Ceanothus asiaticus L.
Ceanothus capsularis G.Forst.
Colubrina capsularis G.Forst.
Pomaderris capsularis (G.Forst.) G.Don
Rhamnus acuminata Colebr. ex Roxb.
Rhamnus asiatica (L.) Lam. ex Poir.
Rhamnus caroliniana Blanco
Rhamnus splendens Blume
Sageretia splendens (Blume) G.Don
Tubanthera katapa Raf.
Colubrina asiatica is an evergreen shrub that most commonly adopts a scrambling or climbing habit with stems that can be 6 metres or more long and 6cm in diameter[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and soap substitute. It is an excellent ground cover and soil stabilizer.
The fruits contain saponins and are used as a fish poison[
Restricted to coastal areas in the tropics, from east Africa through Asia to Australia and the Pacific Islands.
Found in various habitats near the sea, ranging from beach forest, to strand vegetation, woodland and vine thickets[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Requires a sunny position, though able to tolerate some shade[
]. Tolerant of a wide range of soils, including poor sands and coral-based soils[
]. Succeeds in saline soils and also tolerates strong, salt-laden winds[
]. Established plants are very drought tolerant[
The plant easily escapes from cultivation and also spreads freely by seed, which is carried by ocean currents. It aggressively outcompetes native vegetation. It is found most often at the interface of uplands and submerged lands or between beach dune and maritime hammock. It is also frequently found along elevated road shoulders in coastal areas, from where it can spread into adjacent natural areas. The seeds are constantly dispersed at a rapid rate by ocean currents, and seed-eating birds may also ingest them as crop stones, producing a wider dispersal range. The plant exhibits tremendous vegetative regeneration, including adventitious rooting from branches coming in contact with the soil and vigorous resprouting from cut or injured stems[
]. Seedlings reach sexual maturity in about one year, and even young plants produce many seeds, so open areas around the plant are rapidly colonised[
A fast-growing plant[
The leaves are alterative and cooling. A decoction is used to alleviate skin irritation and to treat a variety of skin diseases[
A decoction of the fruit is used as an abortifacient and tonic[
]. Applied externally, it is used as a cicatrizant for wounds[
The juice of the plant is used as a tonic[
The bark contains saponins[
Plant extracts contain alkaloids, flavonoids, unsaturated sterols and triterpenes, steroid glycosides, anthraquinones, saponins, tannins and phenols[
The leaves contain two saponins and glycosides[
A very vigorous and aggressive plant that scrambles over the ground forming roots as it grows. It is an excellent plant for binding the sand near the sea and can also be grown as a ground cover plant in sunny positions. It should not, however, be planted in areas outside its native range because of its ability to escape from cultivation and out-compete native species[
The leaves contain saponins and produce a lather when rubbed in water. They can be used as a soap substitute[
Seed - sow in a sunny position[
The seeds can remain viable for several months when soaked in salt water, and also remain viable for several years when in the soil[
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