9 Cacti Which Are  Not Edible ( Select Your Nectar & Poison)

Cacti Which Are  Not Edible

The cactus that cannot be eaten is called ornamental cactus, and the cactus fruit that can be eaten is called edible cactus, soft texture. Ornamental cactus cannot be eaten, its body contains hallucinogenic toxic “mescalinealkaloids. It is a “poison cactus”, which can cause restlessness, confusion, nausea and diarrhea when eaten. 

It is safe to eat the fruit of all true cactus. Some varieties such as prickly pear, cholla, and dragon fruit cactus are edible as vegetables after removing the spines.

However, some other types of cactus include peyote, Bolivian, San Pedro, Silver Crown Jade, Black Feather Jade, Emerald Crown Jade, Zichui black feather jade, Agave peony, Botanical cactus, Tortoiseshell peony cactus, Lianshan Peony Cactus, Black Peony cactus are toxic and should not be eaten.

Most cacti species are not poisonous, but some do taste rather terrible. Harvesting any edible parts would have been strenuous and hardly worth the work for such unpleasant food sources.

“Many other stem-succulents that are extremely toxic; euphorbias, for example, contain long tube-like laticifers that contain a white, milky sap so poisonous that just handling the plants in a greenhouse requires caution.”

What kind of cactus fruit is not edible, many people are not very clear, in order to let everyone understand more detail, we especially collected several pictures of cacti and their details that cannot be eaten, let’s take a look!

List of Poisonous Cacti not to Eat

Cacti succulents often contain acidic compounds, which are very difficult to digest by the human liver. Some succulents’ thick flesh can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or paralysis.

1. Peyote Cactus

Peyote cactus is the name of a spineless cactus plant that contains a psychedelic alkaloid referred to as mescaline. Mescaline-containing plants have been used for traditional purposes for years in Native American ceremonies, but peyote cactus remains the most popular and widely used psychedelic drug in the world. It’s not safe to eat, but there are kinds of peyote cacti that people consume for its psychedelic effects, also known as mescaline, which is found in all kinds of mescaline-containing cacti.

Mescaline is a  compound that causes induced psychotic effects when consumed. Some of the common effects of Peyote poisoning include hallucination, agitation, nausea, and vomiting. In extreme cases, an overdose of Peyote cactus can be fatal.

“Lophophora williamsii (peyote) has alkaloids that are strong enough to make the plant extremely bitter (or so I have heard), and usually people cannot keep very much down for very long.”

According to J.D. Slothower of the Encyclopedia of Toxicology (2014), “mescaline produces an acute psychotic state after 3–4 hours…In doses of some 300–500 mg, it produces visual and occasionally olfactory or auditory hallucinations, illusions, depersonalization, and anxiety depressive symptoms…Its physical effects include nausea, tremor, and sweating.”

2. San Pedro Cactus

Native to the Andes Mountains, the San Pedro Cactus can cause the same psychoactive effects as Peyote cactus when ingested. This is because it also contains the dangerous psychedelic alkaloid – mescaline.

In the past, this cactus was used by natives for healing and religious purposes. The Inkan tribes of Peru and Bolivia would use the plant for its hallucinogenic properties. The cactus is still used today by locals in ceremonies similar to that of Peyote.

Even with all of these mind-altering drugs, many people still use the San Pedro for its medicinal purposes. This plant provides a natural way to treat depression, diabetes, alcoholism, asthma, arthritis and even cancer.

“Frank Echenhofer, Ph.D., a professor of clinical psychology at CIIS, has conducted research in India with the Dalai Lama’s advanced meditators,  present the results of his current research in Peru on the use of the San Pedro cactus that contains mescaline.”

3. Bolivian Torch Cactus

Scientifically known as Echinopsis lageniformis, the Bolivian Torch Cactus is another cactus variety that’s not edible because of its toxicity and psychedelic side effects. This plant contains high amounts of mescaline and will trigger visual and auditory hallucinations when ingested.

Scientific Name: Echinopsis lageniformis (C.F.Först.) Friedrich & G.D.Rowley

Common Name(s): Bolivian Torch, Bolivian Torch Cactus, Achuma, Wachuma, Huachuma

Synonym(s): Cereus lageniformis, Cereus bridgesii, Cereus bridgesii f. lageniformis, Cereus bridgesii var. lageniformis, Echinopsis scopulicola, Trichocereus bridgesii, Trichocereus crassicostatus, Trichocereus scopulicola.

Echinopsis lageniformis, also known as Trichocereus bridgesii, is a fast-growing columnar cactus with greenish to bluish stems usually have 4 to 8 ribs. The stems grow up to 16.4 feet (5 m) tall and up to 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter. 

The spines are up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) long and range in color from honey-colored to brown. They are located on the nodes in groups of up to 4. The large flowers are white and up to 5.2 inches (18 cm) long.

4. Silver Crown Jade Cactus 

The Silver Crown Jade (scientific name: Lophophora fricii), commonly known as the thornless cactus, is an ornamental plant of the cactus family, the genus of the genus Lophophora, with white hairs on the top and blooming in summer Out of pink flowers. Although there are many kinds of cactus planting restrictions, Silver Crown Jade is a hardy plant that can be planted without any extra measures.

The Silver Crown Jade is easy to grow, and its stems are covered with a thick layer of silver hair, making it look like a large silver sword. The flower buds are tightly closed at first, but once they bloom, you can see their beautiful pink flowers. They are quite pretty.

Like other species of the same genus, silver crown jade contains the hallucinogenic psychoactive alkaloid mescaline.

Mystical Energy: Imbued with mystical energy, each Jade Core is destabilized at the molecular level, resulting in more damaging shots.

5. Black Feather Jade Cactus

Wuyuyu (scientific name: Lophophora williamsii ), also known as Williams’ cactus, commonly known as thornless cactus, is a small and thornless cactus. They are native to southwestern Texas to Mexico and grow mainly in the Chihuahuan Desert, Tamaulipas, and San Luis Potosí.

Wuyu jade and its genus Yinguanyu both contain psychoactive alkaloids, such as mescaline ( trimethoxyphenethylamine , which can cause hallucinations. Therefore, it is used in religious hallucinogens and various religious transcendences, including meditation and psychedelic therapy. Native Americans have long since used the genus Plumeria for ceremonial and medicinal purposes. Excessive consumption will endanger life.

  • Thick, thornless cactus, some grow white hairs.
  • It looks like a soft QQ steamed bun, come and get one!!
  • Summer is the growing season, it is easy to grow after moderate watering, and it blooms many times.
  • The color of black feather jade is darker than that of emerald jade (green)

6. Agave Peony Cactus

The Agave peony is a plant of the cactus family Rock Peony . are endangered species. Produced only in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico; agave peony has become extinct in its native place due to environmental damage.

Agave peony whole plant greenish-brown, in native place only wart top is level with the ground, plant top is straight, 2 – 6 cm high, 4 – 8 cm in diameter; warts tend to be flat rather than erect, uncrowded, and sharp; epidermis at first Dark green and then gray-green, with a thick stratum corneum. 

   7. Tortoise Shell Peony Cactus

Tortoiseshell peony has thick succulent roots, and the plant body is solitary or grouped, growing in a cushion-like shape. The size of the plant body varies greatly depending on the variety. The diameter of a single sphere is 10 cm to 15 cm, and the top is flat and covered with thick white or yellow-white fluff. 

The epidermis has thick and hard triangular warts, the surface of the warts is gray-green to brown-green, wrinkled into irregular grooves, and a longitudinal groove in the middle extends to the axilla of the wart, and has short woolly; Raw, bell-shaped, pink, 3.5 cm to 4 cm long, constant buds open at the same time. 

Tortoiseshell peony (Latin name: Ariocarpusfissura-tus) is a rare and endangered species of the cactus family Rock Peony. Mainly in Texas and Mexico. Tortoiseshell peony has a peculiar shape and enjoys the reputation of “the giant panda among plants”, also known as the living rock.

   8. Lianshan Peony Cactus

This is a Lianshan peony, Ariocarpus fissuratus var. lloydii. It’s a stunning cactus native to Mexico, Coahuila, Zacatecas, and Durango. Compared with tortoiseshell peony, the leaves are thicker, and the fine wrinkles are not cracked. The stem is more round than a tortoiseshell peony. The habitat is littered with limestone fragments, which belong to the arid and semi-arid Gobi ecosystem. This plant requires scattered sunlight and summer is the growing season.

Aliases: Lianshan

Latin name: Ariocarpus fissuratus var. lloydii

Family: Cactus cacti

Origin: Coahuila, Mexico, Zacatecas, Durango

    9. Black Peony Cactus

Black peony (Aricarpus kotschoubeyanus) is a perennial succulent plant of the cactus family Rock Peony. The plant is solitary at first, and will germinate young bulbs at the base after adulthood, making it a cluster. The single plant is 5-cm in diameter, with hypertrophic succulent tap roots, densely covered with triangular warts on the body surface, the warts are very large, and there is a groove in the middle

Black peony ( Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus (Lem.) K.Schum. ), also known as Elephant Foot Peony, is a perennial plant and succulent of the cactus family Rock Peony. Native to northeastern Mexico. The form is integrated with the topography of the origin. 


Cacti can be divided into two categories: edible and ornamental.

The cactus fruit that can be eaten is called edible cactus, which has a soft texture. The cactus fruit contains hallucinogenic toxic “mescaline” alkaloids, so it is a “poison cactus”. It can cause restlessness, confusion, nausea, and diarrhea when eaten.





Can You Eat Cactus? 5 Varieties of Edible Cacti

Anwar Hossain

My name is Anwar Hossain. I am a cactus lover, researcher, and cactus blogger.

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