A shrub from the coffee family, Rubiaceae, Psychotria alba is a perennial bush which grows up to 5 m tall and 2 m wide. It is known primarily as a principle admixture to the ayahuasca brew used in South and Central America. Psychotria Alba plants have been used as medicine in the Amazon region for healing rituals and shamanic experiences since pre-Columbian times.
Psychotria alba is identifiable from Psychotria viridis by the leaf, the margins of which end before the petiole (leaf stem) connects with the branch, as opposed to Psychotria viridis in which the leaf margins continue down the petiole to meet the branch. Also, the flowers of Psychotria alba are white as compared to the greenish-tinted flowers of Psychotria viridis.