Millettia dasyphylla (Miq.) Whitmore
Millettia maingayi Baker
Millettia oocarpa Prain
Padbruggea dasyphylla Miq.
Padbruggea maingayi (Baker) Dunn
Phaseolodes maingayi (Baker) Kuntze
Callerya dasyphylla is a robust climbing shrub producing twining stems that can be from 5 - 35 metres long and often reach into the canopy of the forest. The stem can be 2 - 15cm in diameter[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
The raw seed is injurious to health[
Millettia and related species in general contain a range of toxic substances, especially isoflavones. Rotenone is probably the best known of these isoflavones and it is found especially in the seeds and roots of the plants. Rotenone is often used locally as a fish poison - the rotenone kills or stuns the fish making them easy to catch, but the fish remain perfectly safe for warm-blooded creatures to eat. Rotenone is classified by the World Health Organization as moderately hazardous. It is mildly toxic to humans and other mammals, but extremely toxic to many insects (hence its use as an insecticide) and also to aquatic life, including fish. This higher toxicity in fish and insects is because the lipophilic rotenone is easily taken up through the gills or trachea, but not as easily through the skin or the gastrointestinal tract. The lowest lethal dose for a child is 143 mg/kg, but human deaths from rotenone poisoning are rare because its irritating action causes vomiting. Deliberate ingestion of rotenone, however, can be fatal.
The compound decomposes when exposed to sunlight and usually has an activity of six days in the environment.
Millettia species often also contain other potentially toxic compounds, especially saponins and alkaloids[
Southeast Asia - Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia.
Forest borders and along watersides[
]. Evergreen forest, secondary forest, disturbed forest; in dense jungle, sandy coastal fringe of trees, scrub or light forest along riversides; at elevations up to 900 metres[
Plants are found in the wild on granitic, rocky soil, on limestone or sandstone[
Seed - cooked[
]. Eaten boiled or roasted they are palatable and nourishing[
]. The densely velvety, elliptic seedpod can be 7 - 17cm long x 3 - 9cm wide, containing one or two large, ellipsoid seeds fused together The seeds can be 45 - 65mm x 30 - 40mm x 15 - 25mm thick[
]. The raw seed is injurious[
]. No reason is given, but it is likely to be due to the presence of saponons (commonly found in legumes), and which are destroyed by cooking, or possibly due to the presence of isoflavones which are often found in Millettia and related genera[
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and sow in a container in a lightly shaded position. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until large enough to plant out.
Layering in spring.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood with the leaves removed[
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