Campylostemon laurentii (PROTA)

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Plant Resources of Tropical Africa
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Campylostemon laurentii De Wild.

Protologue: Miss. Ém. Laurent 1: 240 (1906).
Family: Celastraceae (Hippocrateaceae)

Origin and geographic distribution

Campylostemon laurentii is distributed in Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Gabon, Congo, DR Congo and Cabinda (Angola), as well as in Uganda and Tanzania.


In DR Congo the stems of Campylostemon laurentii are used for tying. The stem is specifically used as a belt to assist in climbing oil palms (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) for harvesting.


Woody liana up to 35 m tall; old main stem angular, up to 25 cm in diameter; bark warty, shiny; young branches opposite, at right angle with stem, tips often enrolled tendril-like, glabrous. Leaves opposite, simple; stipules very small, early caducous; petiole 5–18 mm long; blade ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 5–23 cm × 2.5–13 cm, rounded at base, acuminate to mucronate at tip, margin dentate, 5–9 pairs of secondary veins, veins pale. Inflorescence an axillary or pseudo-terminal panicle consisting of paired cymes, dense, glabrous; peduncle of cymes 1–6 cm long, branched 3–8 times. Flowers bisexual, crowded in inflorescence, red or pink turning ochre-yellow to whitish, 5–10 mm in diameter; pedicel 2–5 mm long; sepals 5, ovate, unequal, up to 2 mm × 2 mm; petals 5, free, spatulate, 3–4.5 mm × 1.5–2 mm; stamens 5, filaments curved inward, fused at base; ovary 3-celled, style 3-lobed, very short. Fruit consisting of (up to) 3 ovate-lanceolate, flat mericarps 6–9 cm × 3.5–4 cm, each dehiscent with 2 valves and c. 12-seeded. Seeds linear, with an ovate, glabrous wing c. 5 cm long. Seedling with hypogeal germination.

Campylostemon comprises about 9 species. As the description of several species is based on scanty collections and geographic distribution is not continuous, a revision is desirable based on a larger number of herbarium specimens.


Campylostemon laurentii occurs up to 1000 m altitude in a wide variety of habitats such as forest edges, rocky soils, xerophyllous scrub, and in gallery, dry and swampy forests.

Genetic resources

In view of its wide distribution and variety of habitats, Campylostemon laurentii is not threatened with genetic erosion.


The plant will probably remain of local importance only.

Major references

  • Hallé, N., 1962. Monographie des Hippocratéacées d'Afrique occidentale. Mémoires de l' Institut Francais d'Afrique Noire 64: 1–245.
  • Wilczek, R., 1960. Celastraceae. In: Robyns, W., Staner, P., Demaret, F., Germain, R., Gilbert, G., Hauman, L., Homès, M., Jurion, F., Lebrun, J., Vanden Abeele, M. & Boutique, R. (Editors). Flore du Congo belge et du Ruanda-Urundi. Spermatophytes. Volume 9. Institut National pour l’Étude Agronomique du Congo belge, Brussels, Belgium. pp. 113–132.

Other references

  • Hallé, N., 1986. Celastraceae, 2ème partie: Hippocrateoideae. Flore du Gabon. Volume 29. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. 287 pp.
  • Hawthorne, W. & Jongkind, C., 2006. Woody plants of western African forests: a guide to the forest trees, shrubs and lianes from Senegal to Ghana. Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, United Kingdom. 1023 pp.
  • Lebrun, J.P. & Stork, A.L., 2010. Tropical flowering plants; ecology and distribution. Volume 5: Buxaceae-Simaroubaceae. Editions des Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la ville de Genève, Switzerland. 415 pp.
  • Loesener, T., 1937. Celastraceae novae vel melius cognoscendae III. Notizblatt des botanischen Gartens und Museums zu Berlin-Dahlem 13(120): 564–581.
  • Mildbraed, J., 1934. Neue und seltene Arten aus Ostafrika (Tanganyika-Territ. Mandat) V. Notizblatt des botanischen Gartens und Museums zu Berlin-Dahlem 11(110): 1058–1092.
  • Robson, N.K.B., Hallé, N., Mathew, B. & Blakelock, R., 1994. Celastraceae. In: Polhill, R.M. (Editor). Flora of Tropical East Africa. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, Netherlands. 78 pp.


  • C.H. Bosch, PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

Correct citation of this article

Bosch, C.H., 2011. Campylostemon laurentii De Wild. [Internet] Record from PROTA4U. Brink, M. & Achigan-Dako, E.G. (Editors). PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa / Ressources végétales de l’Afrique tropicale), Wageningen, Netherlands. <>.

Accessed 6 March 2020.