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Useful Tropical Plants

Strychnos potatorum

L.f.

Loganiaceae

+ Synonyms

Strychnos stuhlmannii Gilg

Common Name: Clearing Nut

Strychnos potatorum
Close-up of the inflorescence
Photograph by: Lalithamba
Creative Commons License
Strychnos potatorum Strychnos potatorum Strychnos potatorum

General Information

Clearing nut is a deciduous, much branched small or medium sized tree, or sometimes a shrub, growing from 4 - 18 metres tall[
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
]. The bole can be up to 100cm 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 has a variety of local medicinal uses and is also used locally to clarify water prior to drinking it. The seeds are sold as a water purifier in local markets[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
].

Known Hazards

The pounded fruits are used as fish poison[
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 bark is used as a fish poison[
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.
].

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
,
784
Title
Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
HMSO; London
Year
1917
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical publication by Kew Gardens. It contains information on various plants, including a rather dated treatment of the genus Strychnos in Asia.

Range

E. Asia - India, Myanmar. Tropical Africa - DR Congo to Tanzania, south to northern S. Africa.

Habitat

In gallery forest, in Brachystegia woodland, semi evergreen bushland, often on river banks, on banks of dry riverbeds, or on termitaries from sea level to elevations of 1,600 metres[
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
].

Properties

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

Cultivation Details


A shade-bearing tree, growing up well under the canopy of deciduous forest[
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
]. Established trees are very drought tolerant[
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
].
The plant produces root suckers[
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
].

Edible Uses

Young fruits - occasionally eaten or made into preserves[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
,
146
Title
A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Publication
 
Author
Gamble. J. S.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1972
ISBN
-
Description
First written in the 19th century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
,
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The pulp is eaten[
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
]. They are an ingredient of 'Raja's Cup', an Ayurvedic coffee substitute[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The fruit is a sub-globose berry 12 - 18mm in diameter with a firm
pericarp, black when ripe, containing 1 - 2 seeds in a whitish pulp[
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
].

Medicinal

The pounded leaves are used to treat watering and aching eyes[
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 is taken to treat epilepsy[
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 aphrodisiac[
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 vapour of a root decoction is inhaled to treat colds and venereal diseases[
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 roots and leaves is taken to treat cough[
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 used for the treatment of a range of complaints including those affecting the liver, kidneys and stomach; gonorrhoea, leucorrhoea, bronchitis, chronic diarrhoea, strangury, kidney and bladder stones, diabetes and eye diseases[
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 contains many monomeric and dimeric indole alkaloids, the root bark being especially rich.
The monoterpene alkaloid cantleyine, isolated from the root bark, has shown a relaxing effect on isolated tracheal smooth muscles and may be the active ingredient responsible for the anti-cough and anti-asthmatic activity[
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.
]. Normacusine B, a monomeric alkaloid of the corynanthe class, also found in Rauvolfia, Tabernaemontana and Vinca spp., is sympatholytic and its hypotensive activity is stronger than that of reserpine, which is commonly used against high blood pressure[
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 total alkaloid extracts of the seeds, bark and leaves showed strychnine-like activity in vivo, had marked hypotensive effect and exhibited a depressant action on isolated heart muscle[
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-vivo tests using the seed powder and an aqueous extract of the seeds prevented ulcer formation by decreasing acid secretory activity and increasing the mucin activity[
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 extract of the seeds has shown significant hepatoprotective activity[
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 methanol extract of the seeds had a diuretic effect and an antidiarrhoeal activity on castor oil-induced diarrhoea[
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 cut seeds are rubbed around the insides of a rough earthenware vessel and water is then placed in the vessel. This causes most of the impurities in the water to sink to the bottom after a while so that the clean(er!) water can be poured off[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
,
63
Title
Nuts.
Publication
 
Author
Howes. F. N.
Publisher
Faber
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
Rather old but still a masterpiece. Has sections on tropical and temperate plants with edible nuts plus a section on nut plants in Britain. Very readable.
].
The seeds contain polyelectrolytes which can be used as coagulants to clarify turbid waters[
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 laboratory tests, direct filtration of turbid surface water with the seeds as a coagulant, produced a substantial improvement in its aesthetic and microbiological quality[
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 yellowish-grey wood has conspicuous white markings. It is close-grained, very hard and termite resistant, but splits easily and is therefore not suitable for carving[
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.
,
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
]. It is used to make carts, shafts, agricultural implements, tool handles etc[
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.
,
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
].

Propagation

Seed - the seedling quickly produces a soft, delicate taproot so the seed should be sown in deep, individual containers or in situ[
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
].
Cuttings of half ripe wood[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Root suckers.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2020-08-13. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Strychnos+potatorum>

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