This species is closely related to Heimia myrtifolia, differing mainly in having larger flowers[
Decodon salicifolius (Kunth) Kuntze
Ginoria flava Moç. & Sessé ex DC.
Nesaea salicifolia Kunth
Common Name: Erva De Vida
Three year old plant growing in a South facing border in West Sussex of the U.K
Photograph by: Amazoniaexotics
Heimia salicifolia is a deciduous shrub growing from 0.5 - 3 metres tall.
The plant is sometimes gathered from the wild and used locally to make an intoxicating drink and for medicinal purposes.
S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia; C. America - El Salvador, Guatemala to Mexico, New Mexico and Texas; Caribbean - Jamaica.
Along the sides of streams and in wet soils[
Heimia salicifolia is a plant mainly found in subtropical regions, though it is also found in the tropics usually at elevations above 600 metres. It is somewhat frost-tolerant, and can withstand short periods with temperatures falling to around -10 to -15°c[
Easily grown in any well-drained soil in full sun[
Any pruning is best carried out in early spring by removing excess growth at the base of the plant[
An intoxicating and euphoric drink is made by crushing the wilted leaves in water and leaving the liquid in a sunny position for three days to ferment[
]. In larger quantities this can induce hallucinations and produces a vision that is typically overcast in yellow[
The leaves are antispasmodic antisyphilitic, astringent, emetic, diuretic, febrifuge, haemostatic, hallucinogenic, laxative, sedative, sudorific, tonic and vulnerary[
]. An infusion serves to stabilize the blood pressure and relieve anxiety[
]. The plant is employed most commonly to treat syphilitic affections[
A decoction of the plant is employed as a wash to relieve the effects of poison ivy (Rhus toxicodendron)[
The leaves are said to contain 9% of a bitter principle, nesine, and about 14% of a resin, the latter being the active principle[
]. If the juice or a decoction of the plant is taken internally it is said to produce a mild and pleasant intoxication, during which all objects seen appear to be yellow[
Seed - we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a container. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle. Grow the young plants on until large enough to plant out.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood in a frame[
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