Plant Lexicon

The plant lexicon includes basic descriptions, primarily botanical in nature, of ninety-seven plants that are known to have a hallucinogenic or psychoactive effect.

Emphasis is given to plants that are known from the literature, field experience, and/or laboratory evidence to have definite psychoactive effects. Some species that are reported to have "narcotic" or "intoxicating" uses are included as well.

he plants are arranged alphabetically according to the Latin name of the genus. This order has been followed in view of the many different vernacular names in the great variety of native languages. If a particular name is not listed, it may be sought in the index of vernacular names on pages 32-33 or at the end of the book where these epithets are cross-referenced.

Inasmuch as this volume is written for the general reader, the botanical descriptions are intentionally brief, stressing the obvious and most easily visible characteristics of the plant. Whenever space permits, additional information of historical, ethnological, phytochemical, and, very occasionally, psychopharma cological interest is added. In this way, an attempt has been made in this introductory lexicon to give as broad an interdisciplinary view as possible. The illustrations in the lexicon are of two kinds: some of them are watercolors made whenever possible from living plant material or herbarium specimens. Most are direct reproductions of color photographs. A number of the plants depicted here are illustrated for the first time.

The purpose of the lexicon is manifestly to help guide the reader more easily into the admittedly complex array of facts and stories that comprise only a small fraction of the extensive knowledge from many fields concerning these plants that native peoples around the world have considered plants of the gods.

The botanical investigation of medicinal plants has, over the years, become more and more exact and sophisticated. In 1543, the writer of one of the most beautifully illustrated herbals Leonard Fuchs, presented this accurate sketch of Datura stramonium, the Thorn Apple (left). Some three hundred years later, Köhler, m his Medizinal Pflanzen, puD lished a more detailed pharmacognosy rendering of this very important therapeutic plant (center). In the 125 years Since the estaDlishment of Linnaeus's herbarium and the binomial system of nomenclature, our herbaria have greatly enhanced the understanding of the morphological variation of vegetal species through the collection of dried specimens around the world. The third Illustration depicts a typical herbarium specimen of the Thorn Apple representing the kind of material that now authenticates botanical Identification. Modern technology (for example, the electron-scanning microscope) Is making available morphological details, such as the leaf surface hairs of the Thorn Apple, which provide greater accuracy in the work of plant identification.

Index to the and Key Plant Lexicon

Ninety-seven hallucinogenic plants are illustrated and described on the following pages (34-60).

The lexicon is in alphabetical order by genus name. Each text in the lexicon includes the following information in Its heading:

• Genus, author, and, in brackets, the number of species known to exist in the genus.

• Botanical name of the species shown. The species known to contain hallucinogenic properties or to be used as hallucinogens will be found in the reference section "Overview or Plant Use," pages 65-30, which is organized by common name. This reference section/ chart provides the botanical names of the plants and descriDes the history, ethnography, context purpose of usage, and preparation, as well as chemical components and effects

• Reference number

• Geographical distribution of the genus Common names are listed here below with the number designating each plant's location in the lexicon.


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