SHANIN (Petunia violacea) is one of the most recently reported hallucinogens. It is taken by the Indians in Ecuador to induce the sensation of flight. Although an alkaloid of unknown identity has been reported from this species of petunia, phytochemical investigation of petunias is urgently needed.
Some 40 species of petunias grow in Sauth America and in warmer parts of North America. Members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae, they are closely allied to the genus Nicotiana (tobacco). Petunia violacea as well as other species are horticulturally important. Cultivated varieties, with their attractive, funnel-shaped blooms, are popular garden flowers that bloom profusely throughout the summer months.