Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1
Journ. Linn. Soc., Bot. 37: 101 (1905).
Origin and geographic distribution
Androsiphonia adenostegia occurs in West Africa from Sierra Leone east to Ghana.
In Liberia and Ghana the leaves are mixed with palm oil and applied to the head to kill lice. The leaves are mixed with lime juice (Citrus aurantifolia (Christm. & Panzer) Swingle) and used to treat crab louse. In Liberia twigs are used as chewsticks.
Androsiphonia adenostegia contains the cyanogenic glycosides tetraphyllin B, volkenin and their possible biosynthetic precursor the nonprotein amino acid L-cyclopentenylglycine, a potent inhibitor of valine and isoleucine utilization in bacteria. Androsiphonia adenostegia also contains saponin derivates.
Shrub or small tree up to 6 m tall. Leaves alternate, simple; stipules absent; petiole 8–25 mm long; blade oblong to elliptical, 12–25 cm × 4–7 cm, base with two large black glands, one at each side of the midrib, apex acuminate to acute, margin toothed, papery, slightly hairy when young, later glabrous. Inflorescence a terminal panicle, sometimes also axillary, few- to many-flowered; bracts leafy, glandular. Flowers bisexual, regular, 5-merous, c. 2.5 cm in diameter; sepals fused at base, ovate to elliptical, hairy; petals inserted at the base of the sepals, similar to the sepals, greyish green; corona emerging from the base of the calyx, deeply divided, segments broadly linear; stamens inserted at the base of the ovary, forming an ovoid tube up to 3 mm long, filaments c. 5 mm long, anthers oblong; ovary superior, ellipsoid, c. 1 mm long, 1-celled, styles 3, slender, c. 6 mm long, stigmas head-shaped. Fruit a leathery, globose berry 2–3 cm long, apex acuminate, yellow to orange when ripe, several-seeded. Seeds with pitted wall, surrounded by pulpy aril.
Androsiphonia comprises a single species.
Androsiphonia adenostegia occurs in dense evergreen humid forest.
Genetic resources and breeding
As Androsiphonia adenostegia only occurs in evergreen forest, it might be threatened by genetic erosion because of habitat loss, although it does not seem to be endangered yet.
In view of the biological importance of the active substances found in Androsiphonia adenostegia, further research into the properties may prove worthwhile, although these substances also occur in several better-known Passiflora spp.
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Correct citation of this article:
de Ruijter, A., 2007. Androsiphonia adenostegia Stapf. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.