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Erythroxylon coca is a bush or branchy tree, which grows to a height of six or eight feet, and much resembles the black thorn. It is a native of the tropical valleys found on the east slope of the Andes, principally in Peru and Bolivia. In many parts of these countries it still grows wild, but that which is used by the natives is chiefly cultivated.
The seeds are sown in December and January in beds carefully protected from the sun. When the plants are one and a half to two feet high they are transplanted, being either arranged in furrows, or set into holes, according to the situation of the plantation. Suitable shade and moisture for the young plants are secured by sowing maize between the rows, or arbors of palm trees are constructed for purposes of shade.
In May the shrub is covered with small, delicate, white blossoms,
GRAY JL. ERYTHROXYLON COCA.. JAMA. 1885;IV(17):455–458. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02390920007001a