Erythroxylum coca

Of the various species of coca, only two have been used as primary sources of cocaine, and it is these upon which we will focus. Erythroxylum coca, called Huanaco, is primarily cultivated on the eastern slopes of the Andes in Bolivia and Peru. Its greenish-colored leaves are elliptically shaped with parallel longitudinal lines on the underside of the leaf. It has a haylike odor. The plant grows well in altitudes between 500 - 1500 meters where the climate is favorably tropical, high in rainfall, moderate in temperature, and the soils are mineral rich and well drained. E. coca is the most important commercial species of coca and is used to make the majority of the world's cocaine. In Peru, the leaves from E. coca represent 95% of the total annual crop. As with the other varieties of coca, the alkaloid content is variable both in amount and composition, depending on where it is grown. A variety of E. coca called Ipadu or Amazonian coca is cultivated in the western Amazon of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. This variety is propagated by cuttings rather than seeds, and prefers moderate temperatures and well-drained soils. The plant itself is taller and more spindly than Huanaco and has weak branches and relatively large elliptical leaves which are blunt or rounded at the apex. Its underside lacks the characteristic parallel lines. Amazonian coca contains very little true cocaine and is primarily used for chewing by the people who cultivate it.

-pp. 25-29, Cocaine Handbook: An Essential Reference by David Lee (1983)

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Erythroxylum coca
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