Psychotria cv. ‘Nexus’ (plant)
Psychotria cv. Nexus is an interspecific hybrid of Psychotria carthagenensis and Psychotria viridis bred by Darren at Herbalistics. Psychotria carthagenensis is the pistillate parent and Psychotria viridis is the staminate parent. See note below about heterostyly in the genus Psychotria.
Psychotria viridis and P. carthagenensis are used in the traditional psychoactive medicine Ayahuasca; a brew of Banisteriopsis caapi (occasionally alone but most often with Psychotria viridis) ss the base and other plants are sometimes added, depending on the problems and conditions of the patient that need to be examined.
Nexus has a fast growth habit, large leaves and makes a welcome addition to any garden. Nexus is self-sterile (as per our observations so far) and will not produce fruit and viable seed under normal self-pollination. Back-crossing to Psychotria viridis and Psychotria virids ‘UDV’ has produced a small number of fruit and a few seedlings we are now developing. Distyly is recognised in many Psychotria spp. and this may result in limited self-compatibility and the need to out cross with another individual of the same type.
Psychotria viridis contains dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a psychoactive substance found across the plant kingdom in many family, genera and thousands of species (large numbers of Australian Acacia species and other natives contain DMT), often only as trace amounts. An anonymous report on the internet found that Nexus had a concentration of 0.77% DMT whilst P. viridis had a concentration of 1.1% DMT. Nexus would therefore be 70% strength of P. viridis. Nexus is therefore a very worthy ayahuasca additive.
Note on heterostyly: Heterostyly is a genetically controlled floral polymorphism with two morphological forms, namely, distyly and tristyly, that are characterised by two or three morphs, respectively. These morphs show variations in style and filament length, pollen grain size and production, and in the size of the stigmatic papillae and corolla. In addition, the morphs have an incompatibility system in which fruit are produced only in intermorph crosses. Reciprocal herkogamy forces pollinators to contact same-level floral organs with the same region of their body, thereby producing legitimate (intermorph) pollination . This morphological (floral parts) and physiological (incompatibility system) convergence in distylous species provides an efficient mechanism that avoids selfing and maximizes male and female fitness. Differences in pollinator efficiency and the consequent pollen limitation for one of the morphs reduce the fecundity of heterostylous species. These differences have been suggested to result from variations in the quantity and quality of flower visits, and, consequently, in the contact with anthers and stigma from different morphs (Floral biology and breeding system of Psychotria tenuinervis Muell. Arg. (Rubiaceae) in the Atlantic rain forest, SE Brazil. Virillo et. al. Acta bot. bras. 21(4): 879-884. 2007)
Care and Cultivation of Psychotria cv. Nexus
Nexus achieves a good growth rate when compared to Psychotria viridis and is as fast or faster than Psychotria carthagenensis. Psychotria cv. Nexus prefers a part shade, moist, well-drained position in the garden and a rich loam soil with adequate fertiliser. Nexus has performed well in our subtropical climatic extremes experienced here in SE QLD, ranging from low to high humidity, temperatures from 0-43°C over the year. It will have minimal frost tolerance and is about as drought tolerant as the parents, please share your cultivation experiences with us by posting a review.
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