Phacelurus gabonensis (PROTA)

From PlantUse English
Jump to: navigation, search
Prota logo orange.gif
Plant Resources of Tropical Africa
Introduction
List of species


General importance Fairytale bookmark gold.svgFairytale bookmark gold.svgFairytale bookmark gold.svgGood article star.svgGood article star.svg
Geographic coverage Africa Fairytale bookmark gold.svgFairytale bookmark gold.svgFairytale bookmark gold.svgFairytale bookmark gold.svgGood article star.svg
Geographic coverage World Fairytale bookmark gold.svgGood article star.svgGood article star.svgGood article star.svgGood article star.svg
Essential oil / exudate Fairytale bookmark gold.svgGood article star.svgGood article star.svgGood article star.svgGood article star.svg
Medicinal Fairytale bookmark gold.svgFairytale bookmark gold.svgGood article star.svgGood article star.svgGood article star.svg
Timber Fairytale bookmark gold.svgGood article star.svgGood article star.svgGood article star.svgGood article star.svg
Forage / feed Fairytale bookmark gold.svgGood article star.svgGood article star.svgGood article star.svgGood article star.svg
Fibre Fairytale bookmark gold.svgFairytale bookmark gold.svgFairytale bookmark gold.svgGood article star.svgGood article star.svg


Phacelurus gabonensis (Steud.) Clayton


Protologue: Kew Bull. 35(4): 817 (1981).
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae)
Chromosome number: 2n = 18, 20

Synonyms

  • Jardinea gabonensis Steud. (1854),
  • Rhytachne congoensis Hack. (1889),
  • Rhytachne gabonensis (Steud.) Hack. (1889),
  • Jardinea congoensis (Hack.) Franch. (1895),
  • Rottboellia gabonensis (Steud.) Roberty (1960),
  • Phacelurus congoensis (Hack.) Zon (1992).

Origin and geographic distribution

Phacelurus gabonensis is distributed from Ghana eastward to Sudan and southward to Zambia and Angola. It is occasionally planted.

Uses

The stems are commonly used for making baskets, mats, screens, fish traps, grain containers and covers. In Nigeria they are used for thatching, fencing and for making beehive frameworks which are plastered with a filler. In the Central African Republic the stems are used for making enclosures around houses, as splints in case of bone fractures and as arrow shafts. Root pieces are worn by women as a perfume. Young plants are browsed. In Cameroon Phacelurus gabonensis is planted to mark field boundaries.

In traditional medicine in the Central African Republic root decoctions are given to children with colic and taken for the treatment of blennorrhoea. The fresh root is pulped to a mash which is applied as a poultice on the stomach for the treatment of intestinal pain. Sap from pounded roots is put up the nostrils to stop nose bleeding.

Properties

The root is fragrant.

Botany

Robust, tufted, perennial grass with cane-like stems up to 3.5 m tall. Leaves simple; basal sheath broad and papery but not flabellate; ligule a ciliate membrane; blade linear, up to 60 cm × 12 mm, flat or loosely inrolled. Inflorescence terminal, up to 35 cm long, consisting of 4–14 digitate racemes borne along a central axis up to 15 cm long; racemes 15–25(–30) cm long, occasionally some of them branched; internodes and pedicels linear, subclavate upwards, smooth or scabrid. Spikelets in pairs, 1 sessile and 1 pedicelled; sessile spikelet fertile, 2-flowered, lanceolate, dorsally compresssed, 4–8 mm long, yellowish-green or purplish, callus truncate, with a short central peg, glumes 2, lower glume lanceolate, 4–8 mm long, acuminate to apiculate or mucronate at the apex, chartaceous, flat across the back, faintly to prominently veined, upper glume lanceolate, lower floret male or sterile, with hyaline lemma and without palea, upper floret bisexual, with lanceolate, hyaline, awnless lemma and hyaline palea, lodicules 2, stamens 3, stigmas 2; pedicelled spikelet sterile, often smaller than sessile one or even almost suppressed, rigidly apiculate at the apex, with a short callus, glumes subequal, lemmas 0–2. Fruit a caryopsis (grain), oblong, dorsally compressed.

In Benin Phacelurus gabonensis flowers in August–October.

Phacelurus comprises c. 10 species, distributed in the Old World tropics and subtropics.

Ecology

Phacelurus gabonensis occurs from sea level up to 1100 m altitude in swampy locations, seasonally wet grassland and forest edges, and along streams.

Management

Stems are usually harvested when 2–3 years old. The harvested stems are dried in the sun, after which they may be cut in pieces for the manufacture of baskets and other woven items.

Genetic resources

In view of its wide distribution Phacelurus gabonensis is unlikely to be threatened with genetic erosion.

Prospects

Phacelurus gabonensis is a useful local source of material for weaving and thatching. Although it is recorded to be planted, which indicates that it is valued, very little information is available on its properties and management practices.

Major references

  • Burkill, H.M., 1994. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 2, Families E–I. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 636 pp.
  • Clayton, W.D., Vorontsova, M.S., Harman, K.T. & Williamson, H., 2002–. GrassBase - the online world grass flora. [Internet] Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, United Kingdom.http://www.kew.org/ data/grasses-db/. March 2011.
  • Cope, T.A., 2002. Gramineae, tribe Andropogoneae. In: Pope, G.V. & Martins, E.S. (Editors). Flora Zambesiaca. Volume 10, part 4. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 190 pp.
  • Koechlin, J., 1962. Graminées. Flore du Gabon. Volume 5. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. 292 pp.
  • Vergiat, A.M., 1970. Plantes magiques et médicinales des féticheurs de l’Oubangui (Région de Bangui). (Suite). Journal d’Agriculture Tropicale et de Botanique Appliquée 17(1–4): 60–91.

Other references

  • Aiyedun, K.D. & Oyerinde, S.O., 1998. Traditional architecture among rural communities in Niger State: an ethnoarchaeological study. Nyame Akuma 49: 43–54.
  • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (Editors), 2006. Flore analytique du Bénin. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands. 1034 pp.
  • Apema, A.K., 1995. Synthèse phytosociologique des végétations aquatique et semi-aquatique du Zaïre. Thèse de Doctorat, Institut de Botanique, Laboratoire de Botanique systématique et de Phytosociologie, ULB, Bruxelles, Belgium. 723 pp.
  • Bikoumou, J.S., 1998. Contribution à l’étude de la végétation des sols hydromorphes du site du Lac Télé (Sous-préfecture d’Eéna, Préfecture de la Likouala). Rapport de stage de fin de formation, Université Marien Ngouabi, Brazzaville, Congo. 73 pp.
  • Boutrais, J., 1987. Mbozo-Wazan: Peul et montagnards au nord du Cameroun. Atlas des structures agraires au sud du Sahara No 22. ORSTOM, Paris, France. 154 pp.
  • Clayton, W.D., 1972. Gramineae. In: Hepper, F.N. (Editor). Flora of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 3, part 2. pp. 277–574.
  • Clayton, W.D. & Renvoize, S.A., 1982. Gramineae (part 3). In: Polhill, R.M. (Editor). Flora of Tropical East Africa. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, Netherlands. pp. 451–898.
  • Dujardin, M., 1978. Chromosome numbers of some tropical African grasses from western Zaire. Canadian Journal of Botany 56(17): 2138–2152.
  • Germain, R., 1965. Les biotopes alluvionnaires herbeux et les savanes intercalaires du Congo équatorial. Mémoires de l’Academie Royale des Sciences d’Outre-Mer, Classe des Sciences naturelles et medicales, Nouvelle Série 15(4): 1–399.
  • van der Zon, A.P.M., 1992. Graminées du Cameroun. Volume 2, Flore. Wageningen Agricultural University Papers 92–1. Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen, Netherlands. 557 pp.

Author(s)

  • N.S. Alvarez Cruz, Unidad de Medio Ambiente, Delegación del CITMA, Cor. Legón 268 / Henry Reeves y Carlos Roloff, Sancti Spiritus C.P. 60100, Cuba

Correct citation of this article

Alvarez Cruz, N.S., 2011. Phacelurus gabonensis (Steud.) Clayton. [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 7 March 2020.