seeds of Catha edulis, Khat

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Catha edulis Samen
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Catha edulis is a plant species that goes by the name Catha inermis and Celastrus edulis Vahl. The common vocabulary used when identifying this plant includes words such as Khat. Kat, Miraa, Arabian tea, Somali tea and Kafta. The origins of the plant are in the horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Two places that also double as being among the major producers of the plant in the world. Catha edulis is a slow-growing shrub that mostly grows in arid areas where it can reach a height of 1 to 5 metres. The plant can, however, reach up to 10 metres in height if exposed to the agreeable weather conditions of the equatorial region. The plant has evergreen leaves and flowers that sprout in the form of axillary cymes that measure between 4 cm and 8 cm in width. The plant’s flowers are miniature sized and have 5 white petals. Pollination leads to the production of oblong-shaped fruit. Catha edulis is mostly farmed due to its attributes as a stimulant that can induce feelings of euphoria. The popularity of the plant has led to its cultivation in places that weren’t previously associated with it. Such places include most of the countries in Southern Africa such as Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland. An additional factor that bolsters the increased cultivation of Catha edulis is the fact that it is easy to maintain. Once soil and sufficient water are provided, the plant is bound to grow well enough on its own. One should, however, desist from overwatering the plant given doing so will lead to the rotting of the roots. Catha edulis takes between 7 and 8 years to mature and reach full height. Nevertheless, the harvesting can begin much earlier. A healthy mature plant is expected to deliver up to four harvests in one year.
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