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A meeting with wild Phalaris arundinacea (pictorial, plant ID, observation, harvesting, extraction) Options
 
Triglav
#1 Posted : 7/13/2020 7:36:02 PM

“Not all those who wander are lost.”


Posts: 151
Joined: 16-Sep-2017
Last visit: 29-Sep-2020
I am aware that I have more to learn regarding identifying grasses. These plants have to be checked very minutely in order to properly discriminate them. Therefore, if I have made any errors, I would be happy to be corrected and thus prevent any misinformation on the forums. Thanks!
I have been on the more or less passive search for Phalaris arundinacea for a few years now, from when I first got the information about it. However in the last few weeks or so I put some more energy and enthusiasm to learn about and find the grass . It seems I have had success finding the grass. To be honest it was not very hard to find.

I have had confirmation of one picture I posted in the chat so far. However I do have more pictures to identify. It is possible that there is a picture of another species of grass among them.

All the pictures of the grass are from the same spot (pictures #1, #2). The spot is a relatively big river bank of which a small part is flooded (swampy) and some water is running above it as well (depends on the quantity of water at a given time). I had visited this spot three times now in a course of the last 3 weeks. The observations are written below.

There are relatively lots of plants of reed canary grass at this spot. Therefore I see them as a population of the species nicely displayed on one spot. If that is truly so, there is a possibility of finding an individual patch/tuft of the grass that has a good alkaloid profile, clone it and grow it home in pots. I plan to explore more of the area in the future and continue to observe the plants. Also, I have found some traces of what I believe is Phalaris aquatica on spots close to this one.

Different individual plants on the spot display different characteristics. For example the color and the shape of the flower heads. Some plants have bright other plants darker and reddish flower heads. Some have elongated and other more branched flower heads. The word 'inflorescence' is used to denote traits of the shape of the flower. See pictures (#3 to # Cool to see the variations. Another thing is that some of the tufts are already dried out and all the seeds fell out of the heads while others are flowering only now (photo #9). Also, some tufts have new growth on it's sides (picture #10). These different phenotypes suggest that there is most likely a lot of alkaloid variation in the population as well.

All the plants I took photos of have the same type of 'junction of blade and sheath' - you can see that on the photos #11 and #12. Most of them have a clearly visible typical phalaris pattern on the seedheads. Taking this into account I presume all of these grasses, although showing somewhat different characteristics, are all the same species.

I am still learning and it is possible I had missed or mistaken something. If anyone can comment on that I would be very grateful.

I will post more material in the future.
Triglav attached the following image(s):
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11.jpg (719kb) downloaded 111 time(s).
 

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Justsomedude
#2 Posted : 7/13/2020 7:41:53 PM

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Beautiful pictures!

Inspires me to speed up my endeavors !
 
monomind
#3 Posted : 7/14/2020 5:48:18 PM

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Costs $20 a year but worth it imho. Does a surprisingly decent job. Tested it on Phalaris Thumbs up

PictureThis - Flower & Plant Identification
 
dithyramb
#4 Posted : 7/14/2020 7:13:01 PM

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Thanks a lot, Triglav! I am curiously tuned in to your studies.
 
Triglav
#5 Posted : 7/15/2020 2:20:01 PM

“Not all those who wander are lost.”


Posts: 151
Joined: 16-Sep-2017
Last visit: 29-Sep-2020
Thanks to everyone for your kind comments. Smile

I will tell you about the harvesting I did and the extraction I am doing with the grass.

The second time I visited this spot I choose a patch of grass and harvested it by cutting the grass almost to the ground. I harvested it in the afternoon at 4:30 pm. After that the grass was lying in my car for a few hours (not optimal but good enough for first time). When I returned home late in the evening I removed the leaves from the stalks (supposedly the majority of alkaloids are in leaves) and removed the flowers as well. Many very very small seeds fell from the flower/seed heads from handling it. I cut the leaves with a knife into smaller pieces and weigh the semi-wet material. The weigh showed 140 g. Enough for the first time to get to know the grass.

Then I put the leaf material into a stainless pot and covered it with water and added citric acid. I left it like that overnight and began cooking it in the morning next day. The steps I did are basically the usual A/B approach. I did three water extractions with citric acid and with every next pull I tried to cut the leaf material into smaller pieces with scissors. I combined the pulls and reduced the liquid where I felt it's not too much - that was at 800 ml of liquid.

I put the liquid into refrigerator and did decanting and filtering on the liquid. All together quite some gunk and fat (though some fat still remained) came out of it, which was discarded. At that point the acidic tea attained a very deep amber color much like MHRB tea.

At that point I was thinking, if I should base the tea and proceed to extract with a NPS, or maybe do a little experiment and do a MANSKE on the liquid. I decided for the MANSKE first, since I can still base the liquid after that and extract with NPS, so I have nothing to loose.

I added 30g of NaCl (sea salt) to the very hot liquid (800 ml). To my surprise almost immediately after adding the salting something began to precipitate out of the solution. In the morning next day when everything settled I decanted the liquid and saved the unknown powder for further investigation.

Before I was thinking that maybe the possible beta-carbolines in the grass may fall out of the solution that way. Another thing that could happen is that sodium citrate will fall out of solution since I used quite a lot (most likely too much) citric acid in my water extraction. I still have to dry this mistery powder and at least taste it on the tounge to get some crude idea of what it is.

The next step was to base the solution with NaOH (lye). I was not expecting any observable reaction to occur, but it actually did happen in a very similar way when basing MHRB water extract. The solution now became blackish in color and smells very interestingly. The basic solution had to wait for few days in the refrigerator since I had to clean my solvents of any possible residual DMT and mescaline.

Today I started to extract half of the liquid with naphtha. The other one I plan to extract with toluene and compare the results.

I will keep you updated on how the extraction proceeds. I am myself very eager to see what hides in there.

Also I returned to the post exactly a week (7 days) after harvesting the grass patch. You can see that in the pictures below. What happened is that not much new growth appeared - less than I was expecting, however I immediately realized that there is very little nitrogen available in the spot so it is only logical that the growth is slow. When harvesting at home in pots lots of nitrogen is added to get as much new growth as possible - however not the case on that spot.

I will return to the place again to observe what is happening, document it and keep you updated.
Triglav attached the following image(s):
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3.jpg (5,895kb) downloaded 70 time(s).
 
monomind
#6 Posted : 7/15/2020 2:44:36 PM

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Great work Triglav Thumbs up Please keep us posted.
BTW, didn't know you can manske dmt ( i am just a humble kitchen chemist... )
 
Triglav
#7 Posted : 7/15/2020 2:47:44 PM

“Not all those who wander are lost.”


Posts: 151
Joined: 16-Sep-2017
Last visit: 29-Sep-2020
monomind wrote:
Great work Triglav Thumbs up Please keep us posted.
BTW, didn't know you can manske dmt ( i am just a humble kitchen chemist... )


I don't think DMT can be mansked. I am quite sure the stuff is not DMT. I think it might be the beta-carbolines that are found in P. arundinacea. Maybe it is excess sodium citrate ... am not sure at this point. Smile
 
Triglav
#8 Posted : 7/18/2020 2:31:05 PM

“Not all those who wander are lost.”


Posts: 151
Joined: 16-Sep-2017
Last visit: 29-Sep-2020
I finished extracting the first half of the basic solution (the ph of it is 12, measured with ph strips) with naphtha (the naphtha I am using is mostly C6-C7). There were a lot of emulsions forming when extracting with naphtha, but I had successfully separated the emulsions with a hot bath. Now I will put the naphtha to freeze precipitation and see what happens. If nothing comes out I will most likely evaporate all of the naphtha and collect the residue.

The other half of the basic solution (also ph 12) is now being extracted with toluene. I just did the first pull and surprisingly there are no emulsions forming. I intend to back-salt toluene with either vinegar or hydrochloric acid, evaporate everything and obtain the residue. Another option is to perform a FASA/FASI on the toluene, however I am still waiting for the fumaric acid to arrive.

I wonder if I should push the ph to 13 or 14 to have a more successful extraction. Time and work will tell.
 
Triglav
#9 Posted : 7/22/2020 7:32:49 AM

“Not all those who wander are lost.”


Posts: 151
Joined: 16-Sep-2017
Last visit: 29-Sep-2020
a small update:

I put the naphtha I extracted the basic liquid with to freeze precipitation. That did not yield anything. Maybe I should try and evaporate the naphtha a bit and try again - however I am not happy to evaporate so much of this stuff - maybe I should back salt and evaporate the water.

I backsalted the toluene and evaporated the water to yield a very small quantity of reddish oily substance which does not remind me of DMT very much (maybe other tryptamines). I will mix it with some damiana and smoke the stuff.

Since toluene extracted so little I wonder if there is anything at all in the naphtha. Interesting thing is though that naphtha had this DMTish smell to it.

 
 
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