This beautiful, red- or red-purple-flowered, 6-9ft (2-3 m) high polymorphic Lobelia is well recognized as toxic in the Andes of southern Peru and northern Chile, where it is called Tupa or Tabaco del Diablo ("devil's tobacco"). It flourishes in dry soil and its stems and roots have a white latex that irritates the sk>n The luxuriant foliage clothes nearly the wnole length of the plant with grayisn green, elliptic often minutely hairy leaves 49 in. (10-23 cm) long. 11/4-31/+ ;n (3-8cm) wide. Carmine red or purple the flowers 11/iin.(4cm) in length, are borne densely on a stalk 14in. (36cm) long The corolla is decurved, sometimes recurved with the lobes united at the apex
Tupa leaves contain the p'-peridine alkaloid lobeline, a re^ spiratory stimulant, as well as the diketo- and dihydroxy-deri-vatives lobelamidine and nor-lo-bedamidine These constituents are not known to possess hallucinogenic properties. Neverthe less the smoked leaves have a psychoactive effect.
This herb grows erect and tall, reaching over 6ft (2 m) often on a single stem It has maxillifoTn branches and finely serrated dark green leaves The violet flowers appear on the ends of each stem and the inflorescence can be long and attractive.
The Siberian Motherwort is mentioned in the ancient Chinese Shih Ching (the Book of Songs, written approximately 1000-500 b.c.), where it is called t'uei. Later it was occasionally praised as a medicinal plan' n oid Chinese herbals.
The dried leaves, harvested from the flowering plant are smoked as marijuana substitute in Central and South America (1-2 g per cigarette) In the plant, 0.1% of theflavo-noid glycoside rutin has been ascertained. Of particular interest with regard to the psychoac tive properties was the discovery of three new diterpenes: leosibiricine, ieosibirine, and the isomers isoleosibiricine in essential oil green, sometimes even a rather yellowish green crown with indefinite ribs and sinuate furrows. The flowers are usually much larger than in L. williamsli. The chemical constitution is much simpler.
Both species of Lophophora inhacit the dri> ¡st and stoniest of desert regions, usually on calcareous soil. When the crown is removed, fhe plant will often grow new crowns and thus Peyotes with multiple heads are commonly seen. The hallucinogenic effects of Peyote are strong, with kaleidoscopic, richly colored visions. The other senses—hearing, feeling, taste—can also be affected. There are reportedly two stages in the intoxication. At first, a period of contentment and sensitivity occurs. The second phase brings great calm and muscular sluggishness, with a shift in attention from external st.muli to introspection and meditation.
Two species of Lophophora are recognized: they differ morphologically and chemically.
Both species of Lophophora are small, spineless gray-green or bluish green top-shaped plants. The succulent chlorophyll-bearing head or crown measures up to S¥ in. (8cm) in diameter and is radially divided in from 5 to 13 rounded ribs. Each tubercle bears a smail, flat areole from the top of which arises a tuft of hairs % in. (2cm) long. The whitish or pinkish campanulate, usually solitary %—1 in. (1.5-2.5cm) long flowers are borne in the umbilicate center of the crown.
The Indians cut off the crown and dry it for ingestion as a hallucinogen. This dry, disklike head is known as the Mescal
Lophophora williamsii is usually blue-green with from 5 to 13 ribs and normally straight furrows. It has up to 30 alkaloids—primarily Mescaline—as well as further psychoactive phenylethylamines and isoqui-nolines. L. diffusa has a gray-
LYCOPERDON L (50-1&0)
Lycoperdon mixtecorum Heim Lycoperdon marginatum Vitt. Fovista
Lycoperdaceae (Club Moss Family)
Temperate zones of Mexico
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