The Aroma of Peanut Butter

The NorthEast corner of my garden is one in which, if a plant can swing it, it’s perfectly welcome to grow, no matter what the species.

The presence of two Silver Oaks and a YellowWood tree pretty much drains the soil of available nutrients, so the attitude I’ve taken is that, if you can live there, you’re welcome.

Weeding the vegetable patch on Sunday (and yes, I do sometimes pull out weeds, despite my propensity for yelling at people who do – well, if it’s growing through the fat concrete slabs of a corporate bank it’s a hero to me – do not kill it!), I gradually became aware of a scent a little like peanut butter.

I checked to see if I was inadvertently growing any Peanut Butter Bushes, but no.

The smell was coming from a luxuriant bush, about 5 feet high, which was even now starting to encroach upon my Rocket, Spinach and Basil. The leaves were huge and glossy, the dense branchlets of flowers a creamy yellow. I asked the bush about itself, but received an incoherent answer.

So I betook myself to the study, and after about half an hour I was awed at the knowledge that we were harbouring a Khat Bush.

Erowid were informative enough to further surprise me by noting that Catha Edulis , far from being an object of search-and-destroy by the local armed wing of the state, is in fact a protected indigenous tree in this country.

The effects of its leaves, when chewed, are stimulative and mildly euphoric, according to its press, and on the physical harm scale it even beats marijuana in benign-ness.

Great stuff. This entheogenic little denizen is perfectly welcome to share this land with me.
But it gave me another gift, as well – the realisation that communication from plants in particular comes not just from visions and dreams (although I’m a highly visual shaman, and this is the fastest way to get my attention) but through the older, more primordial senses as well.

3 responses to “The Aroma of Peanut Butter

  1. I’m astounded that it’s protected here, didn’t even know it was found this far south. I also didn’t know it smelt like peanut butter :)I also gardened this weekend, but more cutting grass than anything … have a great week!peace


  2. Fascinating — and when I have been out in the Gauteng bushveld I often get that very surprising aroma of roast potatoes after rain. I shall have to look up the name of the bush –xxMary


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