The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Heimia myrtifolia is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 1.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
S. America - Brazil to Uruguay.
Along the sides of streams[
Easily grown in any well-drained soil in full sun[
]. Especially in the colder areas of the country this plant is best grown against a sunny south or south-west facing wall and given a good mulch of bracken in the winter[
The rootstock is fairly hardy in most of Britain, whilst the top growth tolerates temperatures down to about -10 to -15°c[
]. If cut back by severe weather the plant usually grows again from the base[
]. Flowers are produced on the current seasons growth[
]. Plants growing outdoors at Kew Botanical Gardens are cut back by the cold each winter but regrow and flower each year[
This species is closely related to H. salicifolia, differing mainly in having smaller flowers[
Any pruning is best carried out in early spring by removing excess growth at the base of the plant[
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[
]. In larger quantities this can induce hallucinations and produces a vision that is typically overcast in yellow[
The leaves are antispasmodic, hallucinogenic and sedative[
]. An infusion serves to stabilize the blood pressure and relieve anxiety[
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[