Also known as derris powder and tuba root, it was formerly used as an organicinsecticide used to control pests on crops such as peas. However, due to studies revealing its extreme toxicity, as well as due to the concentration level of rotenone to which the powder is often refined, experts in ecological and organic growing no longer consider it ecologically sound. Rotenone is still sold in the U.S., however.
Derris root, when crushed, releases rotenone. Some native residents of Fiji and New Guinea practice a form of fishing in which they crush the roots and throw them into the water. The stunned or killed fish float to the surface where they can be easily reached. In Indonesia these roots are called tuba.
^Fryer, J.C.F et al. (February 1923). "A Quantitative Study Of The Insecticidal Properties Of Derris Elliptica (Tuba Root)". Annals of Applied Biology (Warwick, England: Association of Applied Biologists) 10 (1): 18. doi:10.1111/j.1744-7348.1923.tb05651.x.