Updated: Aug 7, 2019
The kratom world has reason to celebrate this week as news of an early flowering line of seed-sown mitragyna speciosa is announced by an American botanical breeding program. This line can produce flower pods in a few months instead of three to five years. August 4, 2019
We are celebrating the triumphant coming-of-age of our Early Flowering mitragyna speciosa line. This line can produce flower pods in a few months instead of three to five years. It's because of the diversity of seed sown plants that we can identify and improve on genetics suitable for different agricultural zones and with greater disease and pest resistance.
This early flowering line represents a huge step forward for American kratom growers, who seek to forge an organic, sustainable and genetically diverse future for the species outside its native habitat. For years, almost every kratom plant grown in America has been one of a handful of overcloned cuttings known as Rifat, Bumblebee and Pink Indo. These clones of clones rarely flower, leading to widespread myths that kratom takes years to decades to reach maturity.
"When clones flower, people are actually surprised," says David Winkler, cultivator and grow systems expert for Magick Powers Potions. "They should all be flowering every year, given their age, but they aren't."
The maturity myth has been seen as a major obstacle to developing the infrastructure for an American kratom industry, according to Cornelia Llama, cultivator for Magick Powers Potions and lead developer of the early flowering line. "Some enthusiasts have had clones for years and many of them never flower," says Llama. "It turns out that's not a problem with all kratom, it's a problem with these particular clones. No one has tried to look beyond this."
Llama and Winkler have studied and germinated tens of thousands of mitragyna speciosa seeds on both US coasts, in anticipation of identifying genetics with the power to shape the future of the species in North America.
"It's a statistical certainty that if you grow enough trees from seed, some really amazing plants with the power to adapt and evolve will present themselves," says Winkler. "That's how nature works."
The Early Flowering line is proof positive that the future of kratom is wide open, provided scientists and growers look beyond what have become ---- for practical purposes ---- obsolete clone lines.
"I've never been one to just look at something and be satisfied that that's the end of the story," says Llama. "I always think what more is there? What lies beyond?"
The goal now is to let Mother Nature continue to reveal her best and most promising developments through the genetics cultivated at Magick Powers Potions. From these leaps forward, new lines of American kratom can emerge.
"The early flowering of this variety allows us to speed up the process of selective breeding considerably," says Winkler. "Now it's just a question of where we go from here."
Why are flowers important to the future of kratom?
Flowering is a rite of passage that heralds the onset of plant maturity and sexual reproduction. To adapt and evolve a genetically diverse future for kratom in America, the species can be raised from seeds and bred through cross pollination, paving the way for new genetic lines to emerge that are best suited to the new climate, soil conditions and atmosphere.
Breeding new lines of kratom is the most sustainable and ecologically responsible manner of adapting and evolving the species outside its native habitat. Developing an agribusiness with infinite copies of old clone lines would put the agriculture at risk of devastation due to lack of genetic diversity.
Cloning many generations away from the original mother trees also leads to escalating errors in genetic code, as documented by a 2011 Oxford University study. The kratom clones now in circulation are countless generations removed from the original base plants.
As stewards of the Earth, our commitment to sustainability and genetic diversity must not be compromised. This calls for new lines to be developed through ecologically responsible means.
Llama and Winkler are committed to bringing that future forth, one tiny seed at a time.
Learn to cultivate unique seed-sown kratom genetics
Join the growing number of Americans learning to cultivate, harvest, cure and process their own kratom. Embrace the movement toward a sustainable and genetically diverse future for this remarkable species. Learn more at magickpowerspotions.com and in the interactive Magick Powers Potions Group.