Gardening is for fun too, not just food

I promised to write a bit about growing psychoactive plants so here goes: everyone here grows weed although it's not legal and a while ago our government was big on getting it decriminalised so that people could do small-scale farming but then covid came along and all that legislation got put in the see you later folder. Sativa strains are grown outdoors here because we have a long growing season and not many people have indoor setups for indica strains but I might look into that as a cash crop at some point.

Right now, I am just growing native plants that I enjoy using: the first is Sceletium tortuosum aka Kanna and I was surprised to find this for sale at a local garden centre and I'm experimenting with growing it in the garden although I'll have to see how it copes with summer rainfall. This species can also be grown in hanging baskets.

sceletium flower.jpg


Sceletium is used as a mood enhancer and it contains mesembrine, which has a similar effect as SSRI anti-depressants and studies show that it reduces anxiety. I'll need to grow quite a bit more of this and then it can either be chewed fresh or fermented and dried. If you want to know more about fermenting, see here:

The next plant is Catha edulis aka Khat, the plant form of the party drug Cat. It contains the same alkaloids in the leaves and is chewed. Although it is regarded as a drug, this tree is native to my country and the entire Eastern part of Africa and it's not illegal to grow. Supplying and selling is a different matter

Catha edulis.jpg

This is still a baby bush that was grown from a cutting but I will keep it as a bush, in a large pot. The leaves are a little bitter and there's a lot of chewing involved, you pick the young shoots for eating. It's not bad once in a while, like drinking too much coffee

c edulis leaves.jpg

This last one falls in the category of don't try this at home, folks and is Boophone disticha or Tumbleweed. I was given the bulb as a gift and it has spectacular flowers and I don't intend to try it. Mine is just sprouting again after dying back in winter.


It's hallucinogenic, containing compounds similar to scopolamine but also contains toxic cardiac glycosides and was used as an arrow poison and for divination purposes in the past. It's also used medicinally to treat abscesses and other wounds. I just think it's pretty and it's native to the area I live in and a natural fit for my garden.

These are my "fun" plants and I grow other traditional medicinal plants in the garden, I'll go into those another time.

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