Banisteriopsis caapi ‘Cielo’ (plant)
Banisteriopsis caapi is the vine from which the South American hallucinogenic and healing brew ayahuasca is made. Family Malpighiaceae. Ayahuasca is a Kechua term for the drink made from this vine and translates to ‘Vine of the Soul’, referring to the freeing of the spirit. Also called yage, Caapi or Vine of the Dead.
Banisteriopsis caapi stems are used in the preparation of a drink called Ayahuasca in South America and they contain beta-carboline alkaloids such as harmaline, harmine and tetrahydroharmaline.
This variety is commonly called ‘Cielo’ in Australia. Cielo is ‘heaven’ or ‘sky’ in the Spanish language.
Care and Cultivation of Banisteriopsis caapi
Banisteriopsis caapi likes humus rich, moist soil in part shade to full sun. A fairly robust plant, Banisteriopsis caapi will drop leaves in dry times and may need to be irrigated until established. Banisteriopsis caapi can deal with colder temps but is best grown in subtropical or tropical climates where it can be planted in the ground. Warm and cold temperate climate growers may need to protect their vines over the colder months by bringing inside or providing a warmer microclimate. Beautiful pink flowers in early spring on parts of the plant receiving lots of sun.
A vigorous climber that will cover a fence or tree in a matter of seasons and should be kept pruned as desired. It covers a boring old fence quickly!
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