|Rivea corymbosa flowers|
Rivea corymbosa flowers
(L.) Hallier f.
Rivea corymbosa (common synonym: Turbina corymbosa), is a species of morning glory plants, native throughout Latin America from Mexico in the North to Peru in the South and widely naturalised elsewhere. It is a perennial climbing vine with white flowers, often planted as an ornamental plant. This plant also occurs in Cuba, where it usually blooms from early December to February. Its flowers secrete copious amount of nectar, and the honey the bees make from it is very clear and aromatic. It is considered one of the main honey plants from the island.
In 1941, Richard Evans Schultes first identified ololiuhqui as Rivea corymbosa and the chemical composition was first described on August 18, 1960, in a paper by Dr. Albert Hofmann. The seeds contain ergine (LSA), an ergoline alkaloid similar in structure to LSD.
The Nahuatl word ololiuhqui means "round thing", and refers to the small, brown, oval seeds of the morning glory, not the plant itself, which is called coaxihuitl, "snake-plant", in Nahuatl, and hiedra or bejuco in the Spanish language. The seeds, in Spanish, are sometimes called semilla de la Virgen (seeds of the Virgin Mary).
The seeds are also used by Native curers in order to gain knowledge in curing practices and ritual, as well as the causes for the illness.
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