Acacia angustiloba DC.
Acacia microphylla Willd.
Acacia niopo (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) Kunth
Acacia peregrina (L.) Willd.
Anadenanthera falcata (Benth.) Speg.
Inga niopo Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.
Mimosa acacioides Benth.
Mimosa niopo (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) Poir.
Mimosa parvifolia Poir.
Mimosa peregrina L.
Niopa peregrina (L.) Britton & Rose
Piptadenia falcata Benth.
Piptadenia niopo (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) Spruce
Piptadenia peregrina (L.) Benth.
Common Name: Cohoba
Small flowering tree
Photograph by: Karen
Anadenanthera peregrina is a deciduous shrub or tree with an open, spreading crown that can grow up to 30 metres tall[
]. The bole is short and more or less cylindrical, about 40 - 80cm in diameter[
The seeds are widely used by native peoples as an intoxicating stimulant (hallucinogen). Whilst originally harvested from the wild, increasing competition for the seeds between neighbouring tribes led to the semi-cultivation of the plant and the tree was introduced to areas beyond its native range[
]. The tree is also valued for its very hard timber and is a source of tannins.
The seeds are highly narcotic, their use giving a temporary mild to very strong intoxication[
S. America - Paraguay, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Surinam, Guyana and through the Caribbean.
Margins of upland rainforests and granite flats, also along rivers and creeks[
]. Semideciduous forests and their transition to savannah in Brazil[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Semi-cultivated, Wild
Succeeds in full sun or light shade[
]. Succeeds in most well-drained soils[
Young plants establish well and grow away quickly, usually reaching more than 2.5 metres within two years[
The flowers are a good source of nectar for bees[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The bark is used in the treatment of asthma and bronchitis[
The seeds are ground into a fine powder and used as a snuff[
]. It has been used for treating apoplexy[
]. The snuff is highly narcotic[
Known as 'Cohoba' or 'Yopo', when this snuff is inhaled or blown in strongly, as is the more common practice, a temporary mild or deep intoxication results, and sometimes a condition described as fury or madness. Trance, too, may be superinduced, especially among shamans, with visions and spirit visitations[
]. It can also be taken internally in the form of an enema[
The snuff was taken for various purposes: as a stimulant in everyday use; as an excitant in drinking sprees or before war expeditions; by hunters to make them more alert and to give them keener vision; as a prophylactic against fevers; by medicine men, to induce trance, visions, and communication from spirits, and so to help in clairvoyance, prophecy, and/or divination[
Bufotenin and other indole bases have been identified in the seeds and bark[
A beta-carboline base, which is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, is also present and may potentiate the hallucinogenic effects of the tryptamines[
A fairly fast-growing, nitrogen-fixing plant, it is a pioneer species in its native range[
The thick layer of bark is rich in tannins[
The heartwood is dark brown or reddish brown; the sapwood is whitish to light brown. The grain is crossed; rexture is medium. The wood is very heavy; extremely hard; strong and very durable. Its hardness makes it difficult to work, but it has good mechanical properties. It is used in construction, fence posts, bridges, cabinet making, door frames, railway sleepers etc[
The wood is used as a fuel and also made into charcoal[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a seedbed in a sunny position[
]. The germination rate is usually high, with the seeds sprouting in just a few days[
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