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Craspidospermum verticillatum Bojer ex A.DC.

Prodr. 8: 323 (1844).
Origin and geographic distribution
Craspidospermum verticillatum is endemic to Madagascar.
The leaves and bark of Craspidospermum verticillatum are often used in traditional medicine to treat pulmonary diseases as a tonic, antitussive and expectorant. After-effects of syphilis are treated with a decoction of the aerial parts. The wood is used as timber and is highly esteemed for construction. Craspidospermum verticillatum is therefore often cultivated around villages.
The leaves and bark contain the indole alkaloids methoxy-11-tabersonine, hydroxy-11-tabersonine, venalstonine, Δ14-vincine and craspidospermine. These alkaloids show cerebro-vascular activity. The leaves also contain the alkaloid condylocarpine, which causes irritation in workers handling the leaves. Andranginine has also been isolated. The wood is moderately heavy, with an oven-dry density of about 780 kg/m3. It is recommended to kiln dry the wood at 41°C.
Tree up to 25 m tall, glabrous, with white latex in the branchlets, not in the bark; bole up to 50 cm in diameter; bark pale grey-brown, rather smooth, branches lenticellate. Leaves in whorls of 3–4, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole (0–)5–25 mm long; blade narrowly elliptical to obovate, 4–14 cm × 2–6.5 cm, base cuneate, apex rounded or sometimes acute, leathery, pinnately veined with 10–20 pairs of conspicuous lateral veins. Inflorescence a very dense compound dichasium, 4–12 cm long, terminal and in the axils of the upper leaves, 1–4 together; peduncle 1–8.5 cm long; lower bracts leafy, others sepal-like. Flowers bisexual, regular, 5-merous; pedicel 0.5–3 mm long; sepals connate at base, ovate, apex obtuse or rounded; corolla with cylindrical tube 6–10 mm × 1–2 mm, widened around the anthers, lobes narrowly elliptical, 3–9 mm × 2–4 mm, apex rounded, erect to spreading, overlapping to the left, hairy inside with straight hairs directed downwards, white or pale pink, throat pink or dark red; stamens inserted 2–4 mm from the base of the corolla tube, deeply included; ovary superior, almost globose, 2-celled; pistil head with basal ellipsoid stigmatic part and oblong apex. Fruit an oblong woody capsule 3–6 cm × 1–2 cm, base and apex rounded, 2-valved, septicidal, wall c. 2 mm thick, many-seeded. Seeds flat, obliquely elliptical, c. 12 mm long, dark brown, ciliate with irregularly coherent, fin-like hairs 1–2 mm long, minutely papillose.
Craspidospermum comprises only a single species. It is characterized by its whorled leaves and capsular fruits.
Craspidospermum verticillatum occurs in rain forest up to 1800 m altitude.
Genetic resources and breeding
Craspidospermum verticillatum has been harvested on a large scale for its timber, and to avoid genetic erosion it should be planted on a much larger scale for timber purposes.
Craspidospermum verticillatum will remain a medicinal plant of only local importance. Its value and potential as cultivated timber tree need further research.
Major references
• Boiteau, P. & Allorge-Boiteau, L., 1993. Plantes médicinales de Madagascar. Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique, Paris, France. 135 pp.
• Gurib-Fakim, A. & Brendler, T., 2004. Medicinal and aromatic plants of Indian Ocean Islands: Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles and Mascarenes. Medpharm, Stuttgart, Germany. 568 pp.
• Kan Fan, C., Das, B.C., Husson, H.P. & Potier, P., 1974. Plantes malgaches. XV. Alcaloides de Craspidospermum verticillatum var. petiolare (Apocynacées): andrangine ou (+)epoxy-14,15-nor-1-vallesamidine (1). Bulletin de la Société Chimique de France 12: 2839–2841.
• Leeuwenberg, A.J.M., 1997. Craspidospermum Boj. ex A. DC., Gonioma E. Mey., Mascarenhasia A. DC., Petchia Livera, Plectaneia Thou., and Stephanostegia Baill. In: Leeuwenberg, A.J.M. (Editor). Series of Revisions of Apocynaceae 44. Wageningen Agricultural University Papers 97–2. Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen, Netherlands. 124 pp.
• Markgraf, F., 1976. Apocynaceae. Flore de Madagascar et des Comores, famille 169. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. 318 pp.
Other references
• 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.
• Kan Fan, C., Das, B.C., Potier, P., Le Men, J. & Boiteau, P., 1968. Plantes Malgaches. I. Etude des alcaloides de Craspidospermum verticillatum Boj. ex DC., Apocynacées. Annales Pharmaceutiques Françaises 26(7): 577–582.
• Kan Fan, C., Besselièvre, R., Cave, A., Das, B.C. & Potier, P., 1971. New alkaloids of Craspidospermum verticillatum (Apocynaceae): 14-delta-epi-16-vincine. Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de l'Académie des Sciences, série C, Sciences Chimiques 272(16): 1431–1434.
• Kan Fan, C., Husson, H.P. & Potier, P., 1976. Plantes Malgaches XVI. La craspidospermine, nouvel alcaloide de Craspidospermum verticillatum verticillatum (Apocynaceae). Bulletin de la Société Chimique de France 7–8: 1227–1228.
• Riche, C. & Pascard Billy, C., 1979. Structure and stereochemistry of indole alkaloids Part 4: structure of andranginine. Acta Crystallographica Section B. Structural Crystallography and Crystal Chemistry 35(3): 666–669.
• Schatz, G.E., 2001. Generic tree flora of Madagascar. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 477 pp.
• Simpson, W.T., 1996. Method to estimate dry-kiln schedules and specific groupings: Tropical and temperate hardwoods. Research paper FPL-RP-548, Forest Products Laboratory, Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Madison WI, United States. 57 pp.
A. de Ruijter
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

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., 2006. Craspidospermum verticillatum Bojer ex A.DC. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.