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Useful Tropical Plants

Strophanthus hispidus

DC.

Apocynaceae

+ Synonyms

Strophanthus bariba Boye & Bereni

Strophanthus hirtus Poir.

Strophanthus niger Blondel

Strophanthus tchabe Boye & Bereni

Strophanthus thierryanus K.Schum. & Gilg

Common Name: Brown Strophanthus

Strophanthus hispidus
Flower
Photograph by: Ehoarn Bidault
Creative Commons License
Strophanthus hispidus Strophanthus hispidus Strophanthus hispidus Strophanthus hispidus Strophanthus hispidus

General Information

Brown strophanthus is a deciduous shrub that sometimes only grows up to 5 metres tall but more commonly becomes a very large climbing plant with stems that can be 30 metres or more long, climbing to the tops of the surrounding trees[
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 stems can be up to 6cm in diameter[
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 plant is commonly harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and also to supply compounds for the pharmaceutical industry. It is sometimes cultivated for these purposes, both within and outside its native range[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Known Hazards

Although used medicinally, all parts of the plant are deadly poisonous[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
The juice is used as an arrow poison[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Botanical References

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

Tropical Africa - Senegal to Uganda and Tanzania, south to Angola.

Habitat

Primary and secondary moist forest, or in woodland on rocky outcrops or in thickets, at elevations from sea-level up to 1,600 metres[
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.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitDeciduous Climber
Height15.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details



If pruned regularly, rooted branches will develop in a few years into a thick shrub or small tree, producing more fruits than wild plants[
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.
].
In areas with distinct dry and rainy seasons, the plant flowers towards the end of the dry season and the beginning of the rainy season; fruits are mature in the dry season[
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

The young leaves are made into a tasty sauce, which is also restorative[
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.
]. Some caution is advised - see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal

Although poisonous, this plant has a long history of medical use in Africa. More recently, it has come to the attention of modern medicine as a source of cardio-active alkaloids which are extracted from the seeds and used as a heart stimulant and for their influence on blood circulation, especially in cases of chronic heart weakness[
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 seeds are cardiac and diuretic[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
The glycosides extracted from the seeds (‘Semen strophanthi’) are used in a number of modern medicines in several European countries, the United States, Argentina and Chile as a rapid cardiac and vascular stimulant[
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.
].

Decoctions of the roots, or sometimes of the pulped root bark, stem bark or leaves, are used internally to treat parasites, malaria, dysentery and gonorrhoea[
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 taken to treat rheumatic afflictions[
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 decoction is applied externally to treat skin diseases, leprosy and ulcers[
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 bark or leaf sap is taken as an antidote against the effects of snakebites[
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 bark is dripped into the eye to treat conjunctivitis[
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 and stem decoction is taken as a laxative or to treat fever[
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 sap from crushed leaves or young shoots is applied to kill head-lice and other parasites[
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 leaf and stem decoction is applied externally to sores[
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 large number of cardiac glycosides (cardenolides) have been isolated from the plant. These glycosides, collectively called strophanthins, are most abundant in the seed (which contain 4 - 8%), and are responsible for the activity in arrow poison as well as being cardiac and vascular stimulants. In comparison with Digitalis cardenolides, they are characterized by highly oxygenated aglycones[
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 sole official use of Strophanthus drugs in medicine is for their influence on the circulation, especially in cases of chronic heart weakness. As the action is similar to that of Digitalis glycosides, although more likely to cause digestive disturbances and diarrhoea, Strophanthus drugs are often useful as an alternative or adjuvant[
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.
].
Some believe that Strophanthus glycosides have a direct stimulating effect upon the kidney and are superior to Digitalis glycosides as a diuretic, but the evidence in favour of this view is far from convincing[
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.
].
While they possess some local anaesthetic powers, they are so highly irritant that it is not practical to use it for this effect[
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.
].
An aqueous leaf extract showed a dose-related delay of blood clotting due to the venom of the saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus), thus inhibiting the effect of its bite[
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.
]. This venom causes rapid intra-arterial clotting of blood, resulting in death in small animals, while death in larger animals and in man occurs due to depletion of fibrinogen reserves and internal haemorrhage[
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.
].
Extracts of Strophanthus hispidus showed significant anti-inflammatory activity against acute inflammation[
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 extracts of both the roots and leaves showed in-vitro inhibition of the bacteria Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. Strains of the pathogens with laboratory induced resistance against certain antibiotics were also sensitive to the aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Strophanthus hispidus[
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 stems stripped from their bark are used in Nigeria for the end pieces of reed screens, and for cotton-carding bows[
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 -
Branches up to 1 metre long root quickly when they are stuck in the ground[
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.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-08-18. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Strophanthus+hispidus>

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