Cracca noctiflora (Bojer ex Baker) Kuntze
Tephrosia subamoena Prain
Tephrosia noctiflora is usually a sparsely branched shrub, growing from 1.5 - 2 metres tall, though it is sometimes only an annual[
The plant is sometimes cultivated as cover crop and green manure plant in E Africa, occasionally elsewhere in the tropics[
The plant is used 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.
Eastern tropical Africa - Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, S. Africa, Madagascar, to India.
River banks, stony and rocky places and woodland; below 1,000 metres[
|Other Uses Rating
A plant of the lowland tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 700 metres[
Young plants do not withstand heavy rain, older plants withstand waterlogging[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
Cultivated as a green manure crop in tea plantations[
]. It is grown in wet rice fields, in young rubber and coconut plantations[
]. It can be cut several times to provide bulk for green manuring[
It is sometimes planted as a contour hedge[
The plant parts of many species in this genus 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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