Names associated with Lophophoras

The Lophophoras  



A.V. Frič’s view of Lophophora in 1936

    I   Lewinii (Hennings) blaßgelb Blüten” Keep this image in mind. We are going to refer to it again later. In Frič’s earlier use of this image, in 1924, he labelled this sp. lutea Frič. Frič should have kept it as sp. lutea

  II  texana

III  Williamsii (Lem.) blaßrosa Blüten” In its first appearance, in Frič 1924, this was Anhalonium sp. fl. rosea Frič. (This became Lophophora williamsii var. decipiens in Backeberg 1961.) Fric’s account enabled Denis Cowper to locate it; it is now  Lophophora fricii.

IV  caespitosa (San Luis)”

V   Jourdaniana (syn. violaciflora) violetrosa Blüten.” In 1924, Frič had this image labelled as “Lewinii“.  


Many Lophophora species names have appeared in print. Most of those are horticultural or sometimes they are erroneous. In earlier editions of this book, the problem names that were discussed were lumped together into one confusing section. In the present arrangement they are being treated separately in alphabetical order.

Many other ‘species’ and varieties have been proposed due to peyote’s highly variable nature. There seems little point in discussing them all. They are simply forms and many of them can be found within any large single population of peyote. Anderson and Grym have summarized them, and why they should be rejected, very nicely. For instance please compare the L. williamsii pictured elsewhere herein with Lophophora texensis below. Bohata and coworkers 2005 have treated the genus Lophophora quite excellently and readers interested in detailed information about the Lophophora species (including many great habitat photographs) are directed to their special issue of Kaktusy.

It seems obvious that most of the world’s experts now agree that five actual species presently existL. williamsii, L. koehresii, L. fricii, L. diffusa and the most recent species L. alberto-vojtechii. More may possibly be defined in Mexico in the future. The actual face of the genus is still being worked out and it seems likely that a number of varietal descriptions will find acceptance.
There also may be another variety or form of L. williamsii, most often confusedly known as L. williamsii var. echinata sensu Weniger. It will be touched on in its own section but will be included with more detail and images in the discussion of L. williamsii. It is somewhat distinct from a typical L. williamsii in its form, environmental tolerances and chemical make-up. Whether this qualifies it as an actual species seems doubtful but my thought is that it certainly merits some sort of recognition.

There is of course that pesky issue that, for plants at least, the concept of species is curiously defined with some nebulosity. Lacking a clear definition of what it takes to be regarded as an individual cactus species, let’s have a look at some of the names of interest.

Parenthetical names (Kanji) may be found helpful in performing online searches for additional imagery.


Lophophora alberto-vojtechii (小型烏羽玉)

This miniature plant is the newest Lophophora species. Considering how recently it has been noticed, its range in Mexico has been found to be surprisingly large. I’m going to simply mention this species; Šnicer &/or Bohata can provide more details. It presently appears to lack any analysis.

At some point this entry will be updated. My thanks to Ade for sharing the flowering images below!

3, 4 &amp; 5 yr. old <em>Lophophora alberto-vojtechii

3, 4 & 5 yr. old Lophophora alberto-vojtechii
Photo by Ade

Lophophora alberto-vojtechii

Lophophora alberto-vojtechii
Photo by Ade

Lophophora alberto-vojtechii

Lophophora alberto-vojtechii
Photo by Ade

Learn more about “The Littlest Lophophora”  in: Bohata 2008 Cactus & Co, 2 (12): 105-117 and in Šnicer et al. 2009.  [Download a 2.3 Mb PDF copy from the Cactus Conservation Institute.] 


Lophophora alberto-vojtechii


Lophophora williamsii var. caespitosa (子吹乌羽玉)

This is simply a growth form rather than a varity. This is also not one single plant line and it is not actually clear that all of them came from L. williamsii. Phytochemical analysis suggests they do not but comparative DNA work is still lacking.


Lophophora “caespitosa”


Lophophora decipiens

This is not a species but is simply a growth form that occurs in at least three of the Lophophora species. In modern horticulture, it is often specifically applied as a varietal name to a Lophophora fricii as var. decipiens.

Lophophora decipiens

Britton & Rose (1922) Vol. 3, Plate X, Figure 4.


Croizat’s redrawn Type specimen of Lophophora decipiens


Lophophora diffusa (翠冠玉)



Lophophora diffusa in Oz


Lophophora echinata

This is a confused name.


Lophophora williamsii looking rather ‘echinata‘ in Terrell County


Lophophora echinata var. diffusa


Lophophora echinata var. lutea


Lophophora fricii (银冠玉)



Lophophora fricii from Quality Cactus


Lophophora jourdaniana (乔丹乌鱼玉 / 有刺烏羽玉)

Name is not presently accepted as it lacks any direct link to a wild population.

Lophophora jourdaniana photo from Vlastimil Habermann in 2008


Lophophora koehresii (考氏乌羽玉 / 顯疣烏羽玉)



Lophophora koehresii flower in habitat; from Cactus Conservation Institute website


Lophophora lutea 

This is a confused name.


Echinocactus williamsii var. lutea from Rouhier 1926 fig. 31b



Lophophora sp. Parras de la Fuente

This is a pink flowered Lophophora fricii.


Lophophora fricii Parras de la Fuente



Lophophora williamsii varpentagona Croizat
[Note 28]

This is not a species but simply a growth form that occurs in all of the Lophophora species.

It is not clear to what degree this form shows up in any given population with youngsters. Plants and seeds sold domestically (inside of the US) under this name have often proven to be Lophophora diffusa (this is probably due to the illegality of L. williamsii in the US) but sometimes they are L. williamsii.



Lophophora ‘pentagona’ seedling


Lophophora williamsii “var. pentagona” above was grown from German “var. pentagona” seed; most of them do not stay like this for very long.


Published analysis for “var. pentagona”

Mescaline 0.714% (± 0.049) dry wt
Pellotine 0.296% (± 0.065) dry wt
     Habermann 1978a (from Štarha 1997)

Compare that to “L. williamsii var. typica
[Note 29]

Mescaline 0.709% (± 0.032) dry wt.
Pellotine 0.296% (± 0.065)
     Habermann 1978a (from Štarha 1997)

The pentagona name game

Have some fun! See how many of the species for these “pentagona“s that you can identify without looking at the answers.


Echinocactus rapa Fischer & Meyer ex Regal

This is another outdated name for L. williamsii that was published in 1869.

Its publication marked the third time that an illustration of peyote appeared in print. (in Sertum Petropolitanum seu Icones et Descriptiones Plantarum quae In Horto Botanico Imperiali Petropolitano Floruerent.)



Echinocactus rapa
from Regel 1869



This is Lophophora fricii.


Lophophora fricii AKA L. roseiflora


This is a synonym of Lophophora koehresii.

This is a synonym of Lophophora fricii.

Lophophora texensis (大型乌羽玉)

This is also not a real species despite seeds being commercially available. It is typically just Lophophora williamsii that came from from south Texas.



Lophophora texensis” seedling that was grown from European seeds.



Lophophora texensis seedling that was grown from European seeds.

Lophophora Tiegleri Werdermann

W. Taylor Marshall & Thor Methven Bock (1941) Cactacae, p. 138, comment that this “seems to be identical with” Lophophora Lewinii; giving its body color as yellowish-green with less pronounced tufts of wool and fewer & larger tubercles than on a L. Williamsii,  and producing white to cream flowers.
Obviously in their view L. lewinii is L. diffusa.

L. Chavier (1953) Cactus France 38: 255, under:
Lophophora williamsii et Tiegleri” gives as synonyms: Lewinii, Tiegleri, Ziegleri and says they have a very pale yellow flower.
The photograph shown by Chavier is clearly Lophophora diffusa despite my photocopy being too poor in quality to permit reproduction here.



Lophophora sp. Viesca/ Vieska

This is a Lophophora fricii.



 Lophophora viridescens (Halda) Halda

Claimed to be a new “species”, its name appearring in the 1997 Acta Mus. Richnov. Sect. Nat. 4(2): 71. [Information from the 1998 Repertorium Plantarum Succulentarum XLIX]
This is apparently a new name for what was previously presented by Halda as L. diffusa ssp. viridescens and seems unlikely to ever gain any actual recognition as a species. More recently it was recognized as a synonym of Lophophora koehresii according to the International Plant Names Index (IPNI) online.


Lophophora williamsii (烏羽玉 / 乌羽玉)



Lophophora williamsii in Jim Hogg County


Lophophora Ziegleri

This is yet another name in horticulture that is typically a synonym for L. diffusa. It seems to have come from Werdermann but I have not seen the original publication.
We will recall Pizetti 1985 earlier, under Lophophora lutea, equating L. lutea and L. ziegleri and commenting it to differ from L. williamsii by having “scarcely tuberculate ribs divided by winding grooves, yellowish down, and larger, pale yellow flowers”. (i.e. L. diffusa)
Lophophora ziegleri also seems to fall into the “lutea” (i.e L. diffusa) category but this particular one in Oz clearly is not yellow in its body color.


Lophophora Ziegleri

Lophophora Ziegleri


Franz Buxbaum 1937 (in his article “Der Formenkreis de Strombocactus“) includes a photograph (fig. 26) from Backeberg taken of Lophophora Ziegleriana that is clearly a Lophophora diffusa and in line with Pizzetti’s comments. This name apparently came from Soulaire.


Lophophora Ziegleriana

Lophophora Ziegleriana
Buxbaum 1937: Figure 7, Photograph by Curt Backeberg.


A common problem will soon encountered by anyone trying to sort out the different forms in horticulture: Horticultural designations of such peyote “species” and varieties are at the very least unreliably defined and may be unagreed upon between their many suppliers and growers.
Eastern Europe and Japan in particular appear to be intensive centers of not just propagation but of extensive selection and breeding for unusual characteristics. A plethora of names accompanies the output from both sources.


Crossing experiments within the genus Lophophora

Gerhard Koehres has reported successfully making the following crosses within the Lophophoras (success being judged by the production of seeds that have then been grown into actual seedlings) 

Koehres noted these to be self-sterile:
L. alberto-vojtechii 
L. diffusa 
L. fricii 
L. koehresii 
L. williamsii El Huizache SLP
L. williamsii Norias del Conde SLP
Koehres listed 25 additional L. williamsii populations that he had determined were self- fertile.
L. williamsii Parras, Coahuila is said to be self fertile despite most people now placing this with L. fricii.

Koehres did not get pollination for L. koehresii using pollen from L. williamsii Huizache but found L. williamsii Huizache could be successfully pollinated using pollen from L. koehresii.

Koehres also successfully pollinated L. koehresii with pollen from L. fricii and L. diffusa. (Kada used a self-fertile L. williamsii and could get no pollination using pollen from L. diffusaL. fricii and L. koehresii.

L. fricii was reported by Koehres to be successfully pollinated using pollen from L. koehresii and L. diffusa. (Kada reported failures after 7 attempts involving L. diffusa pollen, 13 with L. williamsii and 18 L. koehresii pollen but reported success for 1 attempt involving a L. williamsii.) 

L. diffusa was successfully pollinated by Koehres using pollen from L. koehresii. (Kada has recorded a consistent failure after 11 attempts with pollen from L. fricii, 4 with L. koehresii pollen and 3 using L. williamsii pollen.) 

L. koehresii was successfully pollinated by Koehres using pollen from L. diffusa and L. fricii but not with pollen from L. williamsii Huizache (Kada reported successful pollination for 19 attempts using L. fricii pollen but none in 4 tries with L. diffusa pollen  and 29 with L. williamsii pollen) 

Koehres found that fruit can form from the early flowers within around 8 weeks but for the later blossoms the fruit often do not emerge until the following year. Koehres also commented that the self fertile populations are very uniform in comparison to the self sterile populations which are more highly variable in the shape of the body and the flower.


Lophophoras suspected of being hybrids

There are a number of Lophophoras in horticulture that are known to be or suspected to be hybrids. Most intriguing to me are Kada’s Lophophora diffusa Obregonia denegrii. I look forward to hearing how those seedlings grow up.
At some point an entry on this subject will be added here but the work is still ongoing so only this note is presently being included.




Photos by Anonymous


Folk medicinal uses of peyote are many and varied.


All species have apparently been employed for medicinal use on a local basis.

A representative few of the most common ones:

Decoction is given for fevers, the root and/or plant chewed and used as a poultice for fractures, infections, large open wounds, snake-bite and scorpion stings.
According to Landes 1963, the Potawatomis in Kansas believed it helpful for rheumatism and paralysis.
More traditional medicinal applications will be found listed within the entry for Lophophora williamsii.

Lophophora diffusa

Lophophora diffusa (Croizat) Bravo

Léon Camille Marius Croizat (1944) Desert Plant Life, 16: 44. as Lophophora echinata var. diffusa.
Helia Bravo Hollis (1967) Cactaceas y Suculentas Mexicanas, 12: 13, as Lophophora diffusa.

This is a recognized species.


Lophophora diffusa in Oz


Mescaline has been reported to be present in trace amounts. It has not been detectable by all researchers. (Those should not be viewed as being conflicting accounts but rather they should be understood as having results differing based on the cacti they analyzed. There is no reason to believe that any of the results were not valid.)


Lophophora diffusa in habitat
from the Cactus Conservation Institute

Origin: Endemic Mexican cactus now found only in two relatively small areas such as around Peňa Blanca north of Vizarrón in the Mexican state of Querétaro [around 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) in elevation] and in another small population closer to Vizarrón. It is known to have formerly had more occurrences that now appear to be gone.

Habitat: Lophophora diffusa‘s habitat is stony limestone hillsides covered by thorny plants with thickets of both thorny and unarmed microphyllous shrubs (many of which serve as nurse plants).

Names encountered in horticulture: difyusa,  翠冠玉,  仙人掌


Lophophora diffusa young seedlings

One ould like to suppose this species had a nice start in botany. A major problem began when Léon Croizat inexplicably decided diffusa should be placed as a variety of Lophophora echinata. We will return to this again in a moment but the peculiar amount of confusion surrounding the entry of this species into botany needs to at least be mentioned.

Lophophora echinata Croiz. diffusa var. nov.

A var. typica podariis latioribus quam longis inter se arcte confluentibus, obscure conicis differt.

Typus: “Lophophora Williamsii” sensu Bravo, Cact. Mex. 378 fig. 201,
1937, excl. descr. syn. omn.

Croizat 1944.

One can only puzzle as to what Croizat was thinking. 

I suspect that many of Backeberg’s problems originated with his use of Croizat’s descriptions as a basis for his classification within this genus (apparently not caring that some was based on Rouhier) and that this was largely the source for the confusion surrounding echinata as it is now known in horticulture.

 Lophophora-diffusa-habitat-CCIHabitat photos from Cactus Conservation;
reproduced here with their permission 

Description of Lophophora diffusa

Body is yellowish-green [Anderson 1980, Schultes & Hofmann 1980; This is the only color I have observed in plants raised from seed], Grey-green, sometimes rather yellowish green. [Schultes & Hofmann 1992: p. 48], always with a grayish glaucous haze on the surface. Chalky green to pale bluish-green according to Lamb & Lamb 1978 (which raises questions in my mind about this and possible contribution from the European echinata/Lewinii intersection with Lophophora diffusa),

Normally solitary, they can form large clumps.

Plants are soft, succulent, often globular in shape, somewhat flattened, 2-7 cm. high, and 5-12 cm. in diameter.

They are usually lack well defined ribs and furrows, podaria are rarely elevated but are broad and flat; especially so on larger old plants. (Some Japanese cultivars such as “Big Breast” have been selectively developed for sake of having large and prominent podaria.) In contrast to the more regular distribution seen in L. williamsii, the tufts of hair are spread unequally on the prominent podaria. Old plants may form up to 13 very sinuous low spiral ribs sometimes with well defined tubercles in the sense commonly regarded as being for “decipiens”.

       Areoles are circular and small, set 1-2 cm. apart, ranging from 2 to 3 mm in diameter, bearing a small tuft of short white or grayish white hairs.

Flowers are said to be twice the size of williamsii (by Lamb & Lamb 1978); and by Schultes & Hofmann (1992) (p. 48) to be “much larger” than those of williamsii. Flowers: 1.3-2.2 cm. in diameter, 1.3-2.4 cm. long; Anderson (1980) page 187; 2.5 cm in length and 1.3 to 2.2 cm in diameter, Bravo

Flowers are white or faintly pink but sometimes appearing yellowish-white (Anderson (1980) page 187); white or yellow (Habermann 1975); pale pink and occasionally almost a pale magenta. (Lamb & Lamb 1978); slightly pinkish-white and sometimes yellowish white (Bravo 1991).

Hypanthium is naked and green; greenish-white receptacle tube has scales that are 2 to 6 mm in length,

Outer perianth segments are 1-2 mm. broad and green; the inner perianth segments are 2-2.5 mm, lanceolate, acuminate; outer segments of the perianth of 6 to 10 mm in length and 1 to 2 mm in width, lanceolate, acuminate, with the margin entire, white with a greenish midline ; the inner perianth segments arranged in two series, linear, with the apex ± rounded, with the margin entire, 10 mm in length and 2 to 2.5 mm in width, color is a slightly pinkish white and sometimes yellowish-white; 

White filaments with yellow anthers;

White style with 5 white stigma lobes.

Claviform fruit is naked, 15 to 20 mm in length and about 8 mm in diameter, of a light pink color becoming red (according to Bravo 1971), a light pink-purple color turning brown at maturity (according to Bravo 1991), whereas a white fruit is commonly reported by growers. Bohata et al 2005 commented that the fruit of L. diffusa can range from white to a dark pink. Kada & Koehres have both comment on L. diffusa typically producing many more seeds per fruit than L. williamsii.
Flowering from May through June according to Bravo 1991.

Pyriform seed, from 1 to 1.5 mm in length, with testa tuberculate.

Pollen is 0-6 colpate, 26.1-48.5 mm in diameter. Pollen is much less variable than L. williamsii and shows a higher percentage of tricolpate grains.


Lophophora diffusa flowering; cultivated in Germany


Description adapted from Anderson 1980, Bravo 1967, 1978 & 1991, and Schultes & Hofmann 1980 & 1992

See (all have photograph):
Anderson 1980: page 187
Bravo 1967, 1978 & 199
Grym 1997 & 2014
Innes & Glass 1991: page 150
Lamb & Lamb 1978: page 1297
Schultes & Hofmann 1980: page 221; 1992: page 48

See also:
Bravo 1967 & 1978
Bruhn 1976
and Boke & Anderson 1970
and Anderson 1966.

Useful search terms for locating additional imagery:

翠冠玉(Lophophora diffusa

翠冠玉缀化(Lophophora diffusa var. cristata)


Associations: According to Bravo, Lophophora diffusa grows at the base of and in the shade of such shrubs as creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), cenizo (Leucophyllum texanum), cat’s-claw (Mimosa biuncifera), huisache (Acacia farnesiana) and other species of the arid highlands. (Bravo 1991)


Mesa Garden #548

Mesa Garden #548


A more detailed listing of associated species does not appear to have been created yet but the following can be observed in Cactus Conservation Institute photographs online:

Astrophytum ornatum
Echinocactus platyacanthus
Larrea tridentata
Mammillaria compressa
Mammillaria spp.
Myrtillocactus geometrizans
Neolloydia conoidea
Opuntia leptocaulis
Prosopis sp.

     Strombocactus disciformis

Tiquilia spp.
& additional assorted cactus species

Additional species showing up in field collection notes at Ralph Martin’s database:
Coryphantha sp.
Mammillaria parkinsonii
Echinocereus pentalophus
Ferocactus histrix
Thelocactus leucacanthus var. schmollii



Lophophora diffusa seedling


There seems to be no common name in the West to distinguish this from peyote. It is usually called peyote. Early literature sometimes referred to it as Anhalonium williamsii and much has been made of this by Holmstedt & Bruhn as it involved some of the early chemical and ethnobotanical accounts. See more in an analysis concerning what they refer to as  “The Lewinii Controversy.”

Heffter had apparently acquired Lophophora diffusa as peyote so noted Anhalonium williamsii during analysis to be chemically distinct from Anhalonium lewinii as he could only isolate pellotine from it. It seems probable that his A. lewinii was the dried material Parke-Davis had sent to Lewin. (From the latter Heffter isolated mescaline and several other alkaloids) Kauder and Lewin both also recognized there were two species based on chemical differences although only Heffter included illustrations. This topic is discussed in more detail in the comments on “Lewinii” and in the entry for L. williamsii (under its reported chemistry).

Suggestions for more in depth analysis and revision of the genus went largely unheeded until fairly recently. Even as late as 1959 the Bulletin on Narcotics insisted on referring to peyote as a monotypic genus consisting of only Echinocactus williamsii (Anhalonium williamsii), rejecting the name Lophophora entirely (Echinocactus williamsii was described by Lemaire 54 years prior to Coulter’s separation of the genus Lophophora). They interestingly dismissed Anhalonium lewinii as a pseudo “new species”  [Note 3].

Schumann 1898 felt there was only one species and that what Heffter referred to as Anhalonium williamsii (the plants which contained primarily pellotine) were simply a local chemical form of Echinocactus williamsii (Echinocactus williamsii a pellotinica)  

Britton & Rose similarly also believed there was only one species; Lophophora williamsii.

Despite their visible differences and observable differences there is still occasionally a lack of agreement between those who consider this a separate species (now this is most modern authorities) and those who consider this a variety of L. williamsii (a steadily decreasing minority). 


Lophophora diffusa


Reported analysis of Lophophora diffusa 

0.9% total alkaloid (whole plants; dry wt) 98% phenolic. Bruhn & Holmstedt 1974
Tyramine 0.1% of total alkaloid. Štarha 1997
N-Methyltyramine 0.1% of total alkaloid. Štarha 1997
Hordenine (trace) Bruhn & Holmstedt 1974; 0.5% of total alkaloid: Štarha 1997; (In contrast to Todd 1969 who had not observed it in tlc.) 
Mescaline (As traces or absent entirely.) Traces in tops & roots (tlc) Todd 1969 [Wild material: Queretaro, Mexico]; Minor base: Habermann 1977, 1978a & 1978b (from Anderson 1980 & Štarha nd); 0.018% (± 0.012) Habermann 1978a (from Štarha 1997); 0.003% by dry weight (isolated): Siniscalco 1983 [Note 4]; 1.2% of total alkaloid: Štarha 1997;  Not observed by Bruhn & Holmstedt 1974.
N-Methylmescaline (traces) Bruhn & Holmstedt 1974; 0.1% of total alkaloid. Štarha 1997 
Anhalinine 0.6% of total alkaloid: Štarha 1997 (Not detected; Todd 1969) 
O-Methylanhalidine [Note 5] 0.7% of total alkaloid. Štarha 1997 
Anhalamine (no quantification [tlc]- in tops only, not in roots) Todd 1969; 5% of total alkaloid. Štarha 1997 
Anhalidine (trace) Bruhn & Holmstedt 1974; 0.1% of total alkaloid. Štarha 1997 
Anhalonidine (trace) Bruhn & Holmstedt 1974; (tlc showed in tops & roots: Todd 1969); 3.8% of total alkaloid. Štarha 1997  
Anhalonine 0.1% of total alkaloid. Štarha 1997 (Not detected; Todd 1969) 
Lophophorine (no quantification, [tlc] present in tops & roots: Todd 1969); 0.1% of total alkaloid: Štarha 1997] 
O-Methylpellotine (trace) Bruhn & Agurell 1975 
Pellotine (0.75-0.89% [fresh wt]) Heffter 1894b. [Also observed as the major base by Habermann 1977, 1978a & 1978b (from Anderson 1980 & Štarha nd)]; 2.105% (± 0.108) Habermann 1978a (from Štarha 1997); (Todd 1969 reported it to be the major Štarha but did not quantify); 86.2% of total alkaloid: Štarha 1997] 
[Ed.:? Please note that Štarha (in Grym) 1997 cited Štarha & Kuchyňa 1996 but some included entries are not in Štarha & Kuchyňa 1996. They may refer to otherwise unpublished material but details are lacking; most likely due to my lack of understanding of the Czechoslovakian language]
Glucaric acid (tlc by Kringstad & Nordal1975)
Quinic acid (tlc, glc & gc-ms by Kringstad & Nordal 1975) 
[Štarha 1997 looked at cultivated material: GR1086; ]


Todd 1969 Lloydia 32 (3): 395-398:
Plants collected 26 June 1967 near Vizarrón.
Anhalonidine (traces)
Mescaline (traces)
Anhalamine was only in above ground portions while the other four alkaloids were equally present in root & above ground portions. Todd’s work was entirely based on tlc.

Bruhn & Holmstedt 1974 were unable to identify mescaline but observed N-Methylmescaline to be present in trace amounts in the nonphenolic fraction (using GLC-MS). There were other alkaloids present  that were at levels too low to identify.
One of these turned out to be O-Methylpellotine and they published the details in a subsequent paper. See below.
In fresh whole plants, they found a total alkaloid content of 0.90% of which 98% was phenolic and 2% was nonphenolic.
Pellotine was identified as major alkaloid in phenolic fraction. Small amounts of anhalidine and trace amounts of both anhalonidine and hordenine were observed in the phenolic fraction as well using tlc and gc. They did not observe anhalamine. Anhalamine and mescaline, if present, were at trace levels too low for them to detect. They made no mention of lophophorine.
Plants were collected north of Vizarrón on 29 June 1971 by Jan G. Bruhn and Hernando Sánchez-Mejorada.Herbarium voucher was made. 

Bruhn & Agurell 1975 identified O-Methylpellotine as a trace component of L. diffusa.
They were unable to isolate it due to low concentration present. [They recovered 10 mg. of non-phenolic alkaloids from 500 grams of fresh plants.]

Identified by tlc, GC and GLC-MS with a known reference sample.
Herbarium voucher was made.

Schultes & Hofmann 1980: p. 221

Principle alkaloid is pellotine (over 90% of total alkaloid).
Produces mainly phenolic tetrahydroisoquinolines and only very low amounts of non-phenolic alkaloids (2% of total) 


Lophophora diffusa seedling



Lophophora lutea

Care should be taken in this area.

Lophophora echinata Croizat var. lutea (Rouhier) comb. nov.

aka Echinocactus williamsii var. lutea

There are also the names Lophophora diffusa var. lutea, Lophophora texana var. lutea and Lophophora williamsii var. lutea appearing in horticulture.

“A var. typica flore saltem luteo recedit.”
“The new combination is based upon Rouhier’s Echinocactus Williamsii var. lutea. (in Trav. Lab. Mat, Med. Pharm. Fac. Paris 17 [5]: 62-65 fig. 31. 1927).”
Croizat 1944.

This name is at best confused.
Based entirely on what he read in Rouhier, Croizat asserted the existence of a plant with a yellow body and a yellow flower. This suggests it is likely to merely be a diffusa but Rouhier’s account does anything but clarify that as it confirms that Rouhier is indeed Croizat’s source of information; giving its origin as needing resolution. He then adds a claim from Leon Diguet that this plant can be harvested in northern Mexico in the breaks of the Rio Grande. 
“Il y a lieu, sur cette question qui reste encore à résoudre, de tenir compte de l’affirmation autorisée de M.Diguet qui nous dit avoir recontré et récolté ce Peyotl au Nord du Mexique, sur les rives du Rio Grande. ” This does not say that Rouhier’s plant WAS actually collected from there of course. Rouhier includes a pair of photographs of a plant cultivated in the manner of the day with its roots largely exposed
Which combined with the images Rouhier included might suggest an echinata sensu Weniger is possible although yellow certainly seems quite wrong for either body or flower. Rouhier also wonders about it possibly being a hybrid but it is not clear what he contemplated as the possibilities for a novelty introducing parent.
He does include some telling comments though, in particular notice the frustration within his griping, “Schumann lui refuse le titre de variété sans en donner les raisons.” 

Rouhier 1927; figure 31b

Rouhier 1927 Figure 31 b

While it seems tempting to jump past Rouhier and say Croizat’s assignment must have been an error, something that does seem to be accurate to say is that this name is confused in application. Plants bearing this name in horticulture at present are typically L. diffusa and are said to be named “lutea” based on their body color.
Rouhier 1927; figure 31a

Rouhier 1927 Figure 31 a

One can additionally find horticultural offerings and images for odd plants such as “Lophophora lutea var. texana” = “Lophophora williamsii var. texana.”  It is probably not really worth anyone’s time to try and address all of the existing conceptual and nomenclatural glitches. 
Recall that photo from Frič earlier?
Lophophora from Kreuzinger

Frič’s Lophophoras from Kreuzinger

Check out that far left plant.
As part of a curious lineage, Alberto Frič had presented what appears to be Lophophora diffusa in 1924 (crown #I above) calling it Lophophora sp. nov. lutea Frič. By 1935, he had changed its name to Lophophora Lewinii (perhaps basing this on the opinion of the day increasingly embracing Ochoterena 1922?). Frič should have stuck with Lophophora sp. nov. lutea Frič. In 1961, Backeberg iterated Frič’s name, and, using the same photo by Frič, published it as Lophophora lutea sp. nov. Backeberg.

Lophophora Tiegleri and Lophophora Ziegleri, also typically just refer to horticultural Lophophora diffusa.
Similarly Lophophora Ziegleriana, which will be mentioned only briefly later.

Lophophora lutea 

This is a name that is still encountered in horticultural offerings.

This currently is most often L. diffusa and is usually in reference to a yellowish body color on the plants. (Lutea is from the Latin; Luteus: “Yellow”). 

The original ‘description’ by Alexandre Rouhier included reference to a yellow flower color on what he presented to be Echinocactus Williamsii, which is not demonstrated to be linked to any distinct population. 

MS Smith points out that if flower color alone is used to assign this name, then L. diffusa would remain the most likely candidate for cultivated plants.

More comments can be found above. 

The opinion expressed by Helia Bravo was that *all* reports claiming yellow flowers on L. diffusa (which includes a fair number of people in Europe AND commercial offerings) were simply white flowers that had become dusted with pollen. The publication of photographs in black and white and the *commercial offerings of yellow-flowered plants* since the early part of the last century, or at least plants sold with the name sp. luteiflora, both suggest that yellow flowered Lophophoras exist but that is clearly tempered by their near absence in published or in online photographs.

Pizzetti 1985 includes a color picture (without a flower) claimed to be this “species” (entry #153). Pizzetti states that it has also been called L. ziegleri and is differentiated from L. williamsii by having “scarcely tuberculate ribs divided by winding grooves, yellowish down, and larger, pale yellow flowers”. 

In my experience the felt color of L. williamsii has been observed to be highly variable and is not infrequently yellowish, sometimes very much so. 

It has commonly been said that Rouhier’s yellow flower was in error. That may be yet I have witnessed at least one, if not more, individual of Lophophora williamsii with distinctly pale yellow flowers in the Texas populations. Clearly those have been a rarity. Some years ago I actually ceased mentioning this to people simply due to becoming bored with those people who wanted to argue that I had never seen this. I certainly can’t prove it since those plants crossed my path more than 30 years ago but it is what it is.

It IS noteworthy however that in all of the photographs of  Lophophoras that were recently locateable using Google images one of those appeared to have a flower that might actually be a light yellow but could simply have been white and catching a bit of reflected color from adjacent yellow hairs. I can only locate one single color image with a flower that is clearly pale yellow. I’d assume that image to be of a Lophophora diffusa. The relative dearth of color images showing yellow flowered Lophophoras should not be trivialized as it supports this to be a rare phenomenon.

Lophophora Ziegleriana

Lophophora Ziegleriana in Buxbaum 1937: Figure 7. Backeberg’s photograph.