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Useful Tropical Plants

Tephrosia multifolia

Rose

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Cracca arcuata Rydb.

Cracca heydeana Rydb.

Cracca multifolia (Rose) Rose

Tephrosia arcuata (Rydb.) Standl.

Tephrosia heydeana (Rydb.) Standl.

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Tephrosia multifolia is an erect, much-branched perennial plant growing from heavy, woody roots. The stems become more or less woody and persist; the plant growing 1 - 2 metres tall[
1615
Title
The American Barbistyled Species of Tephrosia (Leguminosae)
Publication
Contributions from the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University 170, 1949
Author
Wood C.E.
Publisher
 
Year
1949
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
The plant is a potential source of insecticidal compounds and is sometimes cultivated by native peoples for use as a fish poison.

Known Hazards

The plant contains rotenonoids and has been used traditionally as a fish poison - rotenoids kill or stun the fish making them easy to catch, but the fish remain perfectly edible for mammals. Rotenonoids are classified by the World Health Organization as moderately hazardous. They are mildly toxic to humans and other mammals, but extremely toxic to many insects (hence their use as an insecticide) and aquatic life, including fish. This higher toxicity in fish and insects is because the lipophilic rotenonoid is easily taken up through the gills or trachea, but not as easily through the skin or the gastrointestinal tract. The lowest lethal dose for a child is 143 mg/kg, but human deaths from rotenone poisoning are rare because its irritating action causes vomiting. Deliberate ingestion of rotenone, however, can be fatal.
The compound decomposes when exposed to sunlight and usually has an activity of six days in the environment.

Botanical References

1615
Title
The American Barbistyled Species of Tephrosia (Leguminosae)
Publication
Contributions from the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University 170, 1949
Author
Wood C.E.
Publisher
 
Year
1949
ISBN
 
Description
 

Range

Central America - Panama, north to northern Mexico

Habitat

Steep, rocky slopes in oak and pine woodland, open woods, secondary forest, scrubby areas, roadsides; at elevations up to 1,400 metres[
1615
Title
The American Barbistyled Species of Tephrosia (Leguminosae)
Publication
Contributions from the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University 170, 1949
Author
Wood C.E.
Publisher
 
Year
1949
ISBN
 
Description
 
]

Properties

Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitShrub
Height1.50 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

Not known

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The plant, especially the roots, contain rotenone-like compounds that have insecticidal properties[
1615
Title
The American Barbistyled Species of Tephrosia (Leguminosae)
Publication
Contributions from the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University 170, 1949
Author
Wood C.E.
Publisher
 
Year
1949
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. Rotenone is an isoflavone that has strong insecticidal, pesticidal and piscicidal activities, but is of relatively low toxicity to humans[
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.
,
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 -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2020-05-25. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Tephrosia+multifolia>

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