Strychnos boonei (PROTA)

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Plant Resources of Tropical Africa
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Strychnos boonei De Wild.


Protologue: Bull. Jard. Bot. Etat 5: 45 (1915).
Family: Loganiaceae

Origin and geographic distribution

Strychnos boonei is distributed from Nigeria eastward through northern Central Africa to Uganda.

Uses

In Congo the stems are used for reinforcing the sides of baskets.

Properties

The wood is pale yellow. The root bark and stem bark contain alkaloids. Stem bark extracts showed muscle-relaxant effects and tonic convulsion. The leaf is not bitter when chewed.

Botany

Large liana up to 100 m long, unarmed; stem 3–10 cm in diameter, sometimes more; bark smooth, pale brown, often inconspicuously lenticellate; branches pale grey-brown, not lenticellate, young branchlets brown-puberulous; tendrils solitary, in the axils of small bracts. Leaves decussate, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole 2–7 mm long, sparsely hairy; blade elliptical, ovate or narrowly obovate, 2.5–10 cm × 1–4.5 cm, base cuneate, rounded or sometimes subcordate, apex acuminate, papery to thinly leathery, glabrous above, sparsely brown-hairy at base below, medium to dark green above, paler below, 3-veined from the base. Inflorescence an axillary or terminal cyme, 1.5–3 cm long, lax, spreading, branched, thinly brown-hairy, few-flowered; bracts triangular to ovate, small. Flowers bisexual, regular, 5-merous, sweet-scented, bracteolate; sepals fused at base, broadly ovate to triangular, 1–1.5 mm long; corolla tube 1–2 mm long, glabrous, lobes oblong, 2.5–3 mm long, acute, recurved, white or creamy, densely hairy within; stamens inserted at the mouth of the corolla tube, exserted; ovary superior, globose to ovoid, c. 1 mm long, 2-celled, style c. 2.5 mm long, stigma capitate. Fruit an ellipsoid to subglobose berry c. 2.5 cm in diameter, soft, dark purple, 1-seeded. Seeds ellipsoid, slightly flattened, c. 14 mm × 7–11 mm × 4–9 mm.

Strychnos comprises about 200 species: about 60 species in Asia, 65 in America and 75 in Africa.

Ecology

Strychnos boonei occurs from sea-level up to 1300 m altitude in rainforest, semi-deciduous forest and secondary forest, often along watercourses.

Genetic resources

In view of its wide distribution Strychnos boonei seems not threatened with genetic erosion.

Prospects

Strychnos boonei will remain of occasional local use only.

Major references

  • Bruce, E.A. & Lewis, J., 1960. Loganiaceae. In: Hubbard, C.E. & Milne-Redhead, E. (Editors). Flora of Tropical East Africa. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. 47 pp.
  • 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.
  • Leeuwenberg, A.J.M., 1969. The Loganiaceae of Africa 8. Strychnos 3. Revision of the African species with notes on the extra-African. Mededelingen Landbouwhogeschool Wageningen 69–1. Wageningen, Netherlands. 316 pp.
  • Leeuwenberg, A.J.M., 1972. Loganiaceae. Flore du Cameroun. Volume 12. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. 153 pp.

Other references

  • Leeuwenberg, A.J.M. & Bamps, P., 1979. Loganiaceae. In: Bamps, P. (Editor). Flore d’Afrique centrale. Spermatophytes. Jardin botanique national de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium. 149 pp.
  • Ohiri, F.C., Verpoorte, R. & Baerheim Svendsen, A., 1983. The African Strychnos species and their alkaloids: a review. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 9(2–3): 167–223.
  • Onochie, C.F.A. & Leeuwenberg, A.J.M., 1963. Loganiaceae. In: Hepper, F.N. (Editor). Flora of West Tropical Africa. Volume 2. 2nd Edition. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. pp. 34–47.

Author(s)

  • M. Brink, PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

Correct citation of this article

Brink, M., 2011. Strychnos boonei 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. <http://www.prota4u.org/search.asp>.

Accessed 8 March 2020.