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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Wednesday - December 03, 2008

From: Sarasota, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Medicinal Plants
Title: Tilo (Justicia pectoralis), a tropical American plant
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Re: keelo plant (Seminole, Fl. herb used to treat stomachache-St. Pete), try Tilo: Justicia pectoralis

ANSWER:

Thank you for this information.  This does look like what the person in a previous question was asking about.  Justicia pectoralis (tilo, piri piri or freshcut) is native to tropical America (occurring in Florida in the United States).  It has been used medicinally for many ailments, but I could find only one reference to it being used for stomach problems and that was in Panama.  It was traditionally added to mind-altering snuffs for its vanilla-like flavoring. The tilo itself apparently has no hallucenogenic effects, but is used only as a flavoring.

 

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