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Useful Tropical Plants

Sophora tomentosa

L.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Sophora occidentalis L.

Common Name:

Sophora tomentosa
Small cultivated tree
Photograph by: Forest and Kim Starr
Creative Commons License
Sophora tomentosa Sophora tomentosa Sophora tomentosa Sophora tomentosa Sophora tomentosa Sophora tomentosa Sophora tomentosa

General Information

Sophora tomentosa is an evergreen shrub or small tree that can grow up to 7 metres tall. The bole can be up to 45cm in diameter and free of branches for up to 3 metres[
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 sometimes gathered from the wild for local medicinal use. It is occasionally grown as an ornamental, especially in gardens close to the sea[
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.
].

Known Hazards

All parts of the plant, but especially the bark of the root and the seeds, are bitter and yield a poisonous alkaloid called sophorine[
459
Title
The Useful Plants of the Island of Guam
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 9
Author
Safford W.E.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute; Washington.
Year
1905
ISBN
 
Description
A very comprehensive, if rather dated, guide to the plants of Guam. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
], which is chemically identical to cytisine[
82
Title
Manual of the Trees of N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Sargent. C. S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Dover Publications Inc. New York.
Year
1965
ISBN
0-486-20278-X
Description
Two volumes, a comprehensive listing of N. American trees though a bit out of date now. Good details on habitats, some details on plant uses. Not really for the casual reader. It can be downloaded from the internet.
,
149
Title
Trees of Central Texas.
Publication
 
Author
Vines. R. A.
Publisher
University of Texas Press
Year
1987
ISBN
0-292-78958-3
Description
A good concise guide, it gives details of habitats and some of the uses of trees growing in Texas.
].

Botanical References


Range

Pantropical in coastal regions.

Habitat

Sandy foreshores or open grassland along the beach, often locally abundant[
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 *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height5.00 m
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details


Prefers a sunny position, but can tolerate some shade[
710
Title
Tropical Flowering Plants. A Guide to Identification and Cultivation.
Publication
 
Author
Llamas K.A.
Publisher
Timber Press; Oregon.
Year
2003
ISBN
0-88192-585-3
Description
A terse guide for the gardener to almost 1,500 species of ornamental tropical plants with brief details on their cultivation and, usually, a small photograph of good quality.
]. Succeeds in a dry to moist soil, so long as it is well-drained[
710
Title
Tropical Flowering Plants. A Guide to Identification and Cultivation.
Publication
 
Author
Llamas K.A.
Publisher
Timber Press; Oregon.
Year
2003
ISBN
0-88192-585-3
Description
A terse guide for the gardener to almost 1,500 species of ornamental tropical plants with brief details on their cultivation and, usually, a small photograph of good quality.
]. Prefers a sandy soil[
1096
Title
Native Tastes of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://tasteaustralia.biz/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with detailed information on around 50 species of native Australian food plants, including recipes.
]. Tolerant of somewhat saline soils and also of a wide pH range[
710
Title
Tropical Flowering Plants. A Guide to Identification and Cultivation.
Publication
 
Author
Llamas K.A.
Publisher
Timber Press; Oregon.
Year
2003
ISBN
0-88192-585-3
Description
A terse guide for the gardener to almost 1,500 species of ornamental tropical plants with brief details on their cultivation and, usually, a small photograph of good quality.
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
710
Title
Tropical Flowering Plants. A Guide to Identification and Cultivation.
Publication
 
Author
Llamas K.A.
Publisher
Timber Press; Oregon.
Year
2003
ISBN
0-88192-585-3
Description
A terse guide for the gardener to almost 1,500 species of ornamental tropical plants with brief details on their cultivation and, usually, a small photograph of good quality.
].
Plants can flower and produce fruit whilst still small shrubs[
713
Title
Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/cd-keys/rfk/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online resource giving botanical information, and a little bit about plant usage, for over 2,700 species of plants found in the Australian rainforest.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

Although the plant is strongly emetocathartic, and toxic in large doses, it is often used in traditional medicine. The leaves, roots and seeds are relatively rich in alkaloids, particularly the quinolizidine group of alkaloids (sometimes also called lupin alkaloids), which are biosynthesized from the amino acid lysine[
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.
].
The dried seed contains up to 2% (-)-cytisine (also known as sophorine or ulexine), which resembles the alkaloid nicotine in its action as a neurotransmitter, but is much less toxic as a poison[
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.
].

The bitter seeds are astringent, febrifuge and stomachic; they also possess dangerous emetocathartic properties[
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.
,
360
Title
Philippine Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.stuartxchange.org/CompleteList.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A lovely site, giving brief details on the medicinal uses of several hundred (over 400 at the last count) plants in the Philippines, plus a picture of each plant.
]. The pulverized seeds are used as a specific in the treatment of dysentery and cholera, and as an antidote after having eaten poisonous marine animals[
459
Title
The Useful Plants of the Island of Guam
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 9
Author
Safford W.E.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute; Washington.
Year
1905
ISBN
 
Description
A very comprehensive, if rather dated, guide to the plants of Guam. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Two of them are almost too drastic for a dose in tertian fever[
459
Title
The Useful Plants of the Island of Guam
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 9
Author
Safford W.E.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute; Washington.
Year
1905
ISBN
 
Description
A very comprehensive, if rather dated, guide to the plants of Guam. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. They are a common remedy for disorders of the stomach and were at one time a popular remedy for cholera morbus[
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.
,
459
Title
The Useful Plants of the Island of Guam
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 9
Author
Safford W.E.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute; Washington.
Year
1905
ISBN
 
Description
A very comprehensive, if rather dated, guide to the plants of Guam. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The pounded seeds are used to cure colic and dysentery. Smaller doses are applied as an antidote in food poisoning and stings of poisonous fish, as well as to treat haemoptysis, painful urination and gonorrhoea[
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.
].

The seed oil is reputed to be a good expectorant; it is applied externally to soothe painful bones[
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.
,
360
Title
Philippine Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.stuartxchange.org/CompleteList.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A lovely site, giving brief details on the medicinal uses of several hundred (over 400 at the last count) plants in the Philippines, plus a picture of each plant.
].

A decoction of the seeds and roots is given in bilious disorders[
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.
].

A decoction of the seeds, roots or bark has been used against cholera[
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.
].

The root-bark is applied as an antidote in food poisoning and stings of poisonous fish[
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.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is more or less a pioneer species[
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

The dried seed contains up to 2% (-)-cytisine, which has insecticidal properties[
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.
].

The wood is hard and heavy and used for small objects[
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.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Fruits mature in about 3 - 4 months from flowering, and are dispersed by sea currents. Seeds are able to float for at least 3 months and in this period the germination capacity is not affected. However, germination significantly dropped following immersion in sea water[
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.
].
In a germination experiment in Malaysia, seeds of Sophora tomentosa germinated in 0.5-11 months[
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. 2020-04-06. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Sophora+tomentosa>

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