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Useful Tropical Plants

Adenia digitata

(Harv.) Engl.

Passifloraceae

+ Synonyms

Adenia angustisecta Burtt Davy

Adenia buchananii Harms

Adenia multiflora Potts

Adenia senensis Engl.

Adenia stenophylla Harms

Modecca digitata Harv.

Common Name:

Adenia digitata
Flowers and developing fruits
Photograph by: Günter Baumann; African plants - A Photo Guide.
© Günter Baumann

General Information

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[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
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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.
].
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[
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

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[
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 has been used for committing homicide; it is also eaten or a root extract is drunk as a suicide 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.
].
Accidental poisoning mainly occurs when the root is mistaken for edible tubers, particularly those of Coccinia 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.
].
Children are often poisoned as a result of eating the attractive fruit[
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


Range

East Africa - Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, S. Africa.

Habitat

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[
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

Medicinal Rating *
HabitPerennial Climber
Height3.00 m
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

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[
423
Title
Desert Tropicals
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Website
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/
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Year
0
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Description
The main focus of the site is succulent plants, but it also contains information on a wide range of other species. Usually at least one good photograph, plus basic information about the plant and its cultivation.
].
Succeeds in a sunny to lightly shaded position and a well-drained soil[
385
Title
Bihrmann's Caudiciforms
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.bihrmann.com/caudiciforms/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An internet site giving information on caudiciform plants (plants with swollen stem bases such as the Baobab tree, cycads and many succulents). Excellent photos, usually of cultivated plants in pots.
,
423
Title
Desert Tropicals
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The main focus of the site is succulent plants, but it also contains information on a wide range of other species. Usually at least one good photograph, plus basic information about the plant and its cultivation.
].
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required.

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

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[
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 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[
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

None known

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2024-02-23. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Adenia+digitata>

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