Banisteriopsis caapi

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


Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Winter

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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


Birmingham, Alabama

Orange Springs, Florida

Palm Bay, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Ferndale, Michigan

Ravenel, South Carolina

Austin, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 6, 2019, Jbz711 from Austin, TX wrote:

I was gifted a small cutting over a year ago, and once it was warm enough I planted it in the ground next to a wooden fence, in medium shade. All summer it hardly put on any growth, until I cut back some of the branches shading it. In the winter, I expected it to die back, but the most of the leaves stuck around until March of this year before falling off in the third hard freeze it had endured. I expected it to not have made it, because it appeared never to have gone dormant, and I eventually cut the vine back to the ground to harvest its material. Just now Ive observed fresh shoots coming from the stump, so it is cold hardy in the ground in 8b Austin given sufficient protection. Very excited to establish additional specimens. I should mention that I have a pond in the backyard tha... read more


On Oct 20, 2015, TCortese from Elmhurst, PA wrote:

I've been growing Banisteriopsis and Alicia for over a decade in PA with great success indoors. The two genera and every specie included that I've been able to find are all very simple plants to grow. They make wonderful houseplants and is of course a must have for any entheogenic garden. Thought I might add my experience...

Seeds must be fresh. Germination can take as long as six months, this is more true with Alicia than Banisteriopsis, but I've had stubborn Banisteriopsis' that take four to five months to pop up (rusbyana comes to mind). Germination is best handled in coarse sand kept moist with bottom heat and very high humidity, gladware containers are great. Vermiculite can be used but is more prone to cobweb which is easily handled via the usual methods (H2O2/H2O 1:5)... read more


On Jun 22, 2015, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

This rainforest climber thrives in partial sunlight, heat, and high humidity in a consistently moist medium. It can be container grown and overwintered indoors in temperate climates, and will continue to grow so long as it is given a large pot, a well lit location in a warm spot with humidity >50%. When conditions become dry, it behaves as if it is going dormant, and will defoliate to retain moisture. Give it a daily "rain" by thoroughly spraying with water, and new growth soon appears. Frequent pruning of the tips will control height and encourage lateral growth. It survives as a houseplant when in a suitably large container and given the space and height to sprawl.


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... read more


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?


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.


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.


On Feb 27, 2006, Michaelp from johnson city, TN (Zone 7a) 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.