Jun. 21, 2022

yaupon, Ilex vomitoria

With a species name like 'vomitoria', this just has to be an emetic. Right? If you check the North American Ethnobotany Database, you will find a bunch of references to Native Americans using an infusion of yaupon for that effect. But Wiki now says that was a mistaken belief on the part of Europeans, and that the infusion had other value. Yaupon is one of two native plants that provide caffeine, and has by far the strongest concentration. But don't throw out your coffee yet, because yaupon only grows in AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TX, and VA, Yaupon is also appreciated for these numerous quarter-inch flowers, and bright red berries. And the Seminole drank it as medicine for old people's dance sickness, nightmares, and waking up talking. Of course, enough caffeine and you just might wake up talking, if you can sleep at all. Jones Co MS, 4/15/22. Holly family, Aquifoliaceae.