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Useful Tropical Plants

Deguelia utilis

(A.C.Sm.) A.M.G.Azevedo

Fabaceae


There has been considerable confusion amongst botanists over the status of the genus Deguelia, with it variously being included in Derris and Lonchocarpus. We are following the treatment in Camargo & A.M.G. Azevedo Tozzi. 2014. A synopsis of the genus Deguelia (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae, Millettieae) in Brazil. Brittonia 66(1): 12-32, which treats it as distinct[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Derris nicou auct

Derris utilis (A.C.Sm.) Ducke

Lonchocarpus nicou auct

Lonchocarpus nicou utilis (A.C.Sm.) F.J.Herm.

Lonchocarpus utilis A.C.Sm.

Deguelia alata M.Sousa

Common Name:

Deguelia utilis
Drawing of the leaves, flowers and seedpods
Photograph by: Aublet, F. , Histoire des plantes de la Guiane Franc?oise, vol. 4: t. 308 (1775)
Creative Commons License

General Information

Deguelia utilis is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing up to around 3 metres tall when young, but generally adopting a more climbing habit as it grows older with stems that can climb 15 metres into the surrounding trees[
748
Title
The identity of TIMBÓ-TRUE: Deguelia utilis (A.C.Sm.) A.M.G. AZEVEDO (Leguminosae - Papilionoideae)
Publication
 
Author
Azevedo-Tozzi, A. M. G.
Publisher
Revista Brasileira de Biologia
Year
1998
ISBN
0034-7108
Description
A botanical paper detailing the correct identification of the species Deguelia utilis. It can be downloaded in PDF format from the internet.
].
This species is one of the important sources of the organic insecticide rotenone (the active ingredient in derris). The plant was first cultivated in S. America by the native people before the arrival of the Europeans. They used it as a fish poison and to kill ants. It is now cultivated on a fairly large scale in parts of tropical S. America, the rotenone being exported to various other countries throughout the world[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Known Hazards

The plant contains rotenone and has been used traditionally as a fish poison[
748
Title
The identity of TIMBÓ-TRUE: Deguelia utilis (A.C.Sm.) A.M.G. AZEVEDO (Leguminosae - Papilionoideae)
Publication
 
Author
Azevedo-Tozzi, A. M. G.
Publisher
Revista Brasileira de Biologia
Year
1998
ISBN
0034-7108
Description
A botanical paper detailing the correct identification of the species Deguelia utilis. It can be downloaded in PDF format from the internet.
] - the rotenone kills or stuns the fish making them easy to catch, but the fish remain perfectly edible for mammals. 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 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.

Botanical References

748
Title
The identity of TIMBÓ-TRUE: Deguelia utilis (A.C.Sm.) A.M.G. AZEVEDO (Leguminosae - Papilionoideae)
Publication
 
Author
Azevedo-Tozzi, A. M. G.
Publisher
Revista Brasileira de Biologia
Year
1998
ISBN
0034-7108
Description
A botanical paper detailing the correct identification of the species Deguelia utilis. It can be downloaded in PDF format from the internet.

Range

S. America - Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas.

Habitat

Both dense, primary rainforest and also in more open areas of secondary growth, often as a relict of cultivation. It is found in a range of conditions, sometimes in soils subject to periodic flooding, often near rivers, in acid to neutral soils[
748
Title
The identity of TIMBÓ-TRUE: Deguelia utilis (A.C.Sm.) A.M.G. AZEVEDO (Leguminosae - Papilionoideae)
Publication
 
Author
Azevedo-Tozzi, A. M. G.
Publisher
Revista Brasileira de Biologia
Year
1998
ISBN
0034-7108
Description
A botanical paper detailing the correct identification of the species Deguelia utilis. It can be downloaded in PDF format from the internet.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Climber
Height15.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the moist, lowland tropics, usually in areas with year-round rainfall.
Succeeds in moderate sun to fairly deep shade so long as the top growth can climb towards the light. Prefers a neutral to acid soil, usually found on more or less clay soils in the wild[
748
Title
The identity of TIMBÓ-TRUE: Deguelia utilis (A.C.Sm.) A.M.G. AZEVEDO (Leguminosae - Papilionoideae)
Publication
 
Author
Azevedo-Tozzi, A. M. G.
Publisher
Revista Brasileira de Biologia
Year
1998
ISBN
0034-7108
Description
A botanical paper detailing the correct identification of the species Deguelia utilis. It can be downloaded in PDF format from the internet.
]. In some areas where it grows it is subject to periodic inundation of the soil[
748
Title
The identity of TIMBÓ-TRUE: Deguelia utilis (A.C.Sm.) A.M.G. AZEVEDO (Leguminosae - Papilionoideae)
Publication
 
Author
Azevedo-Tozzi, A. M. G.
Publisher
Revista Brasileira de Biologia
Year
1998
ISBN
0034-7108
Description
A botanical paper detailing the correct identification of the species Deguelia utilis. It can be downloaded in PDF format from the internet.
]. Found in the wild on neutral to strongly acid soils[
1416
Title
A synopsis of the genus Deguelia (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae, Millettieae) in Brazil
Publication
Brittonia, DOI 10.1007/s12228-013-9302-4
Author
Camargo R.A. & Azevedo Tozzi A.M.G.
Publisher
 
Year
2013
ISBN
1938-436X
Description
 
].
Some forms of this plant do not produce seed, probably as a result of long term cultivation with propagation by cuttings[
748
Title
The identity of TIMBÓ-TRUE: Deguelia utilis (A.C.Sm.) A.M.G. AZEVEDO (Leguminosae - Papilionoideae)
Publication
 
Author
Azevedo-Tozzi, A. M. G.
Publisher
Revista Brasileira de Biologia
Year
1998
ISBN
0034-7108
Description
A botanical paper detailing the correct identification of the species Deguelia utilis. It can be downloaded in PDF format from the internet.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The plant contains some compounds similar to curare. Traditional healers crush the bark until a white milky substance exudes, they take one spoonful of this and retire. Twenty-four hours later they relate their visions to the tribes people[
748
Title
The identity of TIMBÓ-TRUE: Deguelia utilis (A.C.Sm.) A.M.G. AZEVEDO (Leguminosae - Papilionoideae)
Publication
 
Author
Azevedo-Tozzi, A. M. G.
Publisher
Revista Brasileira de Biologia
Year
1998
ISBN
0034-7108
Description
A botanical paper detailing the correct identification of the species Deguelia utilis. It can be downloaded in PDF format from the internet.
].

Other Uses

The roots contain rotenone, which can be used as an insecticide[
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.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cuttings root easily[
748
Title
The identity of TIMBÓ-TRUE: Deguelia utilis (A.C.Sm.) A.M.G. AZEVEDO (Leguminosae - Papilionoideae)
Publication
 
Author
Azevedo-Tozzi, A. M. G.
Publisher
Revista Brasileira de Biologia
Year
1998
ISBN
0034-7108
Description
A botanical paper detailing the correct identification of the species Deguelia utilis. It can be downloaded in PDF format from the internet.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-06-19. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Deguelia+utilis>

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