Lophophora Diffusa Vs Williamsii (Key Differences)

Separating Lophophora diffusa from Lophophora williamsii can be a very tough job. Even if you are a plant enthusiast. Although they look like twins physically, they do have a few key differences. 

So, what’s the difference between Lophophora diffusa vs williamsii?

Lophophora diffusa and Lophophora williamsii differ from one another in quite a few aspects. Physically they have different structures when it comes to the ribs, stem, and flowers. They also have different maintenance requirements. 

But identifying these differences can be tricky. So we broke it down thoroughly in the section below. 

We’ve provided all the details in case this isn’t enough for you. Keep reading to find out more!

Lophophora Diffusa And Williamsii: Quick Debate

It’s difficult to tell the difference between Lophophora diffusa and Lophophora williamsii. However, we’ve provided a chart so you can differentiate the two at a glance.

CategoryLophophora diffusa Lophophora williamsii
StemNo ribs or furrows woolly top, lobular, top-shaped, or flattened shape, succulent flavor
FlowerWhite, yellowish-white, pinkish-whitePink
Maintenancemore sensitive to trauma and rotprone to decay

Difference Between Lophophora Diffusa And Williamsii

lophophora diffusa vs williamsii

Both relatives almost seem identical to each other. However, there are a few distinctions between them that may not be apparent at first glance. We denoted all of those differences down below. 

1. Ribs

Ribs are vertical accordion-like structures seen on columnar cacti’s trunks and stems. They can expand and contract depending on how much water they hold. One of the physical differences between Lophophora diffusa and williamsii lies in their ribs. 

In L. diffusa, the ribs are usually absent. The podaria is infused in the ribs of this species. 

However, the ribs range from 5 to 13. They are rarely raised, wavy, broad, or flat.

Williamsii, on the other hand, has a lot of ribs that are clearly defined. When you’re young, you have 5 ribs. Later it develops 7 to 13 ribs. (very rarely 4 or 14 ). 

Broad, rounded, straight, and spiraling are some of the shapes and sizes available. Tuberculosis is common, although it can also be irregular and unclear.

Having transverse furrows generating polyhedral tubercles that are more or less regular.

Normally, this is the case. However, this “usually” is an issue for those who want their plants to have distinct characteristics. 

So if you have a hard time separating them in your garden, use pots to identify them. You can mark the pots using a marker. But make sure to use water-resistant permanent markers. 

You can try some of these.

Use them to separate your plants. 

2. Stem

The stem of diffusa grows to be about 2-7 cm tall and 5-12 cm in diameter. Larger stems, up to 20-25 cm in diameter, are found in some populations.

Yellow-green or grey-green is the most common tint. However, it is frequently devoid of well-defined ribs and furrows.

Williamsii has a woolly top and grows to a height of 6 cm and a diameter of 12 cm. It has a lobular, top-shaped, or flattened shape.

It also has a succulent flavor. It occurs in a variety of colors, including glaucous green, dull bluish-green, and greyish green.

The stem’s subterranean portion is as wide as its aerial portion. It extends a few centimeters beneath the surface of the earth and transitions smoothly (through a thin hypocotyl).

It develops a huge taproot that can reach depths of up to 25 cm below ground level. So you should use a pot with enough depth. Here are a few to try. 

These plant pots can fit both of the plants perfectly.

3. Flower

Diffusa flowers have a diameter of 1.5-3 cm. They’re a little rounder and lighter in hue. White to yellowish-white to pinkish-white is the most common color.

Williamsii has solitary, campanulate flowers. When fully opened, they measure 1.5-2.5 centimeters in diameter. Pink is the most common color, with white being rare. Ventrally, the perianth segments and scales are greenish. 

They emerge from the umbilicate center of the crown’s mass of hairs. A clump of long hair encircles each of them. There are 5-7 linear and pink stigma-lobes

Both species, however, are quite varied. Williamsii does not self-pollinate, although diffusa does.

4. Maintenance

In cultivation, the plants behave differently. The species L. Diffusa is far more vulnerable to stress and decay. But most types of L. Williamsii are quite resistant and will accept grower’s occasional cultivation blunders.

Diffusa has a slow growth rate. In the summer, it requires a half-shade. The rest of the year, it requires full sun.

To accommodate the taproot, grow it in a narrow and deep pot. Because they are prone to rot, use a highly granular compost with plenty of drainage

Here are some composts that you can use. 

These composts will help you maintain the plant. 

Williamsii grows at a snail’s pace.It might take up to thirty years for a plant to reach flowering age in the wild. Cultivated human specimens grow at a much faster rate.

It takes 6 to 10 years for a seedling to mature into a flowering adult.

They are prone to decay due to the taproot. As a result, use a granular compost that drains well. Half-shade to part-sun is required.

These are all the key differences between Lophophora diffusa and williamsii. Hopefully, these factors will help you better identify between these two species. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How long does it take for Lophophora seeds to germinate?

Answer: Within 2 to 14 days, the seeds should germinate. Spray the surface of the seed trays if they start to dry out.

Question: Can I grow Lophophora williamsii?

Answer: yes, you can. The seed of Lophophora williamsii is relatively easy to germinate. It’s critical to provide adequate ventilation two or three weeks following seed germination. 

Question: How do you fertilize Lophophora Williamsii?

Answer: The peyotl tolerates weak fertilizer every 6 to 8 weeks. However, just during the spring and summer growth periods, mix liquid cactus fertilizer along with the water.


Now you know the differences between Lophophora diffusa vs williamsii. So the next time you are in a dilemma due to these two, just check the above factors. 

We hope you learned something new from this article.

Thank you for your patience and for sticking with us all the way to the end.

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