Ariocarpus fissuratus

Ariocarpus fissuratus

Ariocarpus fissuratus is a species of extremely slow growing cacti found in rare numbers in Mexico and the southern United States. Commonly called "living rocks," these cacti usually blend in well with the terrain around them. They are greyish-green in color, sometimes taking on a yellowish tint with age.

These cacti consist of many small tubercles growing from a large tap root. They are usually solitary, rarely giving rise to side shoots from old areoles. These cacti are difficult to spot in their natural habitat. When they are found, it is usually due to their pinkish flowers.


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.


Ariocarpus fissuratus is a unique species in that is has been used by Native American tribes as a mind altering substance, usually only as a substitute for peyote . While it does not contain mescaline like many other North American cactus species (such as Lophophora williamsii or Peyote), it has been found to contain other mind altering substances, such as N-methyltyramine and Hordenine. This cactus is also commonly referred to as the "False Peyote," "Peyote Cimmaron,"(Spanish,"wild peyote") or simply "Sunami."



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

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