Is Peyote Cactus Same as San Pedro Cactus? 

Is Peyote Cactus Same as San Pedro Cactus? 

Small spineless, hemispherical fleshy peyote cactus, with the lower rounded parts that have a tuft or hairs of yellow-white on the summit. Naturally, peyote grows in gravelly sandy soils and clay that are situated on gentle slopes and requires part shade. It is prohibited in most of the world’s western regions.

Peyote plants have more mescaline by weight than the San Pedro cactus, but people are known to consume both these cacti fresh and dried for psychedelic effects. For San Pedro, this can mean eating more than 750 grams of slimy, bitter plant material.

This San Pedro cactus is a psychoactive plant that has been used in healing and divination by religions within the Andes Mountains region for over 3000 years

What Is the Name of 

Peyote cactus

This plant is called Lophophora williamsii, a member of the Cactus family (Cactaceae) better known as peyote (Coult 2011)

Peyote, (Lophophora williamsii), also called mescal button, species of hallucinogenic cactus (family Cactaceae). Peyote is found only on limestone soils of the Chihuahuan desert of southern Texas and northern Mexico.

 “The main alkaloid in peyote that affects human consciousness is mescaline. This chemical is considered a human psychedelic.”

San Pedro cactus

The popular cactus Echinopsis pachanoi (syn. Trichocereus pachanoi) is known by many names, most commonly ‘San Pedro.

“The San Pedro cactus contains the alkaloid mescaline and other derivates of phenethylamine with hallucinogenic properties. This cactus was used throughout history by a number of different pre-Columbine cultures and civilisations that settled in northern Peru.”

How Tall Does A

Peyote  cactus grow

The peyote cactus is recognized because it has a somewhat peculiar shape, and it is like a button. That is to say, it is not very tall – at most, it reaches 13 centimeters – and it is rounded but whose parts below the surface of the soil develop vigorously in the form of thick tuberous roots.

Pedro cactus grow

Grows up to 10-20 ft. tall (300-600 cm) and 5-6 ft. wide (150-180 cm).

When Should I Repot

Peyote  cactus

When the cactus is already more adult, the pot can be placed without problems in an area where it receives direct sunlight or is planted in the garden. In any case, do not forget that peyote should not be transplanted before it reaches its first year of life because it is not strong enough.

When cacti are about a year old, they can be transplanted. To do this, we will use a small shovel, trying not to damage the roots! We must bear in mind that a larger pot is not always better. We recommend that you use a pot 3 or 4 times the diameter of the cactus and 4 or 5 times its height.

San Pedro

The most common rule is to replenish your soil every 2 to four years. If you fertilize every year this is better, however when you don’t fertilize then repot every two years to restore soil fertility. The ideal time to plant is during the active growth period in January or February.

It can be grown in nearly any soil so long as it drains properly and isn’t pot-bound. If you want to plant it in a pot, you could even have it in a pot that is placed in water. However, repotting will ultimately be required in order to maintain your San Pedro healthy and happy.

One of the main reasons to repot a San Pedro is to keep the plant from becoming the point of being too big for its pot. An older plant might grow roots that fill the pot, and then begin to penetrate the bottom as time passes. As time passes, these roots can be damaged by temperature fluctuations as well as decay during dry periods or if they’re not immersed in water regularly enough. This could lead to the loss of the plant and its roots.

How Much Sun 

Peyote cactus

Peyote is a sun-loving plant that absolutely needs sunlight for its development and flowering. It can be placed on the balcony outside or in a garden without shade. However, it should be avoided for long periods of time in the blazing summer sun.

The cactus needs a lot of heat and light because it does not survive below 10°C. So, in any case, always place the cactus in full sun or in a very bright room. It can be planted all year round in France as it is grown indoors.

San Pedro

San Pedro cactus is a robust, easy-to-care-for succulent. It is able to grow up to 12 inches. (30 cm) annually and it’s simple to understand the reason. Originating from the Andes mountains in South America, San Pedro (trichocereus pachanoi) is among the plants that are most drought-resistant that you can cultivate.

San Pedro doesn’t need much sunshine to flourish. It will thrive in shade in the summer months, which makes it the ideal plant for an open, cool windowsill or a patio that is shaded. If you’d like to plant the kind of San Pedro that grows straight upwards, instead of outwards (and consequently develops a large base) Give the plant as much sunlight as possible in summer and spring and as little sun as you can in winter and fall.


Peyote Cactus

The ingestion of peyote produces psychic effects, the mescaline. It has effects close to those of LSD (ergolines). It manifests itself mainly in a distortion of the perception of forms, intensification of colors, auditory hallucinations, and elongation of temporal perception.

Peyote has a bitter and acrid taste and usually induces nausea and more rarely vomiting. Synthetic mescaline, although to a lesser extent, also produces nausea and vomiting, so it seems that the effect is not only due to the other alkaloids present in the plant, but an effect of mescaline itself.

San Pedro Cactus

It is believed that San Pedro Cacti are poisonous due to the fact that San Pedro Cactus contains a hallucinogen known as mescaline. It is also present in different kinds that belong to Peyote as well as Lophophora. Effects of Mescaline include hallucinations and euphoria, mental confusion, an altered perception of time, loss of self-limitation and the world around us, and nausea when drinking alcohol.


Peyote Cactus

Only when the peyote flowers are pollinated can the cactus produce seed. The flowers open in the morning and close again in the afternoon. Once they are open, go over the yellow pollen and pistils with a cotton swab.

San Pedro

This stunning white flower grows free in the Andes and is where huge Hummingbirds are the ones that pollinate it. Because hummingbirds stay at night and are extremely attracted to the light of day, they look for nectar at night.

In the evening, the flowers are open to provide the birds with plenty of nectar. But If you’re considering placing these gorgeous flowers in your yard, be aware that they only bloom at night, which could be quite an awe-inspiring experience if you’re new to this! If, however, your area doesn’t have night-blooming plants, and you’d like to experience something completely different, San Pedro is worth giving it a shot.

Can You Eat Cactus Fruit?

Peyote cactus

The small pink fruits of peyote are sweet-tasting and delicate. The cactus is native to the southern United States and Mexico but is cultivated all over the world.

San Pedro

Though they are edible, not all types of cactus are safe to eat; Peyote, Bolivian torch (Echinopsis peruviana), and San Pedro are three cacti that contain mescaline, which can cause physical harm or induce mind-altering experiences when eaten.

How do you identify 

Peyote  cactus

The peyote cactus is recognized because it has a somewhat peculiar shape, and it is like a button. That is to say, it is not very tall – at most, it reaches 13 centimeters – and it is rounded.

San Pedro cactus

This San Pedro Cactus is a columnar plant. It’s highly branched and the leaves are green. It is able to grow up to six meters and more. The flowers bloom close to the top of the stems. They bloom at night. They are white, approximately 20 cm long, and extremely aromatic.

How Cold Hardy

peyote cactus

Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 8b -9.4 °C (15 °F) to -6.7 °C (20 °F) ; Flower Color: Pink Red White; Bloom Size: Under 1″; Flower Time: Spring-Summer 

San Pedro

It’s also an excellent plant for anyone growing in less-than-ideal conditions, as it’s hardy down to at least 10°F (-12°C).

Is peyote legal for religious use?

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the use, possession, or transportation of peyote by an Indian for bona fide traditional ceremonial purposes in connection with the practice of traditional Indian religion is lawful, and shall not be prohibited by the United States or any State.

 “Peyote represents a long-lasting example of shamanic use of chemical substances found in plants to expand the consciousness, to heal, and to dictate the will of the cosmos.”


So essentially, the mescaline content is about the same, but peyote has a larger volume or mass.

Among the mescaline-rich cacti, peyote is more amenable to human consumption. In the wild, it’s possible that both plants are used similarly — pounded and dried, then steeped in water for a psychedelic cactus tea. The difference between peyote and San Pedro may be most apparent in their visual appearance: peyote has wider and rounder joints, whereas San Pedro is more skinny and waxy.


Anwar Hossain

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

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