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Useful Tropical Plants

Erythroxylum coca

Lam.

Erythroxylaceae


The generic name has often been spelled Erythroxylon, especially in older literature[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Erythroxylum bolivianum Burck

Erythroxylum chilpei E.Machado

Erythroxylum peruvianum Prescott

Common Name: Coca

Erythroxylum coca
Flowering plant in Florence Botanical Garden
Photograph by: Stefano
Creative Commons License
Erythroxylum coca Erythroxylum coca Erythroxylum coca Erythroxylum coca Erythroxylum coca Erythroxylum coca

General Information

Coca is a shrub or small tree, with very prominent, sometimes warty lenticels on the branches[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. It most commonly grows from 1 - 2 metres tall[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Widely used as the source of the street drug cocaine, the leaves have long been used by local people as a stimulant to overcome hunger and exhaustion[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The leaves are also used to make various preparations that are employed in modern medicine. The plant is often cultivated in South America (borderland of the Amazonian basin of Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil to 2.000 m asl), also in the tropical mountains of Africa (Usambara, Cameroon), both legally for its medicinal uses, and illegally to provide the street drug cocaine[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. The custom of chewing coca leaves in Peru is surely very old. During the Inca period it was considered to be a sacred plant and only the sovereigns (kings and clerics) were permitted to use it. Illegal cultivation was hardly punished, also the use for profane purposes. With the decline of the Inca imperium the custom passed rapidly and widely into the common people[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. The present day use of cocaine as a narcotic is a worldwide phenomenon, and there exists a considerable illegal trade. Actually restrictions of the cultivation are achieved in Peru and Bolivia, but it is very difficult to substitute this profitable crop by other useful plants[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

S. America - northern Brazil, Bolivia, Peru.

Habitat

Amazon rainforest.

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *  *  *
HabitShrub
Height1.50 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of moderate to higher elevations in the tropics. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 17 - 23°c, but can tolerate 14 - 27°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Mature plants can be killed by temperatures of -5°c or lower, but young growth will be severely damaged at -1°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,000 - 2,100mm, but tolerates 700 - 4,000mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Widely cultivated in the Andean region of the tropics, where it locally also occurs wild, the plant is not easy to cultivate elsewhere, and it is little known in other parts of the world. In South-East Asia, it is only grown in botanical gardens, not as a crop[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The form Erythroxylum coca ipadu is only found as a cultivated plant in Amazonian lowland rain forest areas[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Grows best in a sunny position[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Succeeds in most fertile, well-drained soils[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5, tolerating 4.3 - 8[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Plants take 1 - 3 years from seed to the first harvest, and then have an economical life of around 20 years[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Annual yields are up to 2 tonnes/ha of dried leaves[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The leaves contain cocaine and other alkaloids. They are narcotic, cerebral-stimulant and locally anaesthetic[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. The alkaloids are extracted and used to make various pharmaceutical drugs, including a local anaesthetic[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].
Chewed with lime or plant ashes the leaves cause a feeling of easiness and increasing energy. Therefore they are used by native peoples as a stimulant to better endure hunger, thirst and physical stress[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].
An infusion of the leaves serves also as remedy for altitude sickness, the feared 'soroche'[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2024-06-22. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Erythroxylum+coca>

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