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Useful Tropical Plants

Brunfelsia uniflora

(Pohl) D.Don

Solanaceae

+ Synonyms

Brunfelsia hopeana (Hook.) Benth.

Franciscea hopeana Hook.

Franciscea uniflora Pohl.

Common Name: Manacá

Brunfelsia uniflora
Cultivated plant in the Kunming Botanical Garden, Kunming, Yunnan, China
Photograph by: Daderot
Public domain
Brunfelsia uniflora Brunfelsia uniflora

General Information

Manacá is a medium-sized, evergreen shrub or small tree with diffuse, spreading branches; it usually grows 0.5 - 3 metres tall, but there are reports of plants up to 8 metres[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
,
929
Title
A Revision of the South American Species of Brunfelsia (Solanaceae)
Publication
Fieldiana Botany New Series No. 39
Author
Plowman T.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; Chicago.
Year
1998
ISBN
0015-0746
Description
A botanical journal, this edition is devoted entirely to the revision of the genus Brunfelsia in S. America. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The plant has a long history of indigenous use as a medicinal plant and is still often used in modern herbalism[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
]. It is often harvested from the wild for medicinal use and is also cultivated as an ornamental tree in the tropics, being valued especially for its highly-fragrant, pretty, white and purple flowers[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].

Known Hazards

The whole plant contains a very poisonous alkaloid called manacine[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. It is similar to strychnine in its action[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
].
A root extract is used as a constituent of poison on arrows[
563
Title
Botanical Museum Leaflets Vol 25
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Botanical Museum; Massachusetts.
Year
1977
ISBN
 
Description
Contains an article on medicinal and poisonous plants in the Amazon. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
929
Title
A Revision of the South American Species of Brunfelsia (Solanaceae)
Publication
Fieldiana Botany New Series No. 39
Author
Plowman T.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; Chicago.
Year
1998
ISBN
0015-0746
Description
A botanical journal, this edition is devoted entirely to the revision of the genus Brunfelsia in S. America. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela.

Habitat

Found in a range of habitats including wet, montane rain forests; the drier atlantic rain forest; coastal rain forest; and savannahs; growing in a range of different soil types at elevations from sea level to 3,300 metres[
929
Title
A Revision of the South American Species of Brunfelsia (Solanaceae)
Publication
Fieldiana Botany New Series No. 39
Author
Plowman T.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; Chicago.
Year
1998
ISBN
0015-0746
Description
A botanical journal, this edition is devoted entirely to the revision of the genus Brunfelsia in S. America. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Shrub
Height2.50 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details


Grows best in a position with partial shade - when growing in full sun the foliage may scorch and drop[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Prefers a loamy, fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Many species in this genus grow wild in alkaline soils and, in non-alkaline soils, all members of the genus can benefit from the addition of some ground limestone[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

Manacá has a long history of traditional use in the Amazon. Many of these uses were adopted by the Europeans when they arrived in S. America and the plant is often used in modern herbalism[
563
Title
Botanical Museum Leaflets Vol 25
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Botanical Museum; Massachusetts.
Year
1977
ISBN
 
Description
Contains an article on medicinal and poisonous plants in the Amazon. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Caution is advised, however, see the notes above on toxicity[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Modern research has shown that the plant contains a range of active compounds such as benzenoids, terpenes, alkaloids, lactones, and lipids[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
The root, which is the main part of the plant for medicinal use, contains coumarins, alkaloids, lignans and sapogenins[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
]. Active constituents include two alkaloids, manaceine and manacine, as well as scopoletin and aesculetin (types of coumarins)[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
Manaceine and manacine are thought to be responsible for stimulating the lymphatic system, while aesculetin has demonstrated pain-relieving, liver detoxification, and anti-inflammatory activities[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
Scopoletin, which is found in significant quantities in the root, is a well-known phytochemical that has demonstrated analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antitumor, cancer-preventive, antifungal, and antispasmodic activity[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].

The dried root is considered to be abortifacient, alterative, topical anaesthetic, antirheumatic, blood cleanser, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, laxative, narcotic, purgative and is said to stimulate the lymphatic system[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
]. It is used in the treatment of arthritis, scrofula, rheumatism and syphilis[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. In Brazil, the whole plant is used[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
].
Traditionally, the root is prepared into a tincture with alcohol for the treatment of rheumatism and venereal disease[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
,
563
Title
Botanical Museum Leaflets Vol 25
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Botanical Museum; Massachusetts.
Year
1977
ISBN
 
Description
Contains an article on medicinal and poisonous plants in the Amazon. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. A decoction of the root is used to treat chills, adult fevers, arthritis and rheumatism, back pain, common colds, bronchitis, lung disease and tuberculosis and snakebite, whilst it is also used as an enema for treating kidney disorders and ulcers[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].

The leaves are considered to have similar properties to the roots, but to be less active pharmacologically. They are normally only used when fresh[
563
Title
Botanical Museum Leaflets Vol 25
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Botanical Museum; Massachusetts.
Year
1977
ISBN
 
Description
Contains an article on medicinal and poisonous plants in the Amazon. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. A tincture of the leaves is used to treat snake bites, whilst a poultice of the leaves is also applied topically[
563
Title
Botanical Museum Leaflets Vol 25
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Botanical Museum; Massachusetts.
Year
1977
ISBN
 
Description
Contains an article on medicinal and poisonous plants in the Amazon. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
A decoction of leaves is applied externally as a topical pain reliever and for treating arthritis and rheumatism[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
]. A poultice of the leaves is applied topically as a treatment for skin disorders, including eczema and syphilitic ulcers[
563
Title
Botanical Museum Leaflets Vol 25
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Botanical Museum; Massachusetts.
Year
1977
ISBN
 
Description
Contains an article on medicinal and poisonous plants in the Amazon. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

A sacred and spiritual plant in the Amazon, where it is used by shamans and curanderos in the potion ayahuasca (a sacred hallucinogen), in special initiation ceremonies, and for bad luck[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].

Other Uses

An essential oil, used in perfumery, is obtained from the flowers[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
,
563
Title
Botanical Museum Leaflets Vol 25
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Botanical Museum; Massachusetts.
Year
1977
ISBN
 
Description
Contains an article on medicinal and poisonous plants in the Amazon. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

Seed - it has a short period of viability and does not tolerate dessication. Sown fresh, it germinates within 2 - 4 weeks[
929
Title
A Revision of the South American Species of Brunfelsia (Solanaceae)
Publication
Fieldiana Botany New Series No. 39
Author
Plowman T.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; Chicago.
Year
1998
ISBN
0015-0746
Description
A botanical journal, this edition is devoted entirely to the revision of the genus Brunfelsia in S. America. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Layering[
929
Title
A Revision of the South American Species of Brunfelsia (Solanaceae)
Publication
Fieldiana Botany New Series No. 39
Author
Plowman T.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; Chicago.
Year
1998
ISBN
0015-0746
Description
A botanical journal, this edition is devoted entirely to the revision of the genus Brunfelsia in S. America. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Greenwood cuttings, rooted in sand[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

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