Well, unfortunately we’re making this post for the wrong reasons – we’ve just discovered (from reading the wonderful Cactus Conservation Institute’s blog) that the – already tiny – Lophophora williamsii population at the Big Bend National Park in Texas has been totally destroyed by poachers!
Not only is this a complete tragedy due to the fact that this was the only site of its kind ever to be discovered growing in very alkaline mineral soil, but the garden was also the “last remaining example of the three known deliberate plantings of peyote by Native Americans prior to modern times”, so it really is a terrible loss to all of us in many respects.
At this point, the manner of the vandalism (the removal of the whole plants, including stems) appears to suggest theft by a cactus collector, rather than simply for the plant’s alkaloid-containing buttons. Whatever the reasoning behind this terrible crime, it’s destroyed a valuable piece of history, a beautiful glimpse of nature and managed to set back the conservation and scientific research of this incredible species too. We hope that karma’s a bitch!
You can read more about the Cactus Conservation Institute and all its fine work on its website. Please consider making a donation if you love Lophophora (or any other cactus species)!
Rather than writing a separate post, we’ve edited this one to let you know that, as of today, we’ve unfortunately had to stop accepting international bank transfer payments via Transferwise, as we apparently sell:
“Substances that provide similar effects as illegal drugs (kratom, khat, etc.)”
Which makes Transferwise the third financial service to block us for similar reasons in several months! The first two were Stripe (for selling seeds of Lophophora williamsii), who at least seemed honest about their reasoning, and PayPal (for an unspecified breach of their terms and conditions), who – rather predictably – refused to even speak with us after a “no notice” ban. But they didn’t realise that we’re on a righteous mission!
Anyway, we apologies for the inconvenience to those of you who preferred to pay via this route and will be researching and testing reliable equivalent services over the coming months. Thanks for your patience and continued support! In the meantime, the majority of our foreign customers should be able to pay for their orders via card (JCB, Maestro, Mastercard, VISA).