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Useful Tropical Plants

Saba senegalensis

(A.DC.) Pichon

Apocynaceae

+ Synonyms

Landolphia florida senegalensis (A.DC.) Hallier f.

Landolphia senegalensis (A.DC.) Kotschy & Peyr.

Vahea senegalensis A.DC.

Common Name:

Saba senegalensis
Ripe fruit opened to reveal the flesh
Photograph by: Jonas Roux
Creative Commons License
Saba senegalensis Saba senegalensis Saba senegalensis Saba senegalensis Saba senegalensis Saba senegalensis Saba senegalensis Saba senegalensis Saba senegalensis Saba senegalensis Saba senegalensis Saba senegalensis Saba senegalensis

General Information

Saba senegalensis varies in habit according to habitat. In open, drier lands it remains a lowly shrub, but when growing in forest it becomes a stout climbing shrub that can produce stems over 40 metres long by 47 cm girth[
323
Title
Lost Crops of Africa. Vol. 3 Fruits.
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
2008
ISBN
030910596X
Description
Masses of information on about 70 species of plants that have been utilized as fruits in Africa.
,
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].
The fruit is highly prized and, in parts of Africa, they are important to the rural economy, and many are trucked or carried in baskets to sell in the cities[
323
Title
Lost Crops of Africa. Vol. 3 Fruits.
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
2008
ISBN
030910596X
Description
Masses of information on about 70 species of plants that have been utilized as fruits in Africa.
,
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
]. The plant is also very ornamental and so is often grown as an edible ornamental in the garden[
323
Title
Lost Crops of Africa. Vol. 3 Fruits.
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
2008
ISBN
030910596X
Description
Masses of information on about 70 species of plants that have been utilized as fruits in Africa.
]. The plant is believed to have medico-magical attributes and is often preserved on the outskirts of villages[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Western tropical Africa - Senegal to Togo.

Habitat

Forest fringes, galleried forest and thickets[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitClimber
Height40.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Semi-cultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the hot tropics where it is found at elevations from near sea level to around 800 metres[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It grows in areas with moderate to low rainfall[
335
Title
Perennial Edible Fruits of the Tropics : an Inventory
Publication
 
Author
Martin, F. W.; Campbell, C. W.; Rubertbe, R. M.
Publisher
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
Year
1987
ISBN
 
Description
A booklet giving terse details of almost 300 species of edible fruits, plus regional lists of Botanical and Common names for over 2,500 less well-known edible fruits of the tropics.
].

Edible Uses

The leaves are prepared in sauces and condiments as an appetizer with a salty tang[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].

The fruit has a soft, edible pulp with a sweet-sour flavour[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
]. The yellowish, ovoid fruit is about 7 cm long by 8 cm diameter[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
]. It is much prized and, besides the medico-magical attributes of the plant, is a very good reason for the conservation of the liana in the vicinity of villages[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
]. Most fruits about the size of a medium to small orange. In taste, they are acidic, almost like a strange form of citrus, which they nearly match in vitamin C content[
323
Title
Lost Crops of Africa. Vol. 3 Fruits.
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
2008
ISBN
030910596X
Description
Masses of information on about 70 species of plants that have been utilized as fruits in Africa.
]. They are full of big seeds that are coated with an aromatic sweet and sour flesh. Most are eaten as casual snacks, but some are employed even as a staple, especially during the rainy season[
323
Title
Lost Crops of Africa. Vol. 3 Fruits.
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
2008
ISBN
030910596X
Description
Masses of information on about 70 species of plants that have been utilized as fruits in Africa.
]. They are also blended with water and sugar and made into fruity beverages[
323
Title
Lost Crops of Africa. Vol. 3 Fruits.
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
2008
ISBN
030910596X
Description
Masses of information on about 70 species of plants that have been utilized as fruits in Africa.
].

Medicinal

The latex from the plant is antitussive and emetic[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
]. It is used to treat pulmonary troubles and tuberculosis[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
]. The stem, on cutting, is immediately placed in a gourd with the right amount of water and as the latex expissates (the word is not in any dictionary I have seen![
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]) the gourd is shaken so that an emulsion of the latex is made which is drunk[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].

The leaves are eaten to stop vomiting[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].
A steam-bath made from the leaves is used as an inhalant to treat chronic headache, and is also used for the eyes to try to stall off approaching blindness[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].
The leaves, after crushing and soaking in water, are applied as a haemostatic, antiseptic and cicitrisant dressing to wounds[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].

Leaf and bark-decoctions are taken in the treatment of dysenteriform diarrhoea and food-poisoning and, with other plants, is put into leprosy medications[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].

The roots are considered a good treatment for urethral discharges[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].
The powdered root-bark is used externally to heal sores, it being held particularly efficacious for treating burns on children[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].

Women eat a macerate of the fruits, along with other drug plants, as a sterility treatment. This may be a belief in the Theory of Signatures hinging on the ovoid ‘pregnant’ shape of the fruits[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].

Other Uses

The plant contains an abundance of white sticky latex which hardens on exposure. It was exploited at one time for its rubber, but it was of poor quality and its main use was an adulterant of better quality rubbers[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
]. The latex can be used as an adhesive[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
]. Locally, the latex-filled sap is used to mend bicycle tires, football bladders, and so forth[
323
Title
Lost Crops of Africa. Vol. 3 Fruits.
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
2008
ISBN
030910596X
Description
Masses of information on about 70 species of plants that have been utilized as fruits in Africa.
].

The almost unbreakable vines are used to tie down the roofs of native huts. They are also made into ropes, with which to scale trees (for tapping palm-wine, for instance, or collecting nuts)[
323
Title
Lost Crops of Africa. Vol. 3 Fruits.
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
2008
ISBN
030910596X
Description
Masses of information on about 70 species of plants that have been utilized as fruits in Africa.
].

Propagation

Seed - traditionally, the seed is sown in situ or young seedlings are gathered from the wild and planted into gardens.

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