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Psychotria capensis is an ethnomedical plant native to South Africa, giving it the common name - Black Bird-Berry. It is a large shrub growing 5-10 ft tall or can reach beyond 10-20 ft if left to grow as a small tree. It is best suited to full sun and requires moderate water - not too little and not too much. The white or off-white flowers of Psychotria capensis make it an eye-catching addition to any garden and these flowers can often attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Occasionally, the flowers can also produce small yellow or orange fruits.
For those attempting to grow Psychotria capensis in cooler regions with potentially harsh winter temperatures, it is best to plant it in a container and be sure to bring it in before the frost. When bringing it in it is best to trim it back to prevent the plant from becoming root-bound in the winter. During the winter months, keep it in a bright spot, ideally near an east-facing window, to allow for enough light. In these cold months, the amount of water required is reduced, so making sure not to overwater is important.
Overall, Psychotria capensis is an easily maintained shrub or small tree with delightful white and yellow flowers. It makes a wonderful addition to any garden and is especially attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. With the right growing conditions, it can thrive in USDA Zones 9-11, or with protection can be grown even in cooler climates.
Native to South America and Mexico, Psychotria carthagenensis (Amyruca) is usually seen as a large shrub 5-10 ft tall and wide with big, bold, glossy leaves. Psychotria carthagenensis is known for its masses of fragrant, white to off-white flowers that will appear in summer.
Psychotria carthagenensis prefers full sun or partial shade, though it will tolerate a wider range of light conditions if given enough water and fertilizer. While it can be cultivated in USDA Zones 9-11, it will require extra attention in colder regions as it may be prone to cold-related damage.
This plant loves regular watering during growth and dry spells, but too much water can quickly cause rot, so watch carefully. It grows best with light to moderate applications of all-purpose fertilizer throughout the growing season.
In terms of cold protection, be sure to keep the roots warm, water lightly and add a layer of mulch for insulation. Choose a potting mixture that is well-draining, and be sure to avoid over-watering as this can cause root rot and other issues.
When it comes to regular maintenance, Psychotria carthagenensis has few needs aside from routine pruning after flowering to keep the plant neat and compact. With the right care and attention, this plant can easily become a long-lasting addition to your landscape.
Psychotria ipecacuanha is a perennial, medicinal herb that grows in clusters in the understory of humid, shady
areas of the Atlantic Rain Forest of southeastern Brazil.
In large doses, Ipecacuanha root is emetic; in smaller doses, diaphoretic and expectorant, and in still smaller, stimulating to the stomach, intestines and liver, exciting appetite and facilitating digestion.
A very showy ornamental shrub with glossy leaves and bright berries. Somewhat drought-tolerant, takes both sun and shade. Very easy to grow. Florida native kin to chacruna. Shiny leaves markedly veined, white flowers and red fruit. Zone 10. Great container plant. Once used as a coffee substitute.