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Coca - Plant

Note: The image is for reference purpose only.
Coca is known throughout the world for its psychoactive alkaloid, cocaine. The alkaloid content of coca leaves is relatively low, between 0.25% and 0.77%
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Description for Coca

Coca is any of the four cultivated plants in the family Erythroxylaceae, native to western South America. The plant is grown as a cash crop in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, even in areas where its cultivation is unlawful.

The coca plant resembles a blackthorn bush, and grows to a height of 2 to 3 metres (7 to 10 feet). The branches are straight, and the leaves are thin, opaque, oval, and taper at the extremities. A marked characteristic of the leaf is an areolated portion bounded by two longitudinal curved lines, one line on each side of the midrib, and more conspicuous on the under face of the leaf.

The flowers are small, and disposed in clusters on short stalks; the corolla is composed of five yellowish-white petals, the anthers are heart-shaped, and the pistil consists of three carpels united to form a three-chambered ovary. The flowers mature into red berries.
The leaves are sometimes eaten by the larvae of the moth Eloria noyesi.

Common nameFlower coloursBloom timeHeightDifficulty
Carolina moonseedWhiteJuly to August2 to 3 metres (7 to 10 feet)easy to grow

Planting and care

Seeds should be planted as soon as they fall from the bush. If they dry out, they will die right away. The only way to keep them for a maximum of about two weeks, is to keep them in moist (not wet) sphagnum in a cool place. Often this initiates germination, so they must be watched for rot or premature germination. Under no circumstances should they be kept dry, since even room humidity is too dry.

SunlightSoilWaterTemperatureFertilizer
Full Sun to Partial Shadewell-drained soil MediumThe ideal temperature for coca plant growth is between 18 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees Celsius (or 65 degrees Fahrenheit to 77 degrees Fahrenheit).Apply any organic fertilizer

Caring for Coca

    Careful removal of the older leaves does not harm plants, but they should be strong and healthy to allow this, and probably three years old if grown indoors.

Typical uses of Coca

Special features: Trellises, arbors, fences. Weave it through large shrubs, screens or hedgerows.

Culinary use: na

Ornamental use: The plant is used for ornamental purpose.

Medicinal use: Cocaine is used as a local anesthetic prior to surgical procedures involving the oral, laryngeal, or nasal cavities.

References

  • http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=w840
  • http://www.medicinenet.com/cocaine_hydrochloride-topical/article.htm

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