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Useful Temperate Plants

Heimia salicifolia

(Kunth) Link

Lythraceae


This species is closely related to Heimia myrtifolia, differing mainly in having larger 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.
].

+ Synonyms

Decodon salicifolius (Kunth) Kuntze

Ginoria flava Moç. & Sessé ex DC.

Nesaea salicifolia Kunth

Common Name: Sinicuichi

Heimia salicifolia
Three year old plant growing in a South facing border in West Sussex of the U.K
Photograph by: Amazoniaexotics
Creative Commons License
Heimia salicifolia Heimia salicifolia Heimia salicifolia Heimia salicifolia

General Information

Heimia salicifolia is an erect, much-branched, deciduous shrub growing from 0.5 - 3 metres tall. In cool climates the plant does not fully ripen its stems and these die back to the ground each year. New growth up to 1.5 metres tall is then produced from the base each year[
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.
].
The plant has a wide reputation in the Americas as a folk medicine for treating a range of complaints. It is often harvested from the wild for local use and is also sold in local markets. The plant is also often used to make an intoxicating drink[
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
 
].

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.
,
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.
,
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia; C. America - El Salvador, Guatemala to Mexico, New Mexico and Texas; Caribbean - Jamaica.

Habitat

Along the sides of streams and in wet soils[
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.
,
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitDeciduous Shrub
Height2.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Heimia salicifolia is a plant mainly found in subtropical regions, though it is also found in the tropics usually at elevations above 600 metres. It is somewhat frost-tolerant, and can withstand short periods with temperatures falling to around -10 to -15°c[
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.
]. It can be grown outdoors in warmer parts of the temperate zone, growing well in a sheltered position at Cambridge Botanic Gardens (hardiness zone 7) where it flowers freely most years. The plant will often resprout from the base if the top growth is cut back by cold11,
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 the cooler areas of the temperate zone this plant is best grown against a sunny wall and given a good mulch of bracken in the winter in order to protect its roots[
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.
].
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 this plant. Considering an earlier human study using the aerial parts of the plant 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 sinicuichi, 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 antisyphilitic, astringent, emetic, diuretic, febrifuge, haemostatic, hallucinogenic, laxative, sedative, sudorific, tonic and vulnerary[
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.
,
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
739
Title
Medicinal Plants of Brazil
Publication
 
Author
Mors W.B.; Rizzini C.T.; Pereira N.A.
Publisher
Reference Publications; Michigan.
Year
2000
ISBN
0-917256-42-5
Description
An extremely concise book, listing approximately 1,500 species and varieties of plants with their botanical name, common name in Brazil, regions in Brazil where the plant is found, a brief list of uses and any medically active compounds in the plant.
]. The plant is employed most commonly to treat syphilitic affections[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
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.
]. It is said to have a sedative action that depresses activity of the central nervous system and reduces anxiety and induces sleep[
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
 
] It is said to induce a state of serene calmness[
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
 
].
A paste made from the leaves and stems is an effective vulnerary and is used to treat wounds and skin problems[
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
 
]. A decoction of the plant is employed as a wash to relieve the effects of poison ivy (Rhus toxicodendron)[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is also recommended to treat myaigia in the aged and after strenuous physical work and as a post partum bath[
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
 
].

The leaves are said to contain 9% of a bitter principle, nesine, and about 14% of a resin, the latter being the active principle[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. If the juice or a decoction of the plant is taken internally it is said to produce a mild and pleasant intoxication, during which all objects seen appear to be yellow[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Two other Heimia species are found in the New World:-
Heimia myrtifolia Cham .& Schlecht. is found in Argentina and southeastern Brazil, whilst Heimia monrana (Griseb.) Lillo is found in the mid-elevation forest zone of southern Bolivia and northern Argentina. Expert knowledge is required to differentiate these species from Heimia salicifolia. It is logical, therefore, to assume that ail three 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 three 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
 
].

Other Uses

The plant can be rubbed on the body to repel flies and other insects[
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
 
]

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. 2022-11-27. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Heimia+salicifolia>

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