Ariocarpus fissuratus

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Ariocarpus fissuratus
Ariocarpus fissuratus2 ies.jpg
CITES Appendix I (CITES)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Ariocarpus
Species:A. fissuratus
Binomial name
Ariocarpus fissuratus
(Engelm.) K.Schum. [1]
Synonyms [1]

Mammillaria fissurataEngelm.
Roseocactus fissuratus(Engelm.) A.Berger
Roseocactus intermediusBackeb. & Kilian


Ariocarpus fissuratus (formerly known as Anhalonium fissuratus) is a species of cactus found in small numbers in northern Mexico and Texas in the United States. Common names include living rock cactus, false peyote, chautle, [1] dry whiskey and star cactus. [2]

Cactus family of mostly succulent plants, adapted to dry environments

A cactus is a member of the plant family Cactaceae, a family comprising about 127 genera with some 1750 known species of the order Caryophyllales. The word "cactus" derives, through Latin, from the Ancient Greek κάκτος, kaktos, a name originally used by Theophrastus for a spiny plant whose identity is not certain. Cacti occur in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Most cacti live in habitats subject to at least some drought. Many live in extremely dry environments, even being found in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth. Cacti show many adaptations to conserve water. Almost all cacti are succulents, meaning they have thickened, fleshy parts adapted to store water. Unlike many other succulents, the stem is the only part of most cacti where this vital process takes place. Most species of cacti have lost true leaves, retaining only spines, which are highly modified leaves. As well as defending against herbivores, spines help prevent water loss by reducing air flow close to the cactus and providing some shade. In the absence of leaves, enlarged stems carry out photosynthesis. Cacti are native to the Americas, ranging from Patagonia in the south to parts of western Canada in the north—except for Rhipsalis baccifera, which also grows in Africa and Sri Lanka.

Mexico country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast.


This cactus consists of many small tubercles growing from a large tap root. They are usually solitary, rarely giving rise to side shoots from old areoles. The plant is greyish-green in color, sometimes taking on a yellowish tint with age. Its growth rate is extremely slow. A. fissuratus is naturally camouflaged in its habitat, making it difficult to spot. [2] When they are found, it is usually due to their pinkish flowers which bloom in October and early November. [2]

Tubercle round nodule, small eminence, or warty outgrowth found on external or internal organs of a plant or an animal

In anatomy, a tubercle is any round nodule, small eminence, or warty outgrowth found on external or internal organs of a plant or an animal.

Shoot new plant growth

In botany, shoots consist of stems including their appendages, the leaves and lateral buds, flowering stems and flower buds. The new growth from seed germination that grows upward is a shoot where leaves will develop. In the spring, perennial plant shoots are the new growth that grows from the ground in herbaceous plants or the new stem or flower growth that grows on woody plants.


In botany, areoles are small light- to dark-colored bumps on cacti out of which grow clusters of spines. Areoles are important diagnostic features of cacti, and identify them as a family distinct from other succulent plants.The spines are not easily detachable, but on certain cacti, members of the subfamily Opuntioideae, smaller, detachable bristles, glochids, also grow out of the areoles and afford additional protection.


In cultivation, Ariocarpus fissuratus is often grafted to a faster-growing columnar cactus to speed growth, as they would generally take at least a decade to reach maturity on their own. They require very little water and fertilizer, a good amount of light, and a loose sandy soil with good drainage.

Grafting process of inserting tissues from one plant into those of another

Grafting or graftage is a horticultural technique whereby tissues of plants are joined so as to continue their growth together. The upper part of the combined plant is called the scion while the lower part is called the rootstock. The success of this joining requires that the vascular tissue grow together and such joining is called inosculation. The technique is most commonly used in asexual propagation of commercially grown plants for the horticultural and agricultural trades.


Ariocarpus fissuratus is a unique species in that it has been used by Native American tribes as a mind-altering substance, usually only as a substitute for peyote. [3] While it does not contain mescaline like many other North American cactus species (such as peyote), it has been found to contain other centrally active substances, such as N-methyltyramine and hordenine, [3] albeit in doses too small to be active.

Mescaline chemical compound

Mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine) is a naturally occurring psychedelic alkaloid of the phenethylamine class, known for its hallucinogenic effects comparable to those of LSD and psilocybin.

Peyote species of plant, peyote

Lophophora williamsii or peyote is a small, spineless cactus with psychoactive alkaloids, particularly mescaline. Peyote is a Spanish word derived from the Nahuatl, or Aztec, peyōtl[ˈpejoːt͡ɬ], meaning "glisten" or "glistening". Other sources translate the Nahuatl word as "Divine Messenger". Peyote is native to Mexico and southwestern Texas. It is found primarily in the Chihuahuan Desert and in the states of Coahuila, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, and San Luis Potosí among scrub. It flowers from March to May, and sometimes as late as September. The flowers are pink, with thigmotactic anthers.

<i>N</i>-Methyltyramine chemical compound

N-Methyltyramine (NMT), also known as 4-hydroxy-N-methylphenethylamine, is a human trace amine and natural phenethylamine alkaloid found in a variety of plants. As the name implies, it is the N-methyl analog of tyramine, which is a well-known biogenic trace amine with which NMT shares many pharmacological properties. Biosynthetically, NMT is produced by the N-methylation of tyramine via the action of the enzyme phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase in humans and tyramine N-methyltransferase in plants.


  1. 1 2 3 "Ariocarpus fissuratus". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  2. 1 2 3 Morey, Roy (2008). Little Big Bend : Common, Uncommon, and Rare Plants of Big Bend National Park. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press. p. 43. ISBN   9780896726130. OCLC   80359503.
  3. 1 2 Ratsch, C: "The Sun", page 67. Park Street Press, 2005

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Big Bend National Park U.S. national park located in Southern Texas, bordering Mexico

For the Texas State Park see Big Bend Ranch State Park.

<i>Opuntia ficus-indica</i> species of plant

Opuntia ficus-indica is a species of cactus that has long been a domesticated crop plant grown in agricultural economies throughout arid and semiarid parts of the world. Likely having originated in Mexico, O. ficus-indica is the most widespread and most commercially important cactus. Common English names for the plant and its fruit are Indian fig opuntia, Barbary fig, cactus pear, and spineless cactus, among many. In Mexican Spanish, the plant is called nopal, while the fruit is called tuna, names that may be used in American English as culinary terms.

<i>Ariocarpus</i> genus of plants

Ariocarpus is a small genus of succulent, subtropical plants of the family Cactaceae.

<i>Leocereus</i> genus of plants

Leocereus bahiensis is a species of cactus and the only species of the genus Leocereus.

<i>Agave lechuguilla</i> species of plant

Agave lechuguilla is an Agave species found only in the Chihuahuan Desert, where it is an indicator species. It typically grows on calcareous soils. The plant flowers once in its life, then it dies. The flowers are a source of nutrients for insects, bats, and some birds.

<i>Dermatophyllum secundiflorum</i> species of plant

Dermatophyllum secundiflorum is a species of flowering shrub or small tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to the southwestern United States and Mexico. Common names include Texas mountain laurel, Texas mescalbean, frijolito, and frijolillo. Although "mescalbean" is among the plant's common appellations, it bears no relation to the Agave species used to make the spirit mezcal, nor to the peyote cactus, which contains the hallucinogenic alkaloid mescaline.

<i>Stenocereus thurberi</i> species of plant

Stenocereus thurberi, the organ pipe cactus or pitahaya, is a species of cactus native to Mexico and the United States. The species is found in rocky desert. Two subspecies are recognized based on their distribution and height. The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is named for the species.

<i>Echinocereus reichenbachii</i> species of plant

Echinocereus reichenbachii is a perennial plant and shrub in the cactus family. The species is native to the Chihuahuan Desert and parts of northern Mexico and the southern United States, where they grow at elevations up to 1,500 meters (4,900 ft). This cactus earned the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

<i>Ariocarpus retusus</i> species of plant

Ariocarpus retusus is a species of cactus, from the genus Ariocarpus, found mainly in Mexico. It is one of the largest and fastest-growing species of this genus, known for its slow growth. Despite its slow growth, often taking 10 years to reach flowering age, the retusus is a desirable cactus for cultivation, having attractive flowers and an interesting form. It is also one of the easiest cacti to grow from the genus.

<i>Echinopsis pachanoi</i> fast-growing columnar cactus

Echinopsis pachanoi — known as San Pedro cactus — is a fast-growing columnar cactus native to the Andes Mountains at 2,000–3,000 m (6,600–9,800 ft) in altitude. It is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, and it is cultivated in other parts of the world. Uses for it include traditional medicine and traditional veterinary medicine, and it is widely grown as an ornamental cactus. It has been used for healing and religious divination in the Andes Mountains region for over 3,000 years. It is sometimes confused with its close relative Echinopsis peruviana.

<i>Lophophora</i> genus of plants

Lophophora is a genus of spineless, button-like cacti native to Texas from Presidio county south right along the Rio Grande river to Starr County, Texas. Its range continues south through Northeast and north central Mexico to Querétaro in central Mexico. The species are extremely slow growing, sometimes taking up to thirty years to reach flowering age in the wild. Cultivated specimens grow considerably faster, usually taking between three and ten years to reach from seedling to mature flowering adult. The slow rate of reproduction and over-harvesting by collectors render the species under threat in the wild.

Saguaro species of plant

The saguaro is an arborescent (tree-like) cactus species in the monotypic genus Carnegiea, which can grow to be over 40 feet (12 m) tall. It is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, the Mexican State of Sonora, and the Whipple Mountains and Imperial County areas of California. The saguaro blossom is the state wildflower of Arizona. Its scientific name is given in honor of Andrew Carnegie. In 1994, Saguaro National Park, near Tucson, Arizona, was designated to help protect this species and its habitat.

Many cacti are known to be psychoactive, containing phenethylamine alkaloids such as mescaline However, the two main ritualistic (folkloric) genera are Echinopsis, of which the most psychoactive species is the San Pedro cactus, and Lophophora, with peyote being the most psychoactive species. Several other species pertaining to other genera are also psychoactive, though not always used with a ritualistic intent.

Echinomastus mariposensis is a rare species of cactus known by the common names Lloyd's fishhook cactus, golfball cactus, silver column cactus, and Mariposa cactus. It is native to a small section of territory straddling the border between Brewster County, Texas, in the United States and the state of Coahuila in Mexico. It has been federally listed as a threatened species in the United States since 1979.

<i>Echinocereus stramineus</i> species of plant

Echinocereus stramineus is a species of cactus in which stramineus means made of straw. There are various common names such as strawberry cactus, porcupine hedgehog cactus, straw-color hedgehog, and pitaya. The straw-colored spines make this particular plant distinguished from other Echinocereus. The aged spines may turn to white color and are very fragile.

Psychoactive plant

Psychoactive plants are plants, or preparations thereof, that upon ingestion induce psychotropic effects. As stated in a reference work:

Psychoactive plants are plants that people ingest in the form of simple or complex preparations in order to affect the mind or alter the state of consciousness.

<i>Mammillaria fraileana</i> species of plant

Mammillaria fraileana is one of about 200 species of the genus Mammillaria from the cactus family Cactaceae. This species is native to Mexico and can be found along the east coast of the southern part of Baja California Peninsula in Desert Scrub communities. They tend to grow in non calcareous dry granite-based soil but can also grow in rocky habitats, either in rock fissures or directly on top of the rock surface even without the presence of soil. Thus, the mineral composition of the rocks in their habitat directly influence their abundance. The habitat of Mammillaria fraileana is home to succulent flora and is particularly rich in local endemics. Currently, no major threats to the species are known to exist.

Coryphantha echinus is a species of cactus known by the common names of sea urchin cactus, hedgehog Cory cactus or rhinoceros cactus. C. echinus is found in the south and east portion of the Trans-Pecos to Del Rio, Chihuahua, Coahuila and sporadically in the northeast Trans-Pecos. The plant normally occurs in solitary groupings, but sometimes grows as a clump. It produces short-lived yellow flowers lasting a couple of hours between April and July. After flowering, it produces green fruits.


Ratsch, C. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmocology and its Applications, Vermont: Park Street Press. ISBN   0-89281-978-2

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