Latua pubiflora (Griseb.) Baill. - syn. Lycioplesium pubiflorum Griseb. - Solanaceae - palo muerto, palo de brujos, latué, witches tree
Shrub or small tree, up to 7m high, native (endemic) to southern Chile, also cultivated; flowers large, tubular, red-violet.
„beautiful but narcotic shrub…, used mostly by shamans in their curing rituals in the evening, taking an infusion of the green leaves and bark… said to be aphrodisiac and employed as an ingredient in love potions.“
Extracts of the aboveground parts of the plant contain 3α-cinnamoyloxytropane, 3α-apotropoyloxytropan, scopolamine, and hyoscyamine. The alkaloids own dose-dependant antispasmodic, antisecretory, and mydriatic effects. They may produce delirium, hallucinations and a trance-like state often resembling psychosis - for this reason this plant has been widely used in the Mapuche tradition.
[Tropane alkaloids from Latua pubiflora., Muñoz, O., Casale, J.F., Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C, 58(9-10), 2003, 626-628] http://www.znaturforsch.com/ac/v58c/s58c0626.pdf
Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, vol.89 [ser.3, vol.19] t.5373 (1863) [W.H.Fitch]