and has never been found in habitat as of yet. As its title dictates, it is considered to be a Williamsii variety consisting of only five ribs.

In my experience, seed germination for the pentagona variety has been quite good and the plant grows quickly with bodies exploding to sizes almost double that of any typical Williamsii variation. I have noticed that as these plants grow older and larger, they do in fact split into more ribs than five but always maintain their original look. Flowers from the pentagona variety are often similar to that of a typical Williamsii plant in shape and colour as shown in the plant depicted here below, but most often have fewer yet longer sharply pointed petals, as shown in the photo of this rare double headed plant further down the page.

Lophophora Williamsii var. pentagona

Above: Lophophora Williamsii var. pentagona

Lophophora Williamsii var. pentagona two headed plant

Above: Lophophora Williamsii var. pentagon two headed plant

Although Lophophora Williamsii var. pentagona has a very good germination rate and is quite easy to grow, it is also a little more prone to rot, similar to those found in the Diffusa family of plants. My research has indicated that most state this plant to be self pollinating. In my experience, the pentagona variety has most definitely shown itself to be self sterile, requiring cross pollination to produce seed. The fact that the plant has so far proven to be self sterile, indicates that it is either of the southern variety of Lophophora and has either been mislabelled right from its first finding, or has been crossed with a plant of such designation as that of the Huizachi variety. From the picture at the bottom of the page, those with a little more experience will even recognize the similarity of the pentagona variety with those of the Huizachi or even weisse Bluete varieties of Lophophora.

The pentagona variation also seems to grow a smaller tuber than the typical Williamsii plant and tends to have more fibrous feeder roots, which is possibly why they tend to rot more easily. Greater care should be taken with watering to prevent accidental loss of this lovely plant.

One of the most intriguing things about the pentagona variation as can be seen in the picture below, is the colour of the flowers. As can be seen, and this is no camera trick, the pictured plant below consistently shoots two flowers at a time which is normal, but this plant has a white and a separate pink flower each time it flowers. At present I have grown two such plants from seeds with the label of pentagona and I am now cross pollinating the two to produce seed that can match this very special and incredibly unique variation. This process will probably take as long as getting to the second generation "F2" of plants, for a more defined plant.

Lophophora Williamsii var. pentagona with dual coloured flower

Above: Lophophora Williamsii var. pentagona with dual coloured flowers

Lophophora Williamsii var. pentagona seedlings

Above: Fifteen month old Lophophora Williamsii var. pentagona seedlings

email: dr_frank @ magicactus.com

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

© 2008, Frank Valente