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Argyreia spp.

Hawaiian Baby Woodrose; Adhoguda; Vidhara; Elephant Creeper; Woolly Morning Glory. The Woodroses are vigorous tropical climbers closely related to the popular ornamental and shamanic ritual Morning Glories.
Hawaiian Baby Woodrose is a vigorous tropical climber with large heart-shaped leaves and pretty deep pink flowers. It is used as a medicinal in India.

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Argyreia spp.

Important legal information

1) The importation of Argyreia nervosa seeds into Australia is prohibited under the Customs Act 1901, Regulations, Schedule 4 (Drugs). The seeds offered by Shaman Australis Botanicals are grown in Australia.
2) The export of Argyreia nervosa plant parts (including seeds) is specifically prohibited under Schedule 8 (export regulations) of the Customs Act.
3) Possession of LSA containing material such as Argyreia nervosa seeds may (or may not) be illegal under the Standard for the uniform scheduling of drugs and poisons (Australia), Schedule 9 (the same schedule as Heroin!!!!!), but treated seeds are excluded under Appendix A, and are thus legal to trade and possess. Our seeds are treated with either food grade sulphur dust or UV sterilisation procedure. These treatments have no effect on viability or alkaloid profile and are non-toxic (food grade).
4) Consumption of any LSA containing material is prohibited under state legislation in most Australian states.

Botanical information

A perennial vine, it grows to a height of 5m or more. The stem is slender, woody, branching and twining; the leaves are green, heart shaped; the flowers are pink, trumpet shaped and 5cm across; the fruit are woody capsules, shaped like a carved rose.

A native of Asia, it prefers rich, moist, well drained soils in a protected, sunny position, and is drought and frost tender.

Propagation is by scarified seed or cuttings. Seed germination is greatly enhanced by scratching the seed coat and soaking seeds overnight in water. Sow seed directly in the ground or into punnets, 10-20mm deep in fine, sandy soil. Keep moist but not wet. Seedlings will emerge within a few days and can be transplanted at any time. Some seeds may take up to several months to germinate. Very susceptible to fungal problems caused by humidity and overwatering. Needs lots of rootspace and trellis space, and is frost sensitive.

Note on varieties:

There are serveral distinct varieties of Argyreia nervosa and much confusion exists about which seeds to buy. One website differentiates between NewZealand, African, Hawaiian and various other seeds, showing pictures and explanations of how each variety is supposed to look AS SEED. While that page is put up by a very reputable seedsource, in this case they got it VERY wrong.

In general ALL Argyreia nervosa seeds looks very similar. The presence of beige fur, the size, the dimples, the colour and most other chracteristics are common to all varieties and are affected by various factors, but NOT by variety. The presence of beige fur is mostly related to how well the seed was cleaned or how mature it was at harvest. Sometimes certain strains can have very little fur or even be smooth, but I have seen this in all varieties. The size (as with most plants) is related to the nutrient store of the plant at time of seeding, and the number of seeds supported during seed development. The dimples can vary from individual plant to individual plant. The colour is again mostly related to harvest conditions, processing and storage.

So how do you tell the varieties apart?? In my experience so far, I believe it is not possible to tell varieties from seed. I have seen all combinations of traits in seed from all locations.

The main difference between varieties is that the speciosa variety is used medicinally in ayurvedic medicine and the nervosa strain has high LSA alkaloid content. It makes little difference where the strains are grown, but most seed originating from India and Africa is of the speciosa variety and thus low in LSA. These countries are responsible for supplying the vast bulk of all Argyreia seed on the market today. It wholesales for about US$40 per kilo and is available in huge quantities. The nervosa variety on the other hand is in very short supply and wholesales at hundreds of US$ per kilo, but is rarely available in such quantities. The cheap african seed flooded the market sometime after 95. Most of the seed available through ethnobotany supplies before then was of the nervosa variety. However since 1998 the african speciosa seed has largely replaced the traditional nervosa seed. As lines of supply became blurred people started paying the nervosa price for speciosa seed and these days a high price is not a guarantee of getting nervosa seed anymore. Even worse, many seed suppliers (even on Hawaii) have bought in the speciosa variety and are now selling it (quite unknowingly) as nervosa seed. Similarly, the seed supplied by SAB was speciosa seed for a couple of years around 1999/2000. I cant even determine when they changed over, but I know that at least the first 6 months in 1998 were guaranteed nervosa strains. We have plenty of nervosa strain plants growing for future seed production.

Some of these vines we grow are from seeds sourced in 1994 (before the speciosa entered the market) and others were wild collected in Australia, where populations of plants have been isolated from speciosa seed imports for decades.

The nervosa seed currently offered is from plants of the nervosa variety (ie like traditional Hawaiian seed) grown in Far North Queensland, in a climate similar to Hawaii. Bioassays have confirmed activity identical to top quality Hawaiian Argyreia nervosa var nervosa seed.

Argyreia nervosa v. nervosa seed offered under various names such as FNQ, Fractal and Alligator Ck are all harvested or grown from seed sourced in Tropical Far North Queensland. We also sometimes offer Argyreia nervosa var speciosa seeds for their traditional medicinal uses. As would be expected of seed grown, processed and stored under indentical conditions, both varieties of seed look the same (beige, furry).

Traditional Uses:

In ayurvedic medicine the root is used as a tonic for the nervous system and brain, as an aphrodisiac and for the treatment of arthritis, diabetes, and low sperm count.

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