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Useful Tropical Plants

Catharanthus lanceus

(Bojer ex A.DC.) Pichon

Apocynaceae

+ Synonyms

Lochnera lancea (Bojer ex A.DC.) K.Schum.

Tachiadenus parviflorus Baker

Vinca lancea Bojer ex A.DC.

Common Name:

Catharanthus lanceus
Flowering plant in native habitat
Photograph by: Nivo Rakotoarivelo
Creative Commons License
Catharanthus lanceus Catharanthus lanceus

General Information

Catharanthus lanceus is a herbaceous perennial plant with decumbent stems, growing up to 1 metre tall, with a carrot-shaped taproot up to 70cm long. There is a white latex in all parts of the plant [
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 plant is harvested from the wild, mainly for local use as a medicine, though the plant is also sometimes exported[
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


Range

Africa - central Madagascar.

Habitat

Mainly in sunny positions on volcanic soil, laterite covering quartzite and granitic rock; periodically burned areas; open woodland on ridges; among rocks on hillsides; in ruderal grassland and along roadsides, at elevations from 750 - 2,000 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

Medicinal Rating *  *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.70 m
PollinatorsSelf
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Not known

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

A root decoction is taken as a remedy against toothache or fever, and as a purgative, oxytocic and vermifuge[
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.
,
565
Title
Madagascar. An Environmental Profile.
Publication
 
Author
Jenkins M.D. (Editor)
Publisher
World Conservation Monitoring Centre; Cambridge.
Year
1987
ISBN
2-88032-607-9
Description
Contains a list of the Ethnobotanical uses of Madagascar plants.
].

The leaves are anodyne, astringent, bitter, diuretic, emetic and general tonic. A decoction of the aerial parts is taken to stimulate the flow of breast milk[
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.
,
565
Title
Madagascar. An Environmental Profile.
Publication
 
Author
Jenkins M.D. (Editor)
Publisher
World Conservation Monitoring Centre; Cambridge.
Year
1987
ISBN
2-88032-607-9
Description
Contains a list of the Ethnobotanical uses of Madagascar plants.
].
Externally, the decoction is applied against several skin problems and as a haemostatic[
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.
].

Several pharmacologically active alkaloids have been isolated from the aerial parts of the plant, including leurosine, perivine, yohimbine, cathanneine, tetrahydroalstonine, leurocristine, periformyline, vincristine and vindolinine[
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 alkaloid fractions lanceus have shown hypotensive activity. The main active compound is yohimbine, a potent alpha-adrenergic blocker, but several other compounds play a role as well[
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.
].
Leurocristine, perivine, periformyline and vincristine show antiviral activity in vitro against some human pathogens[
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.
].
Some alkaloids have a hypoglycaemic effect[
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 lyophilized aqueous extract was found to show anti-tumour activity, with leurosine as the most potent compound[
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. 2024-07-14. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Catharanthus+lanceus>

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