Alternative names: wooly morning glory, elephant creeper, silver morning glory, coup d'air, liane a minguet, liane d'argent
The Hawaiian baby woodrose (Argyreia nervosa) is a perennial vine belonging to the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae). It has large heart shaped leaves (up to one foot across) which are backed with silvery hairs. Flowers form in tight clusters. They are trumpet-shaped, and light pink to lavender colored with deep purple throats. They are native to Asia, and are naturalized and cultivated in Hawaii.
The plant can be cultivated in the southern parts of the United States but are very sensitive to freezing temperatures. It can be grown in the colder parts of the world but must be taken indoors (yet kept in the sun) when the temperatures get low. The plant will propagate from seed or cuttings. In the first year the plant grows into a one to two feet tall bush. Beginning the following spring, the plant will grow rapidly into a vine and produce flowers and seeds.
The seed pods dry to a smooth, dark brown capsule containing one to four furry brown seeds. The "furry" coating contains sugar compounds known as cyanogenic glycosides. These compounds contain the cyanide ion (CN-), which forms hydrocyanic acid (a.k.a. hydrogen cyanide, prussic acid) when degraded by certain enzymes. The seeds themselves contain varying concentrations of several ergot-related alkaloids, the top two are ergine (a.k.a. lysergic acid amide) and isoergine. Both these compounds are psychoactive, being approximately 1/10th as potent as LSD. A few of these compounds are vasoconstrictive.
The duration of the effects is generally 6-12 hours. Threshold effects can be noticed with as little as one seed. Usually this is a mild floaty/spacey feeling. Light effects (a '+' on Shulgin's scale) occur with two to four seeds. Medium effects (a Shulgin '++') occur with five to seven seeds. Effects on thought processes begin at this stage. This is the dosage where bad trips occur, when one fears that they have permanently lost control. Closed and open-eyed visuals may occur as well, though are not as strong as other psychedelics.
Physical side effects include increased heart rate (tachycardia), nausea, cramps and cold extremities related to vasoconstriction, and pupil dilation. Another strange effect that some people have noticed is a strange disturbance in one's equilibrium, causing movements to seem exaggerated (like you're walking/running on a trampoline). This may occur during the trip, or a day or two afterwards. For some people, sleep is possible during the trip. For others it's not.
Alkaloid content of Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds
Ergine 22.68 0.136
Isoergine 31.36 0.188
Ergometrine 8.20 0.049
Lysergic alpha-OH-ethylamide 5.79 0.035
Isolysergic alpha-OH-ethylamide 3.98 0.024
The first number is the percentage of total alkaloid content and the second is percentage of dry weight.
In the US, ergine is a DEA Schedule III substance. It is illegal to prepare the seeds for consumption or market them as consumable.
"Argyreia nervosa." Invasive Plant Species. 15 July 2001. Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER). 13 July 2002. <http://ww.hear.org/pier3/arner.htm>.
"Argyreia nervosa." Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Conservatory. July 2002. University of Connecticut. 13 July 2002. <http://florawww.eeb.uconn.edu/acc_num/199500139.html>.
Grubber, Hudson. "Growing the Hallucinogens." 13 July 2002. <http://nepenthes.lycaeum.org/Plants/growing.html>.
Jew-Ming Chao and Ara H. Der Marderosian. "Ergoline Alkaloidal Constituents of Hawaiian Baby Wood Rose, Argyreia
nervosa (Burm. f.) Bojer." Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 62(4):588-91. 1973.