If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Temperate Plants

Heimia myrtifolia

Cham. & Schltdl.

Lythraceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Heimia myrtifolia is an erect, much-branched, deciduous shrub that can grow up to 1.50 metres tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a drink and a medicine. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.

Range

S. America - northeastern Argentina, Uruguay, Paragual, southern Brazil

Habitat

Along the sides of streams[
192
Title
Narcotic Plants
Publication
 
Author
Emboden. W.
Publisher
Studio Vista
Year
1979
ISBN
0-289-70864-8
Description
A lot of details about the history, chemistry and use of narcotic plants, including hallucinogens, stimulants, inebriants and hypnotics.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitDeciduous Shrub
Height1.50 m
PollinatorsBees
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Heimia myrtifolia is native to warm temperate and subtropical regions in eastern S. America. It is not a very cold-tolerant plant, but has been shown to tolerate short periods with temperatures falling to around -10[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. If it is cut back by severe weather the plant will often resprout from the base the following spring[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Easily grown in any well-drained soil in full sun[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Especially in colder areas, this plant is best grown against a sunny wall and given a good mulch of bracken in the winter[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Flowers are produced on the current seasons growth[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
This species is closely related to Heimia salicifolia, differing mainly in having smaller flowers[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
].
Any pruning is best carried out in early spring by removing excess growth at the base of the plant[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

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[
192
Title
Narcotic Plants
Publication
 
Author
Emboden. W.
Publisher
Studio Vista
Year
1979
ISBN
0-289-70864-8
Description
A lot of details about the history, chemistry and use of narcotic plants, including hallucinogens, stimulants, inebriants and hypnotics.
]. In larger quantities this can induce hallucinations and produces a vision that is typically overcast in yellow[
192
Title
Narcotic Plants
Publication
 
Author
Emboden. W.
Publisher
Studio Vista
Year
1979
ISBN
0-289-70864-8
Description
A lot of details about the history, chemistry and use of narcotic plants, including hallucinogens, stimulants, inebriants and hypnotics.
].
The plant contains various alkaloids, including vertine and lythrine, which are considered to be responsible for any hallucinogenic activity[
1704
Title
Heimia salicifolia: a phytochemical and phytopharmacologic review
Publication
J. Ethnopharmacol. 42 (1994) 135-159
Author
Malone M.H. & Rother A.
Publisher
 
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

There have been very few human-based trials on the alleged hallucinogenic properties of Heimia species. Considering an earlier human study using the aerial plant parts in 1896, and the results of a trial in 1998 with the extracted alkaloids vertine and lythrine, it is the opinion of the present authors that the alleged psychodysleptic effect of this plant must be due to the ethanol content of the native brews and/or their fortification with another plant, perhaps the seeds of Rhynchosia praecatoria[
1704
Title
Heimia salicifolia: a phytochemical and phytopharmacologic review
Publication
J. Ethnopharmacol. 42 (1994) 135-159
Author
Malone M.H. & Rother A.
Publisher
 
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
 
]..

Medicinal

The leaves are antispasmodic, hallucinogenic and sedative[
192
Title
Narcotic Plants
Publication
 
Author
Emboden. W.
Publisher
Studio Vista
Year
1979
ISBN
0-289-70864-8
Description
A lot of details about the history, chemistry and use of narcotic plants, including hallucinogens, stimulants, inebriants and hypnotics.
]. An infusion serves to stabilize the blood pressure and relieve anxiety[
192
Title
Narcotic Plants
Publication
 
Author
Emboden. W.
Publisher
Studio Vista
Year
1979
ISBN
0-289-70864-8
Description
A lot of details about the history, chemistry and use of narcotic plants, including hallucinogens, stimulants, inebriants and hypnotics.
].

Heimia myrtifolia is very similar to Heimia salicifolia and expert knowledge is required to differentiate these species from each other. It is logical, therefore, to assume that both species may have been used interchangeably in folk medicine[
1704
Title
Heimia salicifolia: a phytochemical and phytopharmacologic review
Publication
J. Ethnopharmacol. 42 (1994) 135-159
Author
Malone M.H. & Rother A.
Publisher
 
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. Their alkaloidal composition has been studied using semiquantitative TLC methods and, while the differences appear to be more quantitative than qualitative, the two species are chemically distinct[
1704
Title
Heimia salicifolia: a phytochemical and phytopharmacologic review
Publication
J. Ethnopharmacol. 42 (1994) 135-159
Author
Malone M.H. & Rother A.
Publisher
 
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. See Heimia salicifolia for more information on the medicinal uses.

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle. Grow the young plants on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring or early summer. Mulch the roots well in the autumn to protect them from the cold.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2022-08-17. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Heimia+myrtifolia>

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.