“Damiana” Confusion Planet: Year after year here at MSB new orders for supposed Turnera diffusa seeds come in from different venders, and every time they’re ‘fake’… even from some reputable vendors. This even recently led to an inside joke about the existence of this ‘alleged’ plant being some urban legend hoax turned bad joke run amok! The original batch came in several years go from an otherwise reputable vendor. They came up and ‘wow look that plant is growing right there a few feet away as a ‘weed’‘. So for a short stretch I started seeing “Damiana” everywhere all around town while out driving and walking, but eventually became conscious of Florida’s native Native American medicinal plant Turnera ulmifolia (Yellow Alder). It became expected all the wild stuff must be that. So many annoying attempts would be made trying to judge botanically how to tell this seed stuff from the wild; the big problem being there were hardly photos of the real thing to be found online that year. Moving forward, tales of supposed “Damiana varieties” may include T. microphylla, T. ulmifera, T. diffusa and T. diffusa var. aphrodisiaca. Botanically, Turnera diffusa = Turnera diffusa var. aphrodisiaca = Turnera aphrodisiaca (synonyms of the same plant). It seems some explanations assume that Yellow Alder is the ‘normal’ T. diffusa and that var. aphrodisiaca is some special cultivar strain. There is only one true Damiana species, and although there is the potential for it to have varieties / cultivars (like any other species) anything that strikingly resemble T. ulmifolia is very unlikely to be one of them.
NOTICE: “Damiana” seed/plant/herb orders shipped in 2013 were mistakenly T. ulmifoia. Multiple attempts to get the right seeds in to fix those orders were made in 2014, but got screwed every time. These will be fixed sometime in 2015, as true T. diffusa stock (that will be well photo documented) will eventually become available here in late 2015…
Damiana Research Data Links:
Australian Naturopathic Network – Bing Images –Dave’s Garden – Drugs.com – Encyclopedia of Life – Erowid – European Medicines Agency – GLOBinMED – Google Scholar – Herb Wisdom – MedicineNet – PFAF – PubMed – Rain Tree – SEINet – Sigma Aldrich – USDA – Texas Native Plants – WebMD – Wikipedia – Youtube Videos