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Useful Tropical Plants

Tabernaemontana elegans

Stapf

Apocynaceae

+ Synonyms

Conopharyngia elegans (Stapf) Stapf

Leptopharyngia elegans (Stapf) Boiteau

Common Name:

Tabernaemontana elegans
Tree growing in native habitat
Photograph by: Scamperdale
Creative Commons License
Tabernaemontana elegans Tabernaemontana elegans Tabernaemontana elegans Tabernaemontana elegans Tabernaemontana elegans

General Information

Tabernaemontana elegans is a shrub or a tree growing 1.5 - 15 metres tall. The bole can be 5 - 30cm 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.
,
610
Title
Flora of Tropical East Africa
Publication
 
Author
Beentje H.J.
Website
http://plants.jstor.org/search?st=396814
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
Available on-line, a modern flora of East Africa.
].
The fruit, which is considered a delicacy in parts of Africa, is gathered from the wild for local use, whilst the plant also has a range of local medicinal uses[
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.
]. Tabernaemontana elegans is an unusual, but attractive garden tree with its sweet-smelling flowers and unusual fruits covered in brown warts, giving it the look of a toad’s skin[
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.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

610
Title
Flora of Tropical East Africa
Publication
 
Author
Beentje H.J.
Website
http://plants.jstor.org/search?st=396814
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
Available on-line, a modern flora of East Africa.
,
663
Title
Flora of Southern Africa
Publication
 
Author
Roux J.P.
Website
http://plants.jstor.org/search?st=662545
Publisher
 
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line resource.

Range

E. Africa - Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland.

Habitat

Usually in riverine woodland, and in association with coastal scrub forest[
663
Title
Flora of Southern Africa
Publication
 
Author
Roux J.P.
Website
http://plants.jstor.org/search?st=662545
Publisher
 
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line resource.
]. Bushland, forest on coastal dunes, gallery forest or woodland, usually associated with Brachystegia spp., at elevations up to 1,000 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 *  *
HabitTree
Height8.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

At least some forms of this tree have shown resistance to light frosts[
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.
].
Succeeds in full sun to half-shade[
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.
]. It requires a moderate amount of water[
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.
].
Because of its corky bark, the plant is fairly fire resistant[
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

Fruit - raw[
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 juicy, orange-coloured pulp tastes somewhat like Citrus fruits[
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 orange, slimy fruit pulp is relished by some people[
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 fruit is used for curdling milk[
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.
]. When put into milk it speeds the curdling process[
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.
].

Medicinal

The seeds, stem bark and roots are used for treating heart 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 powdered root bark or fruits are used to treat cancer[
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 coagulated latex or pulverized root mixed with vaseline is applied as a styptic[
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 applied as a wash for wounds and is taken as a remedy for pulmonary diseases and chest pains[
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 maceration of root ash is drunk to treat tuberculosis and stomach-ache. A root maceration acts as a purgative. Burnt root powder mixed with salt and water is used as a vaginal wash to treat menorrhagia, infertility and venereal diseases. In Zimbabwe a root decoction is taken as an 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 phytochemically important compounds of the root bark are the monomeric indole alkaloids dregamine and tabernaemontanine, and the bisindole alkaloids conoduramine and tabernaelegantines[
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 tabernaelegantines are rare in other Tabernaemontana species, and are thus reliable chemotaxonomic markers for this species[
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 main components of the aerial parts are dregamine, tabernaemontanine and vobasine, followed by apparicine and tabernaelegantine A and B. Minor components are dregaminol, tabernaemontanine, tabernaemontaninol, 3-hydroxyconodurine and tabernaelegantine C and D.
The alkaloids 3-Hydroxyconodurine, 3-hydroxycoronaridine, conoduramine and apparicine show strong inhibitory activity against a range of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria[
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.
].
Dregamine shows convulsant and respiration-stimulant activities. It also inhibits muscular fatigue in vitro and in vivo comparable to ibogaine from Tabernanthe iboga. It has been used in treatments of muscular and nervous asthenia, respiratory depression and type III poliovirus (HPV-3)[
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.
].
Apparicine has also shown strong activity against type III poliovirus, as well as significant cytotoxicity against P-388 lymphocytic leukaemia cell cultures. Apparicine has shown opioid activity in opiate receptor studies[
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.
].
Tabernaemontanine has a vasodilatory effect and can be used in humans in cases of arteriosclerosis, cerebral trauma and circular irregularities. It shows antibacterial activity against several human pathogenic bacterial strains, and is cytotoxic to human nasopharyngeal epidermoid carcinoma cells in vitro[
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.
].
Vobasine exhibited little activity in general pharmacological screening tests[
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

A latex is tapped from the plant. It is used as a glue for arrow heads and for medicinal purposes[
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 wood is white and easy to work. It is used for making spoons, knife and sword handles, bows and arrows, building poles and pegs for animal traps[
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 wood is used for fuel[
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 -

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