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Useful Tropical Plants

Raphionacme utilis

N.E.Br. & Stapf

Apocynaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name:

Raphionacme utilis
Drawing of the tuber and the flowering plant
Photograph by: Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, vol. 134 [ser. 4, vol. 4]: t. 8221 (1908) [M. Smith]
Creative Commons License

General Information

Raphionacme utilis is an evergreen perennial herb growing 10cm or more tall from a tuberous rootstock. The root is up to 15cm in diameter[
498
Title
Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
HMSO; London.
Year
1909
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on a wide range of plants, including Raphionacme utilis. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
In the early 20th century, this plant elicited some excitement as a potential source of rubber. However, attempts to grow it showed that the growth rate was much too slow for the plant to be economically viable.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

499
Title
Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
HMSO; London.
Year
1908
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on a wide range of plants, including Raphionacme utilis. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

Southern Africa - Angola to Malawi.

Habitat

Grassland in Angola at an elevation of around 1,200 - 1,500 metres[
498
Title
Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
HMSO; London.
Year
1909
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on a wide range of plants, including Raphionacme utilis. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Perennial
Height0.10 m
Growth RateSlow
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the semi-arid tropics. It grows in areas where the dry season is about 7 months long and mists occur at other times of the year[
498
Title
Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
HMSO; London.
Year
1909
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on a wide range of plants, including Raphionacme utilis. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]..
Requires a sunny position. The roots should not be buried too deeply, only enough to bring the stem end to the surface of the ground. Grows naturally in a moisture-retentive, deep and very sandy loam of finely divided, clean black earth[
498
Title
Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
HMSO; London.
Year
1909
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on a wide range of plants, including Raphionacme utilis. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The structure and habits of growth indicate that the plant behaves in nature as an extreme desert type able to survive with very little water and requiring several years to reach maturity.
Temporary roots appear to be sent out from any part of the permanent root.

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The roots are a source of latex from which a good quality rubber can be made[
498
Title
Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
HMSO; London.
Year
1909
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on a wide range of plants, including Raphionacme utilis. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The roots contain less than 1% latex, but there is potential to increase this amount.

Propagation

Seed -

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