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Croton sakamaliensis Leandri

Protologue
Ann. Inst. Bot.-Géol. Colon. Marseille sér. 5, 7(1): 54 (1939).
Family
Euphorbiaceae
Origin and geographic distribution
Croton sakamaliensis occurs in central and southern Madagascar.
Uses
An infusion of the stem bark of Croton sakamaliensis is taken to treat diarrhoea, cough and fever, and in larger amounts as a purgative to expel intestinal worms.
Properties
The plants contain essential oil, which shows significant antibacterial activity against a range of human intestinal pathogens.
Botany
Monoecious small shrub up to 1 m tall; stems covered with whitish scales. Leaves in whorls, simple, strongly scented; stipules small, soon falling; petiole c. 2 mm long; blade ovate to lanceolate, 1–1.5 cm × 0.5–1 cm, base rounded, with 2 small, yellow, sessile glands, apex rounded, stellate hairy above, beneath with whitish scales and small red glands. Inflorescence a compact, terminal raceme c. 1 cm long with 4–5 male flowers at end and 2–3 female flowers at base. Flowers unisexual, 5-merous; male flowers with short pedicel, sepals ovate, acute, petals thin, ciliate, stamens 15, free; female flowers with short pedicel c. 2 mm long, sepals small, margin membranaceous, petals rudimentary, ovary superior, rounded, 3-lobed, yellowish hairy, 3-celled, styles 3, each deeply 2-fid. Fruit an ovoid 3-lobed capsule c. 4 mm long, scaly hairy, 3-seeded.
Croton comprises about 1200 species and occurs throughout the warmer regions of the world. It is best represented in the Americas; about 65 species occur in continental Africa and about 125 in Madagascar. Almost 40 species from Madagascar are used in medicine, and several of them resemble morphologically Croton sakamaliensis. A stem bark infusion of Croton bernierus Baill. and Croton isomonensis Leandri is taken to treat coughs. The aromatic leafy branches are used as mattress fillers to repel insects. A bark decoction of Croton stanneum Baill. is taken to treat venereal diseases. Croton stanneum is easy to propagate and sometimes planted in villages. The aromatic leafy branches of Croton trichotomus Geiseler are used in fumigation to chase insects in houses.
Ecology
Croton sakamaliensis occurs on rocky soils in valleys at 500–800 m altitude.
Genetic resources and breeding
There are no signs that Croton sakamaliensis is threatened by genetic erosion.
Prospects
Croton sakamaliensis shows antibacterial activities, but more information is needed to evaluate its potential.
Major references
• Boiteau, P., Boiteau, M. & Allorge-Boiteau, L., 1999. Dictionnaire des noms malgaches de végétaux. 4 Volumes + Index des noms scientifiques avec leurs équivalents malgaches. Editions Alzieu, Grenoble, France.
• 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.
• Leandri, J., 1939. Les Croton de Madagascar et des îles voisines. Annales de l’Institut Botanique-Géologique Colonial de Marseille 7(1). 100 pp.
• Rasoanaivo, P., Petitjean, A. & Conan, J.Y., 1993. Toxic and poisonous plants of Madagascar: an ethnopharmacological survey. Fitoterapia 64: 117–129.
Other references
• Missouri Botanical Garden, undated. VAST (VAScular Tropicos) nomenclatural database. [Internet] http://mobot.mobot.org/W3T/Search/vast.html. Accessed December 2006.
• Rakotonirainy, N., 2004. Etude chimique et microbiologique des huilles essentielles de deux plantes médicinales d’Ifotaka (Fort-Dauphin). Mémoire d’Ingénieur à l’Institut Supérieure Polytechnique de Madagascar (ISPM), Antananarivo, Madagascar. 44 pp.
Author(s)
G.H. Schmelzer
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:
Schmelzer, G.H., 2007. Croton sakamaliensis Leandri. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.