Adenia angustisecta Burtt Davy
Adenia buchananii Harms
Adenia multiflora Potts
Adenia senensis Engl.
Adenia stenophylla Harms
Modecca digitata Harv.
Adenia digitata is a perennial climbing plant producing annual stems up to 3 metres long from a tuber that can be 60cm in diameter. The stems scramble over the ground and climb into the surrounding vegetation, attaching themselves by means of tendrils[
Although highly poisonous, the plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local medicinal use. Because of its impressive tuber, which can be partly above ground, it is cultivated as an ornamental worldwide[
The whole plant is deadly poisonous. The tuber contains cyanogenic glycosides, mainly tetraphyllin B (barterioside), and the very potent toxin modeccin, a toxalbumin, which inhibits protein synthesis in vitro[
The fruit has been used for committing homicide; it is also eaten or a root extract is drunk as a suicide poison[
Accidental poisoning mainly occurs when the root is mistaken for edible tubers, particularly those of Coccinia species[
Children are often poisoned as a result of eating the attractive fruit[
East Africa - Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, S. Africa.
Savannah, bushland, dry rocky or grassy localities, on termite mounds and along forest fringes, on stony, sandy, or clayish soils at elevations from sea-level up to 1,850 metres[
A plant of drier areas in the tropics, where it can be found at elevations up to 1,850 metres. The plant is not frost tolerant, being damaged at temperatures below 4°c[
Succeeds in a sunny to lightly shaded position and a well-drained soil[
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required.
The whole plant is very poisonous, but it is sometimes used medicinally, mainly being applied externally, though there are reports of the root being taken internally[
The root, which can be raw, cooked, or in the form of a decoction, is applied externally onto swellings, various skin ailments, leprosy or ulcers. It is sometimes applied externally and also drunk to treat swollen legs[
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