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Anthocleista madagascariensis Baker

Protologue
Journ. Bot. 20: 173 (1882).
Family
Loganiaceae (APG: Gentianaceae)
Synonyms
Anthocleista rhizophoroides Baker (1887), Anthocleista hildebrandtii Gilg (1893).
Origin and geographic distribution
Anthocleista madagascariensis is endemic to Madagascar, where it is widespread.
Uses
In Madagascar a decoction of the leaves and roots is taken to treat cough, malaria, fever, dysentery and as an emetic, tonic and bitter. A bark decoction is taken to treat gonorrhoea, as a diuretic and antiseptic of the urinary tract. A decoction of the plant is used as a steam bath to treat common cold. A leaf decoction is taken to induce labour. Anthocleista madagascariensis is also used to treat constipation and nervousness. The wood is used locally for construction work.
Properties
Anthocleista madagascariensis contains the monoterpene alkaloid gentianine. In Anthocleista procera Lepr. ex Bureau this compound arises as an artifact in the isolation of swertiamarin, but the presence of swertiamarin in Anthocleista madagascariensis has not been established. Different extracts were shown to have a strong effect on the nervous system and on the heart, lowering the rhythm and diminishing the amplitude of the contractions.
Botany
Small tree up to 15 m tall; bole up to 30 cm in diameter; twigs without spines. Leaves opposite, simple and entire; petiole 1–2.5(–4) cm long, slightly auricled; blade oblong-obovate or oblanceolate, 5–17 cm × 2–9 cm, in young plants up to 24 cm × 11 cm, base decurrent into the petiole, apex rounded, margin revolute when dry. Inflorescence an erect terminal dichasial cyme, 5–20 cm long, many-flowered; peduncle and branches creamy or pale green. Flowers bisexual, regular; sepals 4, free, orbicular or broadly ovate, 5–9 mm long; corolla with cylindrical tube 8–12 mm long, lobes 10, orbicular or elliptical, 7–10 mm long, apex obtuse or rounded, spreading, violet; stamens as many as corolla lobes and alternating with them, exserted, filaments fused, anthers brownish white with an often large petal-like sterile acute apex; ovary superior, obovoid, 5–6 mm × 2.5–3 mm, 4-celled, stigma obovoid, apically slightly notched. Fruit a globose to ovoid berry 2.5–4 cm × 1.5–2.5 cm, smooth and shining, apiculate, thick-walled, many-seeded. Seeds obliquely ovoid to ellipsoid, 2–2.5 mm × 1.5–2.5 mm, medium brown, usually surrounded by a narrow ridge.
Birds often visit the nectar-rich flowers. The seeds of Anthocleista madagascariensis are probably dispersed by bats, which eat the fruits.
Anthocleista comprises 14 species and occurs in tropical Africa, including Comoros and Madagascar.
Ecology
Anthocleista madagascariensis occurs in open moist localities, mostly in rainforest, at 450–1700 m altitude.
Genetic resources and breeding
Anthocleista madagascariensis is widespread in Madagascar, but there is insufficient information to draw pertinent conclusions or make recommendations concerning its genetic erosion and possible conservation measures.
Prospects
The use of Anthocleista madagascariensis appears to be limited and only occasional in Madagascar. In view of the limited chemical and pharmacological data available and the many uses of other Anthocleista species in Africa, research into the pharmacological properties of Anthocleista madagascariensis may prove worthwhile.
Major references
• Boiteau, P. & Allorge-Boiteau, L., 1993. Plantes médicinales de Madagascar. Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique, Paris, France. 135 pp.
• Debray, M., Jacquemin, H. & Razafindrambao, R., 1971. Contribution à l’inventaire des plantes médicinales de Madagascar. Travaux et Documents No 8. ORSTOM, Paris, France. 150 pp.
• Leeuwenberg, A.J.M., 1961. The Loganiaceae of Africa. 1. Anthocleista. Acta Botanica Neerlandica 10: 1–53.
• Leeuwenberg, A.J.M., 1984. Loganiaceae. Flore de Madagascar et des Comores, famille 167. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. 107 pp.
• Neuwinger, H.D., 2000. African traditional medicine: a dictionary of plant use and applications. Medpharm Scientific, Stuttgart, Germany. 589 pp.
Other references
• Bollen, B., Van Elsacker, L. & Ganzhorn, J.U., 2004. Relations between fruits and disperser assemblages in a Malagasy littoral forest: a community-level approach. Journal of Tropical Ecology 20: 599–612.
• Leeuwenberg, A.J.M. (Editor), 1980. Angiospermae: Ordnung Gentiales. Fam. Loganiaceae. Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien. Second Edition. Band 28 b-1. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, Germany. 255 pp.
• Randriamantsoa, R., 1996. Aperçu sur la pratique de la phytothérapie dans le Fonkotany d’Ankorona après les 15 ans de fonctionnement de son centre de soins de santé primaires. Thèse pour l’obtention du grade de Docteur en médecine, Etablissement d’Enseignement Supérieur des Sciences de la Santé, Faculté de Médecine, Université d’Antananarivo, Madagascar. 83 pp.
• Rasoanaivo, P. & Ratsimamanga-Urverg, S., 1992. Plantes médicinales malgaches qui reversent la chloroquino-résistance de Plasmodium falciparum. Cahier du CITE nouvelle Serie 2: 29–31.
• Razafindramanana, M.E., 1996. Les pathologies et la phytothérapie de la région d’Anjeva-gare. Thèse pour l’obtention du grade de Docteur en médecine, Etablissement d’Enseignement Supérieur des Sciences de la Santé, Faculté de Médecine Université d’Antananarivo, Madagascar. 76 pp.
Author(s)
A. de Ruijter
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands


Editors
G.H. Schmelzer
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
A. Gurib-Fakim
Faculty of Science, University of Mauritius, Réduit, Mauritius
Associate editors
C.H. Bosch
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
M.S.J. Simmonds
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB, United Kingdom
R. Arroo
Leicester School of Pharmacy, Natural Products Research, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH, United Kingdom
A. de Ruijter
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
General editors
R.H.M.J. Lemmens
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
L.P.A. Oyen
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

Correct citation of this article:
de Ruijter, A., 2007. Anthocleista madagascariensis Baker. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.