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PlantFiles: Ayahuasca
Banisteriopsis caapi

Family: Malpighiaceae
Genus: Banisteriopsis (banis-ter-ee-OP-sis) (Info)
Species: caapi

34 members have or want this plant for trade.

Vines and Climbers

over 40 ft. (12 m)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Winter

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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By thetripscaptain
Thumbnail #1 of Banisteriopsis caapi by thetripscaptain

By Itheus
Thumbnail #2 of Banisteriopsis caapi by Itheus

By Michaelp
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By Michaelp
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By Michaelp
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By Itheus
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By Kalpavriksha
Thumbnail #7 of Banisteriopsis caapi by Kalpavriksha

There are a total of 10 photos.
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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Parageo On Apr 22, 2012, Parageo from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:

I have three types (based on what I ordered not through some sort of verification.. I need to look more into that). They are just rooted cuttings but beginning to grow in container up the little stakes I have in the containers. I give them full shade most of the time but occasionally put them out in the full sun for a few hours when I have time to make sure it won't dry out. I am in Louisiana so the humidity is strong and warm but being in full sunlight would dry them out fast over the coarse of the day.

I do have a question those who have had success growing this plant to a large size how long does it take before the vines get fairly thick in circumference? At this point they are still very thin with the original stalk being about the size of a pencil and the new vines not much larger than a coffee stir.

Neutral SaintJoan On Apr 17, 2011, SaintJoan wrote:

Is it possible to grow B. caapi as a houseplant in places with severe winter frosts and, therefore, central heating?

Positive Kalpavriksha On Jun 11, 2010, Kalpavriksha from Sarasota, FL wrote:

Remember reading on cold medications, "Do not take if you're on a MAO inhibitor." This is a MAO inhibitor. This plant is combined with Psychotria viridis and various other entheogens and taken by shamans. This is the one time the doctor takes the medications to cure the patient!
A very specific died must be followed when shamans take this.
Makes beautiful vine pieces. I have one 8 ft section 3" in diamater that looks like it'd be Gandalf's staff. The mature vine sections are woody and also make great dried arrangement foundations. They have vertical grooves.

Positive Itheus On May 21, 2009, Itheus from Portland, ME wrote:

I've also had good success indoors, but have heard first hand accounts of well established B. caapi vines surviving frosts overnight; nonetheless I agree, it's probably not wise to let it get too cold.

Also, it's worth noting the value of this houseplant OUTSIDE the realm of it's role in the shamanic tradition. It's a fast growing, enjoyable foliage plant, and need not be abused for it's alkaloid content. When taken in combination with any DMT containing plant, like P. viridis, but without a shaman, it's nothing more than a necessary counterpart to a recreational drug.

Positive Michaelp On Feb 27, 2006, Michaelp from Glendale, UT (Zone 5a) wrote:

Also known as YAGE, The principal ingredient in the drink Ayahuasca, used by South American Shaman. The other plant used is Psychotria virdis, The vine can grow very large and reach to the top of the rain forest trees. The Picture I uploaded is of a plant growing in my greenhouse, I don't supose it would be cold tolerant enough to grow outside here. It has taken 4 years for the plant to reach the size pictured.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Orange Springs, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Ferndale, Michigan

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