THE BOTANY OF SALVIA DIVINORUM
divinorum (Epling and Játiva-M.) is a perennial herb in the Labiatae (mint
family) native to certain areas in the Sierra Mazateca of Oaxaca, Mexico (Fig.
1). It is one of about 500 species of Salvia in the New World subgenus
Calosphace (Epling and Játiva-M.. 1962). The plant grows in large clones to
well over 1 m in height and its large green leaves, hollow square stems and
white flowers with purple calyces are characteristic taxonomic features. This
sage has been found only in forest ravines and other moist humid areas of the
Sierra Mazateca between 750 m and 1500 m altitude (Díaz, 1975a). Carl Epling,
who first described S. divinorum, reported the flower as having a blue
corolla, and it has been illustrated this way in the literature (Epling and
Játiva-M, 1962; Schultes, 1976). However, this description has been shown to be
an error, as all living specimens of the plant have had blossoms with white
corollas and purple calyces (Díaz, 1975a; Emboden, 1979).
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