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

Sceletium tortuosum – Kanna (seed)

3.0 (2 reviews)



Sceletium tortuosum is the main Sceletium species that was used by the Khoi and San tribes of Southern Africa to prepare ‘Kanna’ (a preparation made by fermenting the whole plant in sealed animal skins). Kanna was highly valued by the tribes and enabled them to travel long distances without food or water (another word used interchangeably with Kanna is Kougoed which means ‘something to chew’). They also recorded intoxicating effects.

Sceletium species contain mesembrine-type alkaloids (simple indole alkaloids) at concentrations ranging from 0.05-2.3% of the dry product (Van Wyk & Wink, 2004)

Care and Cultivation of Sceletium tortuosum

Sceletium tortuosum seeds should be sown in autumn or winter (ie. cold temperatures, not high temperatures!) in a cacti/succulent or general potting mix just under the surface (barely cover). Fluctuating temperatures are best, ie. high day and low night temperatures. Keep moist until germination after 14-21 days. Leaching through running water is supposed to increase germination rate, though we find that germination is excellent without this treatment.

Sceletium tortuosum grows naturally in areas that have mostly winter rainfall. Sceletium tortuosum grows in autumn, winter and spring and likes to be hibernated over the hot summer months. Dislikes high humidity. Needs a sandy/loam mixtures. Does better in part-shade.

10 seeds per packet

2 reviews for Sceletium tortuosum – Kanna (seed)

  1. jackson

    Great product. Delivery was extremely fast (the next day) w/ the express post. Many thanks, Herbalistics

  2. Kirsty Booth

    Unfortunately cannot recommend as I have not had a single sceletium tortuosum sprout out of the 3 seed packs I have purchased. A few seeds did sprout but it was a pigface plant so I’m not sure what happened there. Tried sowing seeds in different mediums/light levels/soil moisture but 0 luck. Purchased seeds from another vendor and had much more success so I can’t blame myself for the unsuccess of these seeds entirely.

    • Herbalistics

      Hi Kirsty, According to your order you only ordered 2 packets of seeds. Also if what you describe as ‘pigface’ type plants coming up, those would have been Sceletium tortuosum, they are a related succulent and the seedlings look similar.

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