Anadenanthera peregrina – Yopo (plant)
Anadenanthera peregrina or Yopo is native to Columbia, Venezuela, British Guinea and northern Brazil, also found on the islands in the Greater and Lesser Antilles (Torres & Repke, 2006). It is found from 20ºN latitude to 26ºS latitude (in Queensland, that would equate to approximately from the Sunshine Coast and north). A mimosa-like tree 3-27 metres tall, preferring tropical and sub-tropical climates.
Seeds of Anadenanthera colubrina and Anadenanthera peregrina have been used for centuries as an hallucinogenic snuff by Indians of Argentina and southern Peru. Seeds contain 2-5% tryptamines including bufotenine and dimethyltryptamine (varies between the 2 Anadenanthera species). Anadenanthera peregrina contains mainly dimethyltryptamine and 5-methoxy-dimethyltryptamine, A. colubrina contains mainly bufotenine. The bark and leaves also contain tryptamines.
Anadenanthera peregrina is referred to as yopo whilst A. colubrina is referred to as either cebil or vilca. The plants offered by Herbalistics were grown from seeds obtained in far north QLD, the mother tree was identified by a botanist in the 1970’s to be Anadenanthera peregrina (according to the private collector of the seeds). Several South American botanists have also concurred with this.
Care and Cultivation of Anadenanthera peregrina
Anadenanthera peregrina likes a full sun position and well-drained soil. Will respond well to regular watering over the warmer months. Anadenathera peregrina is drought hardy once established due to its water storing roots. Deciduous in most areas over the colder months. No need to fertilise as they produce their own through an association with rhizobia bacteria.
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