Anthocleista amplexicaulis (PROTA)

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Plant Resources of Tropical Africa
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Anthocleista amplexicaulis Baker


Protologue: Journ. Linn. Soc., Bot. 22: 506 (1887).
Family: Loganiaceae (APG: Gentianaceae)

Origin and geographic distribution

Anthocleista amplexicaulis is endemic to eastern and central Madagascar.

Uses

In Madagascar a decoction of the aerial parts or stem bark is taken to treat malaria. Anthocleista amplexicaulis is also used to treat constipation and nervousness.

Properties

Anthocleista amplexicaulis contains the secoiridoid glycosides swertiamarin, grandifloroside, methylgrandifloroside, amplexine and amplexine-1-glucoside. The leaves contain the cyclitol (+)-bornesitol.

Description

Small tree up to 15 m tall; bole up to 20 cm in diameter. Leaves opposite, simple and entire, sessile; blade obovate to oblanceolate, 7.5–90 cm × 3.5–35 cm, base usually auricled, apex rounded, papery to leathery, brittle, conspicuously pinnately veined. Inflorescence an erect terminal dichasial cyme 15–30 cm long, many-flowered; peduncle and branches greenish white. Flowers bisexual, regular; sepals 4, free, orbicular, the outer ones orbicular or broadly ovate, 4–10 mm long, the inner ones emarginate, whitish green; corolla with cylindrical tube 5–9 mm long, lobes 8–12, orbicular, broadly ovate or elliptical, 5–10 mm long, apex obtuse or rounded, spreading, violet or mauve; stamens as many as corolla lobes and alternating with them, exserted, filaments fused, anthers with a sterile acute apex; ovary superior, ovoid or oblong-ovoid, 5–6 mm × 2.5–3 mm, 4-celled, style short, stigma globose or obovoid, apically slightly notched. Fruit a globose to ovoid berry 2–3 cm × 1–2 cm, smooth and shining, acuminate, thick-walled, green, many-seeded. Seeds obliquely ovoid-globose, 2–2.5 mm × 1.5–3 mm, brown.

Other botanical information

Anthocleista comprises 14 species and occurs in tropical Africa, including Comoros and Madagascar.

Ecology

Anthocleista amplexicaulis occurs in swamp forest, from sea-level up to 1200 m altitude.

Genetic resources

Anthocleista amplexicaulis is fairly widespread in Madagascar, but there is insufficient information available to make any pertinent conclusions or recommendations concerning its genetic erosion and possible conservation measures.

Prospects

The use of Anthocleista amplexicaulis appears to be limited and only occasional in Madagascar. In view of the limited chemical and pharmacological data available and the many uses of other Anthocleista species in Africa, research into the pharmacological properties of Anthocleista amplexicaulis may prove worthwhile.

Major references

  • Debray, M., Jacquemin, H. & Razafindrambao, R., 1971. Contribution à l’inventaire des plantes médicinales de Madagascar. Travaux et Documents No 8. ORSTOM, Paris, France. 150 pp.
  • Jensen, S.R. & Schripsema, J., 2002. Chemotaxonomy and pharmacology of Gentianaceae. In: Struwe, L. & Albert, V. (Editors). Gentianaceae - Systematics and Natural History. Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom. pp. 573–631.
  • Leeuwenberg, A.J.M., 1961. The Loganiaceae of Africa. 1. Anthocleista. Acta Botanica Neerlandica 10: 1–53.
  • Leeuwenberg, A.J.M. (Editor), 1980. Angiospermae: Ordnung Gentiales. Fam. Loganiaceae. Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien. Second Edition. Band 28 b-1. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, Germany. 255 pp.

Other references

  • Leeuwenberg, A.J.M., 1984. Loganiaceae. Flore de Madagascar et des Comores, famille 167. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. 107 pp.
  • Neuwinger, H.D., 2000. African traditional medicine: a dictionary of plant use and applications. Medpharm Scientific, Stuttgart, Germany. 589 pp.
  • Rasoanaivo, P., Nicoletti, M., Multari, G., Palazzino, G. & Galeffi, C., 1994. Secoiridoids and related monoterpenes of Anthocleista amplexicaulis. Fitoterapia 65: 38–43.
  • Weber, N., 1974. Terpenoid and other constituents of Hernandia voyoni and Anthocleista amplexicaulis. Phytochemistry 13: 2006–2007.

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. Anthocleista amplexicaulis Baker. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa / Ressources végétales de l’Afrique tropicale), Wageningen, Netherlands. Accessed 24 April 2019.