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Useful Tropical Plants

Gelsemium elegans

(Gardner & Champ.) Benth.

Loganiaceae

+ Synonyms

Gelsemium sumatranum (Blume) Boerl.

Leptopteris sumatrana Blume

Medicia elegans Gardner & Champ.

Common Name:

Gelsemium elegans
Drawing of the leaves, flowers and fruit
Photograph by: Flora of China Illustrations vol. 15, fig. 287, 1-4
Creative Commons License

General Information

Gelsemium elegans is an evergreen shrub with straggly stems that scramble over the ground and twine into the surrounding vegetation. The stems can be up to 12 metres long[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Although toxic, the plant is harvested from the wild for medicinal use.

Known Hazards

All parts of the plant, but especially the leaves and the roots, contain alkaloids including gelsemidin, and are said to be very poisonous[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
]. The plant has been used as a means of murder and suicide[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Botanical References

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet

Range

E. Asia - China, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia.

Habitat

Scrubby forests and thickets on various soils; at elevations from 250 - 2,000 metres[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Climber
Height8.00 m
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details



In view of its twining habit, the plant is suitable for training on trellis and pergolas or for growing on steep banks. Severe pruning after flowering is recommended to retain a moderately sized plant[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

Although very poisonous, the plant is used in Chinese traditional medicine as an analgesic, antispasmodic and as a remedy for certain kinds of skin ulcers[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Externally fresh plant parts or aqueous extracts are applied to various skin afflictions including eczema, boils, ulcers, ringworm as well as in the treatment of haemorrhoids or neuralgic pains[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Numerous oxindole and indole-alkaloids have been isolated from the plant, include gelsemine, and additional alkaloids such as hydroxydihydrogelsemine, gelsemicine, gelsenicine, gelsevirine, koumine, koumidine, kumantenidine, kumantenine and sempervirine[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Fractional amounts of the alkaloids have a stimulating effect on the central nervous system. Toxic symptoms in humans may vary considerably between individuals, but in general these will include loss of appetite, stomach upset, internal bleeding, muscle weakness, paralysis of respiration (which will eventually lead to death), heart rate disturbances, hypotensive and and vasodilating effects.[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed -
Cuttings of semi-ripe wood root easily[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-01-19. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Gelsemium+elegans>

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