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Useful Tropical Plants

Pentadiplandra brazzeana

Baill.

Pentadiplandraceae

+ Synonyms

Cercopetalum dasyanthum Gilg

Pentadiplandra gossweileri Exell

Common Name:

Pentadiplandra brazzeana
Flowering plant, climbing into the surrounding vegetation
Photograph by: Scamperdale
Creative Commons License
Pentadiplandra brazzeana Pentadiplandra brazzeana Pentadiplandra brazzeana Pentadiplandra brazzeana

General Information

Pentadiplandra brazzeana has two basic forms. It can be a much-branched shrub that can grow up to 5 metres tall, or a climbing plant with stems up to 20 metres long. The root system in shrubs is a branched complex of bulging roots, whilst climbing plants have a large, fleshy tuber[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
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An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The root is a very popular traditional medicine in central Africa, where it is commonly harvested from the wild for local use and for trade. The plant also provides an edible fruit, which has attracted wider attention because of the very sweet-tasting protein it contains. The roots are sold for medicinal purposes in local markets in Africa and are also sold internationally via the internet[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. A syrup made from the bark is also sold[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Known Hazards

The fruit is used as fish poison[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
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Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
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Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Botanical References


Range

Tropical Africa - Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, DR Congo. Northern Angola.

Habitat

Common in upland primary forest dominated by Scorodophleus zenkeri, and also commonly occurs on river banks and in secondary forest. In Cameroon, the plant is mainly found in forest edges bordering savannah. It is nowhere gregarious[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
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Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitClimber
Height12.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details



The flowers can be single-sex or bisexual[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
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An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The flowering period continues for several months; fruit production is normally low and spread out, though shrubby plants seem to have a shorter but more condensed fruiting season[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
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Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
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Year
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Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Unconsumed fruits rot on the plant, without falling. They serve as temporary nesting sites to arboreal ants[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
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Website
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Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Seed dispersal is facilitated by the contrast between the extreme sweetness of the pulp of the fruit and the unpleasant bitter taste of seeds, provoking consumers to spit out the seeds. In natural habitats, squirrels, monkeys and apes contribute to the distribution of the seed; in the vicinity of human habitation, distribution by children into secondary habitats is common[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
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Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
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Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Commercial interest in brazzein, the protein obtained from the fruit, is strong. The technology to extract the protein from the fruit pulp as well as technologies to produce brazzein by transferring the gene coding for brazzein into other organisms have been patented, without the intention of benefit sharing[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
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Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The gene encoding for brazzein has been transferred to the bacteria Escherichia coli and Lactococcus lactis and to maize. Bacterial production systems for brazzein have been developed. Mutants and sections of brazzein have been discovered with sweet-taste properties superior to those of the natural protein[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw or as a flavouring[299. The red pulp is eaten as a snack, especially by children, or is sometimes used to sweeten maize porridge[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
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An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The red or mottled grey fruit is a globose berry 35 - 50mm in diameter, containing many seeds[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
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An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The protein brazzein, originally extracted from the fruit pulp, [
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
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ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
An extremely sweet crude protein, named pentadin, has been isolated from the fruits; in the 1990's the purified protein was isolated and called brazzein. Its temporal profile closely resembles that of sucrose, but develops somewhat more slowly and lasts longer. It is very thermo-stable and its sweetness profile does not diminish after incubation at 100°c for 4 hours. It is also stable over a wide pH range and is the most water-soluble protein sweetener discovered so far.
Brazzein is reported to be between 500 and 2,000 times sweeter than sucrose depending on the method of measuring. It is being developed into a low-calorie sweetener for the food industry - however, as of early 2008, brazzein had not yet been granted GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status in the United States nor had it been granted permission for use in foods in the European Union[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The root is reportedly occasionally eaten as a vegetable[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The powdered root bark is said to be an ingredient of the cheap but dangerous 'African whiskey in sachets'[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Medicinal

The roots, which taste like horseradish, are used throughout central Africa to treat a wide range of conditions, but particularly to remedy several problems related to giving birth and also to deal with a range of skin problems[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Phytochemical analyses of the root have led to the isolation of urea derivatives including sulphur-containing compounds[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
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Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
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Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Carbamates obtained from the roots have shown antibacterial properties in vitro against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and against the yeast Candida albicans[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
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Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
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Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The root is also rich in glucosinolates and is believed to contribute to the revitalizing of collagen and to restore skin tonicity[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
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Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Crude extracts of tubers have revealed moderately strong antiplasmodial activity in vitro, but were not as effective as chloroquine[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
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Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
An aqueous extract of the root given to rats increased the weight of their testes and prostate as well as their testosterone levels[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
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Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
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Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]

The roots are antibacterial, aphrodisiac, cathartic, emmenagogue, laxative, purgative. They are widely used by women to assist in the birth process and also to deal with problems related to the uro-genital system. A root decoction can stimulate uterine contractions and has been used to induce abortion - it should generally be avoided by pregnant women until the later stages of the pregnancy[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. A root decoction is given orally, or applied as an enema, to facilitate the expulsion of the placenta, and is also said to prevent haemorrhages after parturition[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
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ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The root bark is one of more than 20 constituents of the yellow, slimy 'nkui' sauce made by the Bamileke people of Cameroon; this sauce is given to mothers who have just given birth in order to stimulate milk production.
A root decoction is given orally or applied as an enema to help in reducing pain caused by hernia[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The crushed root or root bark is applied, or an infusion drunk, to soothe chest pain, toothache, lumbago, rheumatism and haemorrhoids. The macerated roots, either alone or mixed with other ingredients, are taken orally or applied as an enema against malaria. Capsicum pepper is added to macerated roots to prepare a drink that soothes cough. A decoction of the bark, combined with the bark and roots of other plants, is taken as a treatment against stiffness or weakness of the limbs and back. The roots and tubers are also commonly used in the treatment of intestinal problems such as dysentery, colic, urethritis, gonorrhoea and other uro-genital infections[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. A decoction of the tuber, as well as the juice from macerated roots, is combined with pounded leaves and drunk as an anthelmintic. A root decoction is taken to treat pneumonia and serious bronchitis[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The fresh root is pulped, or the dry root pounded and mixed with palm oil, to make an ointment for topical application to prevent infections of the navel in newborn babies. Because the plant is vesicant, the duration of this treatment must be limited to avoid blistering[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. A powder of dried root bark is applied to scarifications to treat intercostal and abdominal pains. The crushed root is used to treat several skin infections. The pulped roots are applied externally against itch and as an antiseptic, and to treat wounds, sores, ulcers and furuncles[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The roots are applied to the abdomen to treat oedema[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
A root preparation, combined with the leaves of Kalanchoe crenata, is used as nose drops to stop epileptic crises[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

A leaf decoction is used to wash the skin against scabies[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Other Uses

The roots smell of aspirin and are hung over the doorway or are placed inside the roof to keep away snakes[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-10-14. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Pentadiplandra+brazzeana>

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