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How to know if psychotria viridis plant female or male?

Migrated topic.
See this one:
...P. viridis is monoecious, that is it has both male and female reproductive structures in each flower, so any viridis can pollinate any other. (Whether they are self-sterile I have not yet determined, but it would be easy enough to find out.)

It seems the native distintion of male/female has more to do with an idea of strong/weak or dominant/submissive than any biological idea of differential gamete production (sperm vs ova).

Some recent chemical analyses of a small group of P. viridis might shed some light on the subject. My collection of viridis has plants of two distinct types. One has broader leaves that tend to form those little projections on the midrib under the leaves. (Botanically these are variously referred to as dolmatia or folveolae. Some people call them espinas.They are thought to provide shelter for tiny mites. What the mites do for the plant and how the plant would benefit from housing them I have no idea.) I'm thinking these would be the 'males' according to Peter's description.

The other type has narrower leaves, also typically a darker, more emerald green color, which don't form dolmatia that would correspond to being 'female'.

Recent GC/MS and HPLC analysis of these plants showed higher light concentrations on the broad leaved 'males', ranging from about 0.33% to 0.52% (Don't quote me on that I'll have to check my notes. This is just off the top of my head.) The narrow leaved 'females' had lower concentrations from 0.2% to 0.4%.

There are other more subtle morphological differences between the two types, especially regarding berry shape and development...

The story about male/female PV is leaves with or without espinas.
Lot of sold PV is no PV but P.Alba or P.Carthagenesis, easier to grow, not having espinas, weaker, but sometimes present in aya for other reasons, link:
Absence of alkaloids in Psychotria carthagenensis Jacq. (Rubiaceae).
Leal MB1, Elisabetsky E.
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Psychotria viridis and P. carthagenensis are often discussed in relation to the hallucinogenic beverage Ayahuasca, used for religious, medicinal and social purposes. The significance of including Psychotria species in this beverage has been understood on the basis of substantial amounts of tryptamine alkaloids detected on leaves of both P. viridis and P. carthagenensis. Nevertheless, there is a long lasting debate over the identification of which Psychotria species are actually traditionally employed. We here report that a P. carthagenensis leaf ethanol extract was found to be devoid of alkaloids. The extract significantly decreased mice body temperature (350 and 500 mg/kg). Toxicity assessment revealed that the extract induced sedation and slight ptoses (75% of animals treated with 1000 mg/kg). Lethality was not observed within 48 h. The data indicate that P. carthagenensis does have bioactive compound(s), possibly active at the central nervous system, but unlikely to be tryptamine alkaloids as in the case of P. viridis. Therefore, if P. carthagenensis is indeed used by ayahuasqueros, its chemical and pharmacological significance have yet to be elucidated.

Mind that plants with espina-leaves also have sometimes leaves without espinas. But as soon as you see espinas you're set. See picture(thanks erowid), sometimes they're really small.


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