Psychotria carthagenensis (syn. Psychotria alba) | ‘Amyruca’, ‘Tupamaqui’, ‘Yagé’ | 5 dried seed-pods (~10 seeds)
Harvested mid-2019, these Psychotria carthagenensis dried seed-pods each contain an average of two seeds and (unlike fresh berries) can be planted “as-is”. This is another of our UK exclusives and we’ve very limited stocks available, so don’t miss out if you’re interested in growing this fantastic plant! If you prefer, we also stock some carthagenensis seed harvested from the same plant (but a few weeks later), which we cleaned from the fresh berries ourselves.
A slow-growing member of the Rubiaceae (the same family as coffee), Psychotria carthagenensis is an evergreen understory shrub or small tree which grows up to roughly twelve metres high, its dense, green foliage sprouting from stems up to approximately thirty centimetres in diameter. Visually, it’s very similar to related species, such as Psychotria viridis.
Native or localised to Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela, this species prefers to grow shady locations in deciduous forest, commonly at an altitude of five to two hundred metres above sea level, although sometimes as high as one thousand four hundred metres. It’s reportedly used in some indigenous ritual practices, as well as by the UDV church. It’s also an occasional source of wild timber for making boards, boxes, door and window frames and toys.
Commonly known by names including ‘Amyruca’, ‘Rami Appane’, ‘Rani Appani’, ‘Sameruca’, ‘Tupamaqui’, ‘Wy-soo-dö’, ‘Yagé’ and ‘Yage-chacruna’, carthagenensis is (or has been) synonymous with Psychotria alba, Psychotria ficigemma, Psychotria fockeana, Psychotria foveolata, Psychotria sagraeana, Mapouria fockeana, Tapiphyllum cinerascens subsp. laevius, Uragoga alba, Uragoga carthagenensis, Uragoga foveolata, Vangueria velutina var. laevior. There is also some conjecture over whether Psychotria alba and Psychotria carthagenensis may, in fact, be distinct species.
Treat in a similar fashion to Psychotria viridis; seeds are highly variable in vigour (fresher equals better) and can take anything up to three months or so to germinate in a partially-shaded location in USDA Hardiness Zones 10-11 (or else indoors/under glass). When the juvenile plants are hardy enough to transplant, place them somewhere in full sun to partial shade. Once established, they’re quite forgiving of both the medium they’re cultivated in and the amount of moisture which they require. As with many other related species, it’s also possible to propagate this one from leaf cuttings (we recommend using the ‘Takeaway Tek’ if so).
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was freshly and ethically sourced