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

Sceletium varians – Kanna (plant)

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Sceletium varians is an attractive member of the Sceletium genus, sometimes known as Sceletium subvelutinum. Sceletium varians has thickened roots which may be useful for succulent bonsai and for producing Kanna/Kougoed, as it has an interesting chemical make-up. Large attractive flowers in spring. Pollinated by bees and ants who seek the nectar located within the flower.

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 varians

Sceletium varians likes a full sun to part shade position and a well drained potting mix or position in the garden. They tend to wilt in full sun, although they will become adapted to brighter and hotter areas as they get older and larger. Winter, autumn and spring growers, they tend to become dormant over the hotter months and enter hibernation. Receiving winter rainfall and a dry summer in their native habitat, growers do well to mimic this rainfall distribution. Likes regular fertiliser over the growing period.

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