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Psychotria sulzneri is a superb, wildlife-attracting and benefiting native plant, native to the moist hammock understories, flatwoods, moderately moist habitats in sun to partial or full shade.
Shrub up to 8 m tall. Leaves opposite, simple, penni-veined, glabrous. Flowers ca. 4 mm diameter, white-yellow-pinkish, with corolla tube, flowers in panicles.
P. viridis is an evergreen shrub that has glossy green foliage, a woody stem and green-white colored flowers and red fruits that contain approximately for oval seeds. In cultivation it usually reaches 2-3 meters in height. It grows best in a light, highly humid environment. The easiest way of propagating the plant is through cuttings, because germination of seeds is difficult. Cuttings can be made best from a small twig or a single leaf. The plant has wide ethnomedical use and is a rarity, much needed product.
This jungle vine is used, along with the other primary ingredient the Psychotria viridis plant, to prepare Ayahuasca, a decoction with a long history of entheogenic uses as a medicine and "plant teacher" among the indigenous peoples of the Amazon Rainforest. It contains alkaloids, present in all parts of the plant.
The naming of B. caapi was actually dedicated to John Banister, a 17th-century English clergyman and naturalist. An earlier name for the genus Banisteriopsis was Banisteria, and the plant is sometimes referred to as Banisteria caapi in everyday usage.
The name Ayahuasca means "vine of the soul" in Quechuan, and the shamans of the indigenous western Amazonian tribes use the plant in religious and healing ceremonies. In addition to its hallucinogenic properties, caapi is used for its healing properties as a purgative, effectively cleansing the body of parasites and helping the digestive tract.
Kratom was first formally documented by the Dutch colonial botanist Pieter Korthals. It is botanically related to the Corynanthe, Cinchona and Uncaria genera and shares some similar biochemistry. It is in the same family as coffee and the psychoactive plant Psychotria viridis. Other species in the Mitragyna genus are used medicinally in Africa.
Kratom has been traditionally used for its psychoactive properties in Thailand and Malaysia, although it is now illegal in these countries. In Southeast Asia the fresh leaves are commonly chewed, often continuously, by workers or manual laborers seeking a numbing, stimulating effect. Plants grown in subtropics are weak in late winter and spring, but potent in late summer autumn and early winter.
This plant is hard to propagate. Cuttings are difficult to root, though the plants themselves, once established, are relatively hardy (not cold hardy, sensitive to freeze). Cuttings are either attacked by fungus or simply never put out roots. Seeds have very poor germination rate (10-20%) and have very short shelf life. Seeds should be planted on the surface of well-drained potting soil and lightly brushed with soil just to be covered. Keep moist but not soggy. Fresh seeds normally germinate in 1-2 weeks.