Lonchocarpus laxiflorus

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Lonchocarpus laxiflorus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Lonchocarpus
Species: L. laxiflorus
Binomial name
Lonchocarpus laxiflorus
Guill. & Perr.

Lonchocarpus philenoptera Benth.

Lonchocarpus laxiflorus is a species of legume in the Fabaceae family. The tree grows to 4–8 meters in height, has grey or yellowish bark and compound leaves. New leaves are accompanied by purple flowers on multi-branched panicles. The fruit is a glabrous papery pod, usually containing one seed. L. laxiflorus is widely distributed in West Africa, Central Africa, the African Great Lakes, and Northeast Africa. It is found in savanna woodlands and dry forested areas, particularly fringing forest near water sources.[1]

Human use[edit]

L. laxiflorus is used across its range for traditional medicine. These uses include:

Other uses of L. laxiflorus include applying a lotion with a decoction to the skin to treat venereal disease, constipation in children, skin diseases, sterility (insufficient semen).[1]

Chemistry and toxicology[edit]

Skeletal formula of lonchocarpane (R=OMe) or laxiflorane (R=H)

L. laxiflorus has been little studied, though many Lonchocarpus species contain rotenoids, tannins, flavonoids, and isoflavonoids. One study extracted several new compounds from the bark: two isoflavanes (lonchocarpane and laxiflorane) and two pterocarpanes (philonopterane and 9-O-methyl derivative).[1]

Nothing specific is known about the toxicology of L. laxiflorus, though several Lonchocarpus species are known to cause severe poisoning symptoms.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Hans Dieter Neuwinger. African ethnobotany: poisons and drugs : chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, CRC Press, 1996, ISBN 978-3-8261-0077-2, 682-683
  2. ^ Behrend, Heike (1999). Alice Lakwena & the Holy Spirit: War in Northern Uganda 1986-97. Oxford: James Currey. ISBN 9970-02-197-4. , 40-41
  3. ^ Reference HO 08 in Prelude Medicinal Plants Database, for Okello J., P.Ssegawa. "Medicinal plants used by communities of Ngai Subcounty, Apac District, northern Uganda." African Journal of Ecology, Volume 45 (Suppl.1), pp. 76 - 83 (2007)

External links[edit]