Mitragyna speciosa genetics

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What’s up with the strains?

Have you ever seen a kratom plant sold with a color in front of its name? Or a plant with the title, Maeng Da? Why doesn’t My Trees of Life have anything like that on our menu? 


We all see the very many names of kratom products available to us. Powders like Bali, Borneo, Maeng Da, etc. And then on top of that, these names being divided by color. When people see all the names of the different products, many will automatically assume that each one is represented by a specific plant. For example, when they have Red Maeng Da Kratom powder, they assume that there is a tree called “Red Maeng Da”. This is not the case. Nearly all kratom comes from Indonesian trees. While vein color of the leaves can be a factor, most of the time it plays no role at all in the final products. The color label we see in a kratom product’s name is a description of the curing/drying process. Whites are dried in the sun; Greens are normally dried in the dark; Reds are moistened for a period of time until the leaf color turns dark, then they are put out into the sun to dry. The Indonesian farmer then has his 3 main ingredients: White, Green and Red. With these 3 ingredients, he then makes the blends we all enjoy here in the states. 


There is another “ingredient” that is essential to a specific type of kratom blend: Horned leaves. These unique looking leaves that will sometimes show in the trees will be harvested and separated from the rest, and they will be worked into the Meang Da blends (the blend called Horn is another blend that requires these leaves, although the resulting blend is slightly different than Maeng Da). It is what defines Maeng Da kratom. Many people are surprised to hear this, as there has been a myth floating around the kratom community for some time that there is a literally a Maeng Da plant one can acquire, which is completely false. 


This is the reason why you will only see the names of countries on our plant menu. An honest, live kratom plant menu should only show names of regions, as this should be the only time you will find genetic variation within the species. 


So why do some people have a kratom plant they market as Maeng Da? Rifat Thai is commonly known as a great go-to plant for those who love Maeng Da, so unfortunately years ago some people on Ebay bagan labeling their Rifat plants as “Maeng Da”. And there were many others who called it a “Red Vein Thai”, a misleading term as a kratom plant cannot be labeled with a color (only leaves cured for Red can be called such), as described above. The result of those sales is there is obviously people out there who own Rifat plants, and honestly believe that they are Maeng Da and/or “Red Vein”. Therefore, there is no deceptive reason they then sell cuttings labeled as such; the reason is only ignorance (although the original, initial mislabeling was in fact, deception). This is why it is very important that people learn the truth about Mitragyna speciosa genetics.