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Incarvillea
sinensis is a small shrubby plant endemic to Mongolia, occurring in dry steppe regions where the soil is mainly sandy loam. There, the plant likes total exposure and dry climate where it easily propagates by seed (of which there is no dormancy period). This species has a sensitive stigma, and its two open stigmatic lobes close soon after being touched by a pollinator, but always reopen if no or only little pollen was deposited.
Some sources say flowers take some 1-2 years to come about but I've personally witnessed it happen within less than 5 months.

It contains a potent analgesic monoterpene alkaloid, incarvillateine, many times more potent in its antinociceptive properties than morphine.

I thought I'd have a crack at growing this plant because being in pain-free is pretty fun, right? There doesn't appear to be many people growing this plant and there is skant info in that regard. One good source is this SAB thread (thanks mindperformer!) where you'll find links to some papers, etc, and some good closeup shots of mindperformers home-grown plants. You can find some decent info here as well but no personal writeups of growing the plant.

If you'd like to have a crack at growing them then you can definitely get seed here and here (in the UK).

There are a few other species of Incarvillea growing in the bot gardens in Melbourne so they mustn't do too badly down here. I've heard that the seed responds well to the cold in order to wake it up, improving germination rates so I've put a few seeds in a take-away container in some moist (but not wet) standard potting mix and put them in the fridge. In two weeks I'll take them out of the fridge and into a shaded area where they won't dry out.

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You might not be able to tell from the photo but the seed is pretty tiny, about half the size of a chilli seed, and they look exactly alike.

Fingers crossed I get some seedlings out of this!

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good luck mate, I had some trouble getting these to pop. I might chuck some in the fridge and see how they go.

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I had one about 30cm tall that mysteriously died a few weeks ago. Looked healthy too. May not handle sustained heat

Edited by stonewolf
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I had one about 30cm tall that mysteriously died a few weeks ago. Looked healthy too. May not handle sustained heat

You're right stonewolf, sustained dry heat will knock them around. One research paper on commercial propagation recommended shading them during the middle of the day though I hardly see how that would be practical at commercial scales.

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I've got a couple of fresh seed pods off my plants, and there's a few more coming. If you want to try them I'm happy to send them out.

I was underwhelmed by the 2 different 20x extracts in terms of analgesia.

It's a pretty little plant with nice flowers though, and quite hardy. Quite delicate looking.

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Morning sun from 7-12 is good for them as far as I can tell. And you'll want a consistantly moist soil in this heat, not wet, moist. Mine are powering along with this regime I'll post some pics tonight.

I'd be keen on some seeds G if you have a few free :)

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All my seedlings died off at a couple of centimeters, which would have been entirely through my lack of skill unfortunately.

If you have enough to spare I'd love another crack at these too Glaukus. Great work and well done on your success with these mate!

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All praise goes to the dood, he germinated them, which is the hard part.

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You're right stonewolf, sustained dry heat will knock them around. One research paper on commercial propagation recommended shading them during the middle of the day though I hardly see how that would be practical at commercial scales.

Hey mu! could you post up a link when you get a chance sounds interesting. I particularly want to know what the end produce (the herb) is destined for. Is it extraction, or for use in herbal preparations.

In the linked thread above MP had a good response to dried herb, it seems to be the extract having a mixed response. Maybe most of the product is destined for the dry herb market which would be really good to find out.

Edited by theuserformallyknownasd00d

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unless someone else with uni access is kind enough to dig it up first.

Tried but I don't have access to that site/journal :wacko:

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theuserformallyknownasd00d - have you ever attempted taking cuttings/clones? This might be a more successful means of propagating.

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Na mate I haven't yet. Tbh I was more inclined to throw the excess growth I have in a tea pot this afternoon and have it with a few beers! I shall keep a cutting or two when I decide to do this and let u know

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thanks mate. if propagation by cutting was more practical then that would definitely help the spread of this plant to many a planthead's apothecary :)

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roots after 14 days in humidity tent, quick dip in 4g/L IBA and stuck into propagating sand and perlite

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great work ferret! considering how troublesome propagation by seed can be it's a relief to know this species doesn't mind being cloned, and with minimal effort.

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that reminds me, it's time to take the seed tray out of the fridge and get em sprouting

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I thought I'd add I've just made a tea from my plant. I picked 15grams of fresh herb and dried it over a week or so, ended up being 2.5 grams. I shredded it and simply poured boiling water over it, just covering it. Stirred it for 20mins and let it cool. It tasted like shit, I could only drink half.

I had coffee this morning and a few beers this arvo, I'll post back if anything coolio happens. Might throw a bunga in the mix too

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Fresh growth on my plant, beer for size

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I've been waiting for a report on something like this for ages after the unimpressive and pain in the ass to procure extracts.

Hope it goes well.

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Nothing to report. Well nothing note worthy beyond what you'd expect from lazing around having a few beers. Next time I have fresh herb I'll make sure to send it to another member, I could only drink half so would've only consumed 1-1.5grams

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The seed trays are out in a north-facing spot that gets a couple of hours of direct morning sun, and they've been misted them. Fingers crossed.

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