Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1
Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Paris, ser. 2, 1: 115 (1899).
Microdesmis paniculata Pax (1899).
Origin and geographic distribution
Centroplacus glaucinus occurs in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
In Gabon a leaf decoction is taken to treat schizophrenia.
Dioecious small to medium-sized tree up to 20 m tall; bark surface dark brown, inner bark red; twigs slender, terete, glabrous. Leaves alternate, simple; stipules triangular, tiny; petiole up to 4 mm long, blackish when dry; blade oblong to elliptical-oblong, 7.5–17.5 cm × 2.5–6.5 cm, base obtuse, apex acuminate, distantly and shallowly toothed, glabrous, shiny above, pinnately veined with 10–14 pairs of lateral veins. Inflorescence an axillary panicle up to 7.5 cm long, on young shoots, short-hairy; bracts spoon-shaped, c. 1 mm long. Flowers unisexual, 5-merous; pedicel c. 1 mm long; sepals ovate, c. 1 mm long, obtuse, yellowish short-hairy; male flowers with petals broadly obovate or obovate-elliptical, c. 3 mm long, white, short-hairy, disk cup-shaped, stamens with short filaments; female flowers without petals, disk saucer-shaped, fleshy, 5-lobed, ovary superior, ovoid, c. 1 mm in diameter, 3-celled, densely short-hairy, styles 3, short. Fruit an oblong-ellipsoid, slightly 3-lobed capsule c. 7 mm in diameter, densely short-hairy, green turning pinkish orange, 3-seeded. Seeds ellipsoid, c. 3 mm long, usually smooth, black, shiny, aril orange-red.
Centroplacus consists of one species only. It has formerly been placed in Flacourtiaceae and Euphorbiaceae, but is now considered to belong to Pandaceae, although recent molecular studies indicate that it may be better placed in a separate family Centroplacaceae.
Centroplacus glaucinus occurs as an understorey tree in primary and secondary forest, usually at low altitudes.
Genetic resources and breeding
There are no signs that Centroplacus glaucinus is threatened by genetic erosion.
Centroplacus glaucinus will remain of local importance only as a medicinal plant.
• Akendengué, B. & Louis, A.M., 1994. Medicinal plants used by the Masango people in Gabon. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 41: 193–200.
• Govaerts, R., Frodin, D.G. & Radcliffe-Smith, A., 2000. World checklist and bibliography of Euphorbiaceae (with Pandaceae). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 1620 pp.
• Brown, N.E., Hutchinson, J. & Prain, D., 1909–1913. Euphorbiaceae. In: Thiselton-Dyer, W.T. (Editor). Flora of tropical Africa. Volume 6(1). Lovell Reeve & Co., London, United Kingdom. pp. 441–1020.
Correct citation of this article:
Schmelzer, G.H., 2008. Centroplacus glaucinus Pierre. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.