Banisteriopsis caapi is one of a hundred species of plants in tropical America. Three of these are known for their hallucinogenic effects in Ayahuasca. These three plants are B. inebriens, B. caapi and B. quitensis. The best known of these three species and the main component of Ayahuasca is Banisteriopsis caapi. The geographical origin is not known because the plant is cultivated throughout the entire Amazonion region. The plant grows in the wild in Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Equador etc.
It is a shrub or extensive liana in tropical forests. Bark usually chocolate-brown, smooth. Leaves opposite, oval-shaped, green, marginally entire, 8-18 cm long, 3.5-8 cm wide, upper surface glaborous. Inflorescence axillary or terminal cymose panicles. Flowers 12-14 mm in diameter 2.5-3 mm long, 1.5 mm wide. Petals pink, 5-7 mm long, 4-5 mm wide. This liana is mainly propagated vegetatively because it rarely blossoms and sets seed. The fan-like shaped seeds are green when fresh, but turn brown with age.