A NEW SPECIES OF SALVIA FROM MEXICO
CARL EPLING1 AND CARLOS D. JÁTIVA–M.1
Botanical Museum Leaflets, Harvard
University, Cambridge, Massachusetts,
December 28, 1962 - Vol.20, No.
of Botany, University of California, Los Angeles, California.
In the course of his studies of narcotic plants
in southern Mexico, Mr. R. Gordon Wasson became interested in a member of the
Labiatae which is employed by the Mazatec Indians of Oaxaca as a psychotropic
An examination of material from the Mazatec country indicates that
the plant in question is an undescribed species of Salvia:
divinorum (Dusenostachys) Epling & Játiva sp. nov.
perennis altitudine 1 m. et ultra, caulibus pilis plus minusve articulatis
pubescentibus; foliorum lamininis plus minusve ovatis, 12-15 cm. longis, in
apice acuminatis, in basi plus minusve rotundatis et ad petiolos 2-3cm. longis
attenuatis, ad margines crenato-serratis et in sinibus hirtellis, paginis
ambabus glabratis nisi inferiore ad venas hirtella; floribus in verticillastris
sat distantibus ut videtur in paniculis amplis, ramis 30-40 cm. longis
cyaneopuberulis; pedicellis gracilibus 8-9 mm. longis; calycum cyaneorum
glabrorum tubo in maturitate 15 mm. longorum labia superiore 1.5mm. longa,
imprimis 3-venia; corollarum cyanearum sigmoidearum tubo 22mm. longo, intus
nudo, labia superiore 6mm. alta, inferiore ut videtur breviore et incurva;
staminibus ad fauces positis, inclusis, gubernaculo integro; stylo hirtello,
ramo postico paulo longiore obtuso plano, antico ut videtur
México, Estado de Oaxaca, San Jóse Tenango, in the Sierra
Mazateca; in ravines with black soil marginal to the wet forest, September 8,
1962, A. Hoffman & R.G. Wasson, s.n. (Type in Herb. Univ. Cal., Los
Angeles; Duplicate Type in Econ. Herb. Oakes Ames).
divinorum is allied to S. cyanea Lamb. ex. Benth., which is found in
central Mexico. The former differs from the latter principally in respect to
leaf shape (the attenuation of the blade) and the flattened upper style branch.
The bracts of Salvia divinorum appear to be tardily deciduous. The
species is doubtless striking in its habitat and might possibly be valuable if
introduced into horticulture.
The specific name, which means "of the
seers," refers to the curious use to which the plant is put by the Mazatec
Indians and which Mr. Wasson describes in the following pages. [The R. Gordon
Wasson article "A New Psychotropic Drug from the Mint Family," follows this description in the Botanical Leaflet Series – Arachnid..]
[Epling was an expert on New World Salvia species, and had written a monograph on the Salvia subgenus Calosphace. He
assigned ska María Pastora to the section Dusenostachys of Calosphace. – Arachnid.]