Cracca arcuata Rydb.
Cracca heydeana Rydb.
Cracca multifolia (Rose) Rose
Tephrosia arcuata (Rydb.) Standl.
Tephrosia heydeana (Rydb.) Standl.
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[
The plant is a potential source of insecticidal compounds and is sometimes cultivated by native peoples for use as a fish poison.
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.
Central America - Panama, north to northern Mexico
Steep, rocky slopes in oak and pine woodland, open woods, secondary forest, scrubby areas, roadsides; at elevations up to 1,400 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
The plant, especially the roots, contain rotenone-like compounds that have insecticidal properties[
]. Rotenone is an isoflavone that has strong insecticidal, pesticidal and piscicidal activities, but is of relatively low toxicity to humans[
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