Kosteletzkya grantii (PROTA)

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Plant Resources of Tropical Africa
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Kosteletzkya grantii (Mast.) Garcke


Protologue: Linnaea 43: 53 (1880).
Family: Malvaceae

Synonyms

  • Hibiscus grantii Mast. (1868),
  • Kosteletzkya chevalieri Hochr. (1906),
  • Hibiscus adenosiphon Ulbr. (1917),
  • Hibiscus vilhenae Cavaco (1954).

Origin and geographic distribution

Kosteletzkya grantii is distributed from Senegal and Guinea Bissau eastward to Sudan and Kenya and southward to southern DR Congo and northern Angola.

Uses

The bark of Kosteletzkya grantii yields a long fibre used for making cordage. In DR Congo the leaves and fruits are reportedly eaten as vegetables, although they are covered with irritant hairs. In the Central African Republic a decoction of the root is believed to promote pregnancy. In Uganda the plant is used in the treatment of diarrhoea caused by food allergy.

Production and international trade

Kosteletzkya grantii is only used and traded locally.

Properties

The irritant hairs in dried leaves and fruits can cause damage to the eyes and choking. Leaves from Uganda had a crude protein content of 19.6 g per 100 g dry matter.

Botany

Coarse, perennial herb or subshrub, erect or ascending, (0.5–)1–2.5(–3) m tall, with taproot or thickened, fibrous roots; stems with stiff, stellate hairs. Leaves alternate; stipules linear or linear-subulate, 5–12 mm long; petiole up to 5.5 cm long; blade ovate to orbicular, the lower ones mostly broadly transversely ovate, 4–12 cm × 2.5–11.5 cm, base cordate to truncate, lower and middle leaves mostly 3-lobed or 3-angular, apex acute to acuminate, margin with rounded or pointed teeth, upper surface rough, lower surface puberulent and more densely rough hairy. Inflorescences axillary or terminal glomerules or spike-like racemes with usually nearly sessile flowers. Flowers regular, bisexual; pedicel 1–7 mm long, densely short hairy; epicalyx broadly funnel-shaped, of 7–13 thin segments, unequal, 4–13 mm long; calyx funnel-shaped to cup-shaped, 6.5–9 mm long, with 5 triangular, pointed lobes; petals 5, obliquely obovate, 18–26 mm × 7–16 mm, pink, very rarely white; stamens merged into a 5-toothed column 12–21 mm long, anthers 25–40; ovary superior, 5-celled, style 5-branched, branches exserted, 1.5–4 mm long, pink, stigmas darker pink. Fruit a 5-celled, 5-angular capsule 8–9.5 mm in diameter, brown to yellowish brown, partly embraced by the slightly enlarged calyx, stellate and glandular hairy, valves 5, opening early, 1-seeded. Seed narrowly kidney-shaped to obovate, 3–4 mm long, brown, glabrous, with pale, slightly raised, concentric lines.

The genus Kosteletzkya comprises 17 species in tropical Africa, northern Latin America and the Philippines, and one species extending into temperate coastal areas of the United States, Europe and western Asia. They are characterized by a line of hairs running from one side of the leaf-base down to the node below it.

Kosteletzkya stellata Hutch. & Dalziel is also a good source of bast fibre. It is an erect or climbing shrub up to 4 m tall with 5-angled leaves and pink flowers about 2 cm in diameter; it occurs from Ghana to southern Nigeria.

Ecology

Kosteletzkya grantii occurs at 400–2400 m altitude in grassland, open savanna, woodland, clearings and roadsides, and as a weed in pastures and cultivated fields. It grows on sandy and rocky soils.

Management

Stems harvested for fibre are cut into 60 cm long pieces and the outer layers are scraped off. They are then retted for 2–3 days to release the fibre which is cleaned and dried.

Genetic resources

Kosteletzkya grantii is widespread and sometimes weedy. There are no indications that it is at risk of genetic erosion.

Prospects

Too little is known of the properties of the fibre of Kosteletzkya grantii to assess its prospects. It is recommended to evaluate the qualities of the fibre and the possibilities of growing Kosteletzkya grantii as a crop.

Major references

  • Anokbonggo, W.W., Odoi-Adome, R. & Oluju, P.M., 1990. Traditional methods in management of diarrhoeal diseases in Uganda. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 66(3): 359–363.
  • Burkill, H.M., 1995. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 3, Families J–L. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 857 pp.
  • Friis, I. & Vollesen, K., 1998. Flora of the Sudan-Uganda border area east of the Nile. I. Catalogue of vascular plants, 1st part. Biologiske Skrifter No 51:1. The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Copenhagen, Denmark. 388 pp.
  • Verdcourt, B. & Mwachala, G.M., 2009. Malvaceae. In: Beentje, H.J. & Ghazanfar, S.A. (Editors). Flora of Tropical East Africa. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 169 pp.
  • Vergiat, A.M., 1970. Plantes magiques et médicinales des féticheurs de l’Oubangui (Région de Bangui). (Fin). Journal d’Agriculture Tropicale et de Botanique Appliquée 17: 295–339.

Other references

  • Chevalier, A., 1951. Plantes à fibres exploitées au Congo belge et dans le bassin du Niari (A.E.F.). Revue Internationale de Botanique Appliquée et d’Agriculture Tropicale 33(2): 441–444.
  • Hutchinson, J. & Dalziel, J.M., 1928. Tropical African plants: IV. Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information Kew 1928(7): 296–301.
  • Irvine, F.R., 1961. Woody plants of Ghana, with special reference to their uses. Oxford University Press, London, United Kingdom. 868 pp.
  • Keay, R.W.J., 1958. Malvaceae. In: Keay, R.W.J. (Editor). Flora of West Tropical Africa. Volume 1, part 2. 2nd Edition. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. pp. 335–350.
  • Rothman, J.M., Dierenfeld, E.S., Molina, D.O., Shaw, A.V., Hintz, H.D.F. & Pell, A.N., 2006. Nutritional chemistry of foods eaten by gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. American Journal of Primatology 68: 675–691.
  • Vergiat, A.M., 1970. Plantes magiques et médicinales des féticheurs de l’Oubangui (Région de Bangui). (Fin). Journal d’Agriculture Tropicale et de Botanique Appliquée 17: 295–339.

Author(s)

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

Correct citation of this article

Oyen, L.P.A., 2011. Kosteletzkya grantii (Mast.) Garcke. [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. <http://www.prota4u.org/search.asp>.

Accessed 30 November 2020.