Zanthoxylum coco

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Zanthoxylum coco
Fagara coco leaves.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Zanthoxylum
Species: Z. coco
Binomial name
Zanthoxylum coco
Gillies

Zanthoxylum coco (also known as Fagara coco) is an evergreen tree of the Rutaceae family, natural of Argentina and Bolivia where it grows in the wild, mostly hilly, spinniferous forests. Its natural habitat ranges the hilly forest of Sierras Pampeanas.

Description[edit]

The coco, also cochucho or smelly sauco, is usually found either in isolated groups or standing alone. It's a small to medium sized tree, ranging 6 to 8 m high. The foliage is abundant, evergreen with imparipinnate leafs that present paired spines presumably in the place of leaflets. Punctations, in pairs, on the leaflets are quite notable. Leafs have serrated margins and pinnate venation. Flowers have five petals and are arranged in panicular inflorescences. The fruit is spheric shaped, dehiscent; containing a shiny blackish seed.[1] The whole plant has a characteristic unpleasant smell; there comes "smelly sauco" as another common name.[2]

Biochemistry[edit]

Even though unused in general botanical pharmacopea, Zanthoxylum coco tissues are very rich in alkaloids. Fagarine, N-methylisocoridine, eskimminianine, α-fagarine, fagarine-2, magnoflorinne, nitidine, cheleritrinne, berberine, palmatine and candicine have been isolated from foliage and wood.[3]

Taxon synonym usage[edit]

The coco belongs to the Zanthoxylum genus. However, most local scientific articles use Fagara as the genus of choice.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stucker, G.V.: (1930), Contribución al estudio del Fagara coco, Congreso Internacional de Biología, Montevideo, Oct. 1930.
  2. ^ Fernández Rua, R.: (1933), El alcaloide de la corteza del Fagara coco: la fagaridina, Córdoba, folleto - 12 pp. y tablas.
  3. ^ Boelcke, O.: (1989) Plantas vasculares de la Argentina - Bs.As., Ed. H. Sur, 2da. reimpresión, 171 - 369 pp.
  • Hieronymus, G.: (1882), Plantae Diaphoricae Florae Argentinae - Bs. A.s, Ed. Kraft, 53 - 404 pp.
  • Domínguez, J. A.: (1928), Contribuciones a la Materia Médica Argentina, Bs. As., Ed. Peuser, 95 - 433 pp.
  • Stucker, G.V.: (1930), Contribución al estudio del Fagara coco, Congreso Internacional de Biología, Montevideo, Oct. 1930.
  • Fernández Rua, R.: (1933), El alcaloide de la corteza del Fagara coco: la fagaridina, Córdoba, folleto - 12 pp. y tablas.
  • Boelcke, O.: (1989) Plantas vasculares de la Argentina - Bs.As., Ed. H. Sur, 2da. reimpresión, 171 - 369 pp.