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Medicinal, culinary and unusual botanicals from Australia and around the world

Psychotria capensis – Lemoenbos (plant)

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Psychotria capensis is an evergreen shrub or small tree, 3-8 m tall, with a slender stem, horizontal branches and pale brown bark. The leaves are shiny, light to dark green above and paler below, smooth and leathery; they are fairly large, 70-150 x 15-60 mm, elliptic to obovate, opposite and often drooping.

Psychotria capensis is found in South Africa,  southern Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Its natural habitat ranges from sea level to 1500m in evergreen forests, forest margins, shrub and dune bush, edges of rivers and rocky outcrops in high rainfall grassland.

The wood is hard and fine-grained, making a good general purpose timber. It is yellowish brown in colour and has a beautiful finish when varnished. Medicinally P. capensis is used for gastric complaints and root infusions are taken to cause vomiting (from Plantzafrica website).

Care and Cultivation of Psychotria capensis

Psychotria capensis prefers a part shade, moist, well-drained position in the garden and a rich loam soil with adequate fertiliser. Psychotria capensis is very drought tolerant and is suitable for a lot of gardens.

1 plant


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