Prota 3: Dyes and tannins/Colorants et tanins
Advances Rubiac. macrosyst. (Op. Bot. Belg. 6): 198 (1994).
Gardenia kalbreyeri Hiern (1878), Pseudogardenia kalbreyeri (Hiern) Keay (1958).
Origin and geographic distribution
Adenorandia kalbreyeri occurs from southern Nigeria to western DR Congo and northern Angola (Cabinda).
A blue fluid is extracted from the fruit of Adenorandia kalbreyeri, which acts as a black cosmetic and as a tattoo dye. The plant has a high ornamental value as a climber with fragrant lily-like flowers.
Scandent shrub or liana with stems over 6 m long. Leaves opposite, simple and entire; stipules 4–10 mm long, usually falling off; petiole 3–12 mm long; blade obovate, 7–24 cm × 4–10 cm, base cuneate to truncate, apex acuminate, pubescent below, pinnately veined with lateral veins in 8–15 pairs. Flowers solitary, terminal on lateral branches, bisexual, regular, 5-merous, very fragrant; pedicel up to 1 cm long; calyx tubular, 2–4 cm long, widening at apex with ovate-lanceolate lobes up to 2.5 cm × 1.5 cm, densely pubescent; corolla tubular, tube 10–16 cm long, lobes ovate to lanceolate, 4–8 cm × 2–4.5 cm, white, yellowish or greenish with red-purple streaks inside, pubescent; stamens inserted in the upper part of the corolla tube, sessile, anthers up to 3 cm × 3 mm; ovary inferior, 1-celled, style with glabrous columnar basal part and pubescent ellipsoid upper part up to 3 cm × 1 cm, shortly 2-lobed at apex. Fruit a leathery, almost globose berry up to 8 cm × 6 cm, with 10–12 longitudinal grooves and more or less persistent calyx tube, many-seeded. Seeds discoid.
Adenorandia comprises a single species and is classified in subfamily Rubioideae, tribe Gardenieae. It is closely related to the larger genera Gardenia and Rothmannia.
In Gabon the fruits of another Rubiaceous climber, Aoranthe annulata (K.Schum.) Somers (synonym: Randia letestui Pellegr.), also produce a black dye, which is similarly used.
Adenorandia kalbreyeri occurs in primary as well as secondary rain forest, often in forest edges, also in secondary regrowth in abandoned cultivation areas.
Genetic resources and breeding
Adenorandia kalbreyeri is rather widespread and does not seem to be in danger of genetic erosion.
Adenorandia kalbreyeri will remain of minor importance as source of a dye. Its phytochemistry in relation to its dyeing properties, as well as its ornamental potential deserve more attention.
• Burkill, H.M., 1997. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 4, Families M–R. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 969 pp.
• Hallé, N., 1970. Rubiacées (2e partie). Flore du Gabon. Volume 17. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. 335 pp.
• Raponda-Walker, A. & Sillans, R., 1961. Les plantes utiles du Gabon. Paul Lechevalier, Paris, France. 614 pp.
• Robbrecht, E. & Bridson, D.M., 1993. Nomenclatural notes on three Rubiaceae genera. In: Robbrecht, E. (Editor). Advances in Rubiaceae macrosystematics. Opera Botanica Belgica 6. pp. 197–200.
• Somers, C., 1988. Aoranthe (Rubiaceae), new genus to accommodate the African species of Porterandia. Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 58 (1–2): 47–76.
Correct citation of this article:
Jansen, P.C.M., 2005. Adenorandia kalbreyeri (Hiern) Robbr. & Bridson In: Jansen, P.C.M. & Cardon, D. (Editors). PROTA 3: Dyes and tannins/Colorants et tanins. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.