Yerba mate’ is an energizing herbal tea commonly drank in South America. It contains caffeine and other related stimulants but provides a much more natural energy than coffee and is easier on the stomach. Many users report a refreshing alertness that is contrasted with the jittery anxious feeling that many coffee drinkers experience. The tea also has a very organic taste that somewhat resembles green tea. An infusion of the leaves and twigs is made by soaking in hot water rather than boiling. Drinking yerba mate’ is a social experience, particularly in Argentina. The beverage is passed around in a special gourd called a mate’ and sipped through a metal straw called a bombilla. World Seed Supply is proud to offer these very rare seeds. WE ALSO OFFER ILEX VOMITORIA SEEDS (BLACK DRINK).
Growing Information: Ilex seeds can take a very long time to sprout, sometimes more than a year. The seed coat is typically hard, which makes them somewhat impermeable to water. Ilex seeds are a lot like psychotria seeds. Nicking or filing the seed coat is recommended. Some growers will also soak the seed in vinegar or a mild sulfuric acid solution can help wear down the seed coat. Clean the seed after that step to remove the acid, then soak in water for 24 hours. The seeds benefit from temperature fluctuation, so expose them to alternating 60-day increments beginning with hot (70-80 degrees), then cold (refrigerate), then back to hot. The temperatures should be consistently above 68 degrees during the warm periods. This is essential for germination to be triggered. Yaupon likes coarse to medium soils and has low moisture requirements, so a 50/50 mix of perlite and loam is suitable. Bury the seeds at a depth of 1/4″ in pots for sowing and keep them in a shaded area. The seedlings are slow-growing and should be protected from freezing in their first year. You can put them in their final locations in early summer of their second year.