"Tilo" – Mystery Herb in Tallahassee
Answered by: Richters Staff
Question from: Kim Gay
Posted: Before April 1998

I got an herb at a nursery in Tallahassee, Fl. that I need some info on. The only name I have for it is "Tilo" Can anyone help me with it? I don’t know what it is good for other than the lady said it was good for tea.

I will try to describe it: It is a low plant with a sprawling habit. It has shiny, long oblong leaves that come to a point. It also has very pretty tiny flowers that resemble a scented geranium flower. The color of the flower is light purple and dark purple in center with white stripes. Can anyone help?

You may have to go back to the nursery for more information. We could not find any plant under that name in any of our books. We checked books in several languages including Spanish but found nothing. There is a South American herb called "Tila" but that is a tree which obviously does not fit your description.

Sorry, the resident expert at Richters can’t answer everything!

Sent by Alix Albert:

I notice that you were stumped by a question about a "mystery herb in Tallahassee" called "tilo".

"Tilo" is Justicia pectoralis. Kim might want to have a look hhttp://deoxy.org/trypfaq.htm#plants to compare the image with the plant s/he bought. the plant seems quite well known in recreational drug user circles; its leaves are a source of DMT dimethyltryptamine; most of the references I found were to indicate use as a hallucinogen in South America. I don’t know whether that is only true of var. stenophylla, or of Justicia pectoralis in general.

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