Paullinia cupana

Paullinia cupana
Other Names: Brazilian cocoa, Cupana, Cipo-guarana

Related To: [Sapindaceae] Longan, Akee, Lychee

Guarana seeds open naturally, like eyelids, exposing the dark seed and whitish aril.

Main Uses: Medicinal; Psychoactive

Growth Rate: Moderate

Mature Height/Spread: Guarana is a vine-like climbing shrub, capable of exceeding 30′ in ideal circumstances.

Flowering/Pollination: Small, white flowers on clustered panicles. Pollinated naturally by many small insects.



Light: Shade to part sun.

Wind: n/a

Temperature: Strictly tropical.


Diseases Prone:

Bearing Age:

Fruit: Tradition dictates that the fruits of a plant are not to be picked until the first “eye” (fruit) has opened naturally.

History/Origin: Pronounced “hwa-ran-uh.” Native to central Amazonia, which remains one of the few tropical areas where it thrives to a point of being produced on a commercial scale.

Species Observations:

Propogation: Though Brazil has outlawed the export of viable seeds, plants have nonetheless found their may into arboretums, private collections and specialty nurseries. Cuttings can be taken and rooted during active growing periods.

Container Culture:

Medicinal Uses: Guarana is primarily used as a psychoactive stimulant. It has three times the caffeine content of coffee. The caffeine is bound to tannins (an impure form of caffeine once called “guaranine”), prolonging the release of the alkaloid. The attendant alkaloids, theophylline and theobromine, also help to make the psychoactive experience different from that of coffee.

Nutritional Information:

Preparation / Food:

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