Arthrosolen latifolius Oliv.
Gnidia vatkeana Engl. & Gilg
Lasiosiphon hildebrandtii Vatke ex Engl.
Lasiosiphon latifolius (Oliv.) Brenan
Lasiosiphon vatkeana (Engl. & Gilg) H.Pearson
Gnidia latifolia is a large, much-branched shrub growing up to 5 metres tall, sometimes becoming a small tree with whippy branches[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of fibre. The plant has effective insect repellant and pesticidal properties.
The leaves and stems are poisonous, and grass growing underneath the plant is not eaten by livestock[
]. The young leaves are said to be used for making poison[
The compounds gnidilatin and gnidilatidin, found in the stem wood, are poisonous to fish[
East tropical Africa - ?Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania.
Deciduous and evergreen bushland and wooded grassland, at elevations from sea level to 2,000 metres[
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The plant can flower all year round[
An extract of the bark or root is drunk as a purgative[
The diterpenoid esters gnidilatin 20-palmitate and gnidilatidin 20-palmitate, isolated from the stem wood and bark, have shown strong in-vivo inhibitory activity against P-388 leukaemia in mice[
Other compounds isolated from the stem wood and bark are gnidilatin, showing moderate antileukaemic activity, gnidilatidin, and the furanosesquiterpene gnididione[
The bark yields a strong fibre that is made into rope[
Plant material is placed around seedlings in order to keep termites away, whilst plant parts are burned to produce a pesticidal smoke[
Stems and branches are used for building and fencing in Kenya, because they are never attacked by termites[
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