Alicia anisopetala – Black Ayahuasca (plant)
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Alicia anisopetala (or possibly A. macrodisca), family Malpighiaceae, native to Peru. Known as Black Ayahuasca or Black Caapi. This species came to prominence initially after being sold by a Peruvian vendor called ‘Kiwiboancaya’ as Diplopterys cabrerana seeds. Some internet sites report that this species contains both tryptamines and beta carbolines. Others claim that there have been no beta carbolines found at all. I have used a UV light on both stems and leaves of this species and no fluorenscence was observed (this can indicate harmala alkaloids). The stem and leaves oxidise when cut, turning black, which would lend itself to the indigenous classification of ‘black ayahuasca’ (if this is an accurate indigenous classification at all or merely a marketing tool).
Care and Cultivation of Alicia anisopetala
Alicia anisopetala likes a rich and moist soil in part shade to full sun. Frost and drought sensitive. Likes a lot of root space. Fertilise well over the growing season. A liana, it will prefer to climb over something like a fence or a trellis. A little less cold tolerant that B. caapi but we find this vine to be relatively vigorous and easy to care for.
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