peyote


peyote
/pay oh"tee/; Sp. /pe yaw"te/, n., pl. peyotes /-teez/; Sp. /-tes/.
1. mescal (def. 3).
3. mescaline.
4. (in Mexico) any of several cacti related to or resembling mescal.
[1840-50, Amer.; < MexSp < Nahuatl peyotl]

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Either of two species of the genus Lophophora in the cactus family, native to North America, almost exclusively to Mexico.

The body of the peyote cactus is spineless, soft, usually blue-green, and only 3 in. (8 cm) wide and 2 in. (5 cm) tall. The more common species, mescal (L. williamsii), has pink to white flowers. L. diffusa, more primitive, has white to yellow flowers and a yellow-green body. Well known for its hallucinogenic effects (primarily due to the alkaloid mescaline), peyote figures prominently in old and recent religious rituals of certain American Indian peoples. The sale, use, or possession of dried mescal buttons (flowering heads) or live plants is prohibited by law in many places.

Peyote (Lophophora williamsii)

Dennis E. Anderson

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cactus
also called  mescal-button 
 either of the two species of the cactus genus Lophophora, family Cactaceae, native to North America, almost exclusively to Mexico.

      Peyote is well known for its hallucinogenic effects; the plant contains at least 28 alkaloids, the principal one of which is mescaline (q.v.). Peyote figures prominently in the traditional religious rituals of certain North American Indian peoples, as well as in the current rituals (many adapted from traditional rituals) of the Native American Church (q.v.). The sale, use, or possession of dried mescal buttons or live plants is prohibited by law in many places, although a number of areas also provide exemptions for use in formal religious rites. The American Indian Religious Freedom Act (1978) is the primary legislation governing the religious uses of peyote in the United States.

      Peyote is found only on limestone soils of the Chihuahuan desert of southern Texas and northern Mexico. Averaging about eight centimetres (three inches) wide and five centimetres (two inches) tall, the body of the peyote cactus is spineless, soft, and in most cases, blue green in colour.

      The more common species, L. williamsii, has pink to white flowers in summer, the fruit ripening the following year. L. diffusa, more primitive, grows in a small area in central Mexico. Its flowers are white to yellow, and the body is yellow green.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Peyote — ist der Trivialname verschiedener Arten der Kakteengewächse: Lophophora williamsii, aztekische Bezeichnung Peyotl Mammillaria pectinifera Obregonia denegrii Pelecyphora aselliformis Pelecyphora strobiliformis Strombocactus disciformis… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • peyote — mescal cactus, 1849, from Mex.Sp. peyote, from Nahuatl peyotl, said to mean caterpillar; the cactus so called from the downy button on top …   Etymology dictionary

  • peyote — 1. cactus del que se obtiene un fármaco alucinógeno, la mescalina. 2. mescalina. Diccionario Mosby Medicina, Enfermería y Ciencias de la Salud, Ediciones Hancourt, S.A. 1999 …   Diccionario médico

  • peyote — sustantivo masculino 1. Planta de efectos narcóticos de la que se obtiene la mescalina …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • peyote — (Del nahua peyotl, capullo de gusano). 1. m. Planta cactácea, de pequeño tamaño, que contiene una sustancia cuya ingestión produce efectos alucinógenos y narcóticos. 2. Droga que se obtiene de esta planta …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • peyote — ☆ peyote [pā ōt′ lpā ōt′ē ] n. [AmSp < Nahuatl peyotl, caterpillar, with reference to the down in the center] MESCAL (sense 3): also peyotl [pā ōt′ l] …   English World dictionary

  • Peyote — Mescalito redirects here. For the Ryan Bingham album, see Mescalito (album). Peyote Peyote in the wild Conservation status …   Wikipedia

  • Peyote — ► sustantivo masculino BOTÁNICA Planta cactácea, de forma globular, pequeña, de color verde blanquecino, de flores blancas o rosáceas, que tiene propiedades narcotizantes. (Echinocactus williamsii.) * * * peyote (del nahua «peyotl») m. Nombre de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • peyote — also peyotl noun Etymology: Mexican Spanish peyote, from Nahuatl peyotl peyote cactus Date: 1849 1. a hallucinogenic drug containing mescaline that is derived from peyote buttons and used especially in the religious ceremonies of some American… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Peyote —    Name derived from the Nahuatl word peyotl for the buttons of a cactus indigenous to Mexico and the southwestern United States. Its ingestion is central to the rituals of the Native American Church and Huichol (Wixáritari) shamans. Academic and …   Historical dictionary of shamanism


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