Strychnos spinosa

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Strychnos spinosa
Strychnos spinosa tree.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Loganiaceae
Genus: Strychnos
Species: S. spinosa
Binomial name
Strychnos spinosa
Lam.

Strychnos spinosa is a tree indigenous to tropical and subtropical Africa. It produces, sweet-sour, yellow fruits, containing numerous hard brown seeds. Greenish-white flowers grow in dense heads at the ends of branches (Sep-Feb/Spring - summer). The fruits tend to appear only after good rains. It is related to the deadly Strychnos nux-vomica, which contains strychnine. The smooth, hard fruit are large and green, ripen to yellow colour. Inside the fruit are tightly packed seeds, which may be toxic, surrounded by a fleshy, brown, edible covering. Animals such as baboon, monkeys, bushpig, nyala and eland eat the fruit. The leaves are a popular food source for browsers such as duiker, kudu, impala, steenbok, nyala and elephant.

Common names: Natal orange,[1] spiny orange, green monkey orange (English), Doringklapper (Afrikaans), Morapa (NS) umKwakwa (Swaziland), Nsala (Tswana), Mutamba (Shona), Maboque (Angola), Eguni (sing)/Maguni (pl) (Namibia), iHlala (isiZulu), Kikwakwa (Kiswahili), Massala (Mozambique Portuguese), Maku (Tiv), Fole (Guinea Bissau), Ichisongole (Zambia), Kankoroba, (Mali).

Distribution[edit]

This tree can be found growing singly in well-drained soils. It is found in bushveld, riverine fringes, sand forest and coastal bush from the Eastern Cape to Kwazulu-Natal northwards to Mozambique, and inland to Swaziland, Zimbabwe, parts of Zambia, northern Botswana northern Namibia, Angola to tropical Africa, north west Madagascar and south east Madagascar at Sainte Luce Reserve. It is able to grow in semi-arid and arid lands.

Medicinal uses[edit]

The plant taken alone or in conjunction with extracts of other plants, are used by the Tiv of Nigeria for treating snakebite, increasing flow of breastmilk in lactating mothers, treatment of venereal disease and enhancing physical strength[2] A known iridoid, Sarracenin, has been isolated from the root bark of (Strychnos spinosa Lam.)[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Strychnos spinosa". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  2. ^ Tor-Anyiin T. A; Igoli J. O; Anyam J. V; et al. (April 2015). "ISOLATION AND ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF SARRACENIN FROM ROOT BARK OF (Strychnos spinosa Lam.),". J. Chem.Soc.Nigeria. 40 (1): 71–75. 
  3. ^ Tor-Anyiin T. A; Igoli J. O; Anyam J. V; et al. (April 2015). "ISOLATION AND ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF SARRACENIN FROM ROOT BARK OF (Strychnos spinosa Lam.),". J. Chem.Soc.Nigeria. 40 (1): 71–75. 

External links[edit]