Androsiphonia adenostegia (PROTA)

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Androsiphonia adenostegia Stapf


Protologue: Journ. Linn. Soc., Bot. 37: 101 (1905).
Family: Passifloraceae

Origin and geographic distribution

Androsiphonia adenostegia occurs in West Africa from Sierra Leone east to Ghana.

Uses

In Liberia and Ghana the leaves are mixed with palm oil and applied to the head to kill lice. The leaves are mixed with lime juice (Citrus aurantifolia (Christm. & Panzer) Swingle) and used to treat crab louse. In Liberia twigs are used as chewsticks.

Properties

Androsiphonia adenostegia contains the cyanogenic glycosides tetraphyllin B, volkenin and their possible biosynthetic precursor the nonprotein amino acid L-cyclopentenylglycine, a potent inhibitor of valine and isoleucine utilization in bacteria. Androsiphonia adenostegia also contains saponin derivates.

Description

Shrub or small tree up to 6 m tall. Leaves alternate, simple; stipules absent; petiole 8–25 mm long; blade oblong to elliptical, 12–25 cm × 4–7 cm, base with two large black glands, one at each side of the midrib, apex acuminate to acute, margin toothed, papery, slightly hairy when young, later glabrous. Inflorescence a terminal panicle, sometimes also axillary, few- to many-flowered; bracts leafy, glandular. Flowers bisexual, regular, 5-merous, c. 2.5 cm in diameter; sepals fused at base, ovate to elliptical, hairy; petals inserted at the base of the sepals, similar to the sepals, greyish green; corona emerging from the base of the calyx, deeply divided, segments broadly linear; stamens inserted at the base of the ovary, forming an ovoid tube up to 3 mm long, filaments c. 5 mm long, anthers oblong; ovary superior, ellipsoid, c. 1 mm long, 1-celled, styles 3, slender, c. 6 mm long, stigmas head-shaped. Fruit a leathery, globose berry 2–3 cm long, apex acuminate, yellow to orange when ripe, several-seeded. Seeds with pitted wall, surrounded by pulpy aril.

Other botanical information

Androsiphonia comprises a single species.

Ecology

Androsiphonia adenostegia occurs in dense evergreen humid forest.

Genetic resources

As Androsiphonia adenostegia only occurs in evergreen forest, it might be threatened by genetic erosion because of habitat loss, although it does not seem to be endangered yet.

Prospects

In view of the biological importance of the active substances found in Androsiphonia adenostegia, further research into the properties may prove worthwhile, although these substances also occur in several better-known Passiflora spp.

Major references

  • Abbiw, D.K., 1990. Useful plants of Ghana: West African uses of wild and cultivated plants. Intermediate Technology Publications, London and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 337 pp.
  • Andersen, L., Nielsen, B. & Jaroszewski, J.W., 2000. Synthesis of epimers of L-cyclopentenylglycine using enzymatic resolution. Chirality 12(9): 665–669.
  • Bernhard, A., 1999. Flower structure, development, and systematics in Passifloraceae and in Abatia (Flacourtiaceae). International Journal of Plant Science 160(1): 135–150.
  • Burkill, H.M., 1997. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 4, Families M–R. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 969 pp.
  • Clausen, V., Wellendorph, P., Ekpe, P. & Jaroszewski, J.W., 2001. Tetraphyllin B, volkenin and cyclopentenylglycine in Androsiphonia adenostegia. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 29(3): 317–319.

Other references

  • Hedberg, I., 1979. Possibilities and needs for conservation of plant species and vegetation in Africa. In Hedberg, I. (Editor). Systematic botany, plant utilization and biosphere conservation. Almquist & Wiksell International, Stockholm, Sweden. pp. 83–104.
  • Keay, R.W.J., 1954. Passifloraceae. In: Keay, R.W.J. (Editor). Flora of West Tropical Africa. Volume 1, part 1. 2nd Edition. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. pp. 199–203.
  • Neuwinger, H.D., 2000. African traditional medicine: a dictionary of plant use and applications. Medpharm Scientific, Stuttgart, Germany. 589 pp.

Author(s)

  • A. de Ruijter, PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

Correct citation of this article

de Ruijter, A., 2007. Androsiphonia adenostegia Stapf. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa / Ressources végétales de l’Afrique tropicale), Wageningen, Netherlands. Accessed 11 February 2019.