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Discoglypremna caloneura (Pax) Prain

Protologue
Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1911: 317 (1911).
Family
Euphorbiaceae
Chromosome number
n = 6
Vernacular names
Atieghe (Fr).
Origin and geographic distribution
Discoglypremna caloneura occurs from Guinea east to Uganda and south to DR Congo.
Uses
In West Africa a decoction of the crushed leaves is taken as an expectorant in bronchial problems. The seed or seed oil is taken as an emetic and purgative against dysentery, diarrhoea and oedema, and to help in cases of difficult childbirth and as an abortifacient. The seed oil mixed with bait is used to kill unwanted animals. In Congo a bark decoction is taken to relieve coughing fits and intestinal pain caused by food poisoning, and as an emetic. Bark powder is applied to sores to promote healing. A maceration of ground leaves in water is applied to the head to kill lice.
The wood is easy to carve and masks and domestic utensils are made from it. It is suitable for light construction, light flooring, joinery, interior trim, ship building, vehicle bodies, furniture, cabinet work, boxes, crates, matches, turnery, veneer, plywood, hardboard, particle board and pulpwood. It is also used as fuel. In Ghana the fleshy fruits are used as bait in bird traps.
Properties
Preliminary tests showed the presence of tannins in the stem bark and roots, and several diterpene derivatives in the stem bark. The stem bark also contains 3-O-acetyl aleuritolic acid, which exhibited significant antifilarial activity, affecting the vitality of adult male filaria of Onchocerca gutturosa. A crude ethanolic leaf extract showed moderate bacteriostatic effects in vitro against Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis.
The heartwood is whitish to yellowish brown and indistinctly demarcated from the sapwood. The grain is straight, texture rather coarse. Radial surfaces show some darker streaks and a slight silvery figure. The wood is lightweight, with a density of 380–420 kg/m³ at 12% moisture content. It air dries fairly well and rapidly. The rates of shrinkage are moderate, from green to oven dry 2.0–4.0% radial and 5.6–7.5% tangential. Once dry, it is moderately stable in service.
At 12% moisture content, the modulus of rupture is 64–85 N/mm², modulus of elasticity 6960–8430 N/mm², compression parallel to grain 24–36 N/mm², shear 4.5–6 N/mm², cleavage 7.5–17 N/mm and Chalais-Meudon side hardness 1.0–1.4.
The wood is easy to saw and work with both hand and machine tools. It planes to a nice surface. It is easy to nail and screw, and it glues satisfactorily. Veneer production by peeling and slicing gives good results. The wood is not durable, being liable to blue stain, termite and Lyctus attacks. The heartwood is resistant to impregnation by preservatives, the sapwood permeable.
The papermaking qualities of the wood have been examined in a series of tests. They were not good enough to recommend the establishment of plantations for paper pulp. The wood ash is reported to produce sores on the skin.
Botany
Large, dioecious tree up to 45 m tall; bole branchless for up to 30 m, up to 200 cm in diameter, with buttresses up to 3 m high; bark smooth, silvery; twigs dark purplish grey, sparingly short-hairy, later almost glabrous. Leaves alternate, simple, almost opposite to verticillate below the inflorescence; stipules tiny, soon falling; petiole (1–)3–5(–7) cm long, slightly thickened at both ends, short-hairy above; blade oblong, elliptical-oblong to sometimes rounded, (3–)6–10(–15) cm × (2–)4–6(–10) cm, base rounded to cuneate with 2 elliptical glands, apex short-acuminate, margins entire or with remote, rounded teeth, 3-veined at base, almost glabrous, but short-hairy on main veins, purplish, later dark and glossy green. Inflorescence a terminal panicle with racemose branches, some arising from the base; male inflorescence up to 20 cm long; female inflorescence up to 8(–12) cm long; bracts c. 1 mm long, acuminate, hairy. Flowers unisexual, petals absent; male flowers with jointed pedicel 1–1.5 mm long, sepals 3–4, ovate, c. 1.5 mm long, acute, densely short-hairy outside, greenish, disk glands c. 15, ovoid, c. 0.5 mm in diameter, hairy at apex, stamens (6–)8(–15), filaments c. 2 mm long, free; female flowers with pedicel 1–1.5 mm long, jointed at base, calyx lobes (4–)5, ovate, c. 1.5 mm long, acute, reflexed, short-hairy outside, disk glands 6–8, obovoid, ovary superior, 3-lobed, c. 1.5 mm in diameter, densely yellowish hairy, 3-celled, styles 3, c. 1 mm long, free, feathery-hairy. Fruit a 3-lobed capsule 4–5 mm × 6–8 mm, smooth, sparsely short-hairy, greenish, 3-seeded. Seeds ovoid, 3–4 mm × 2–3 mm, smooth, black, with a red, fleshy pseudoaril.
Discoglypremna comprises a single species.
Anatomy
Wood-anatomical description (IAWA hardwood codes):
Growth rings: (1: growth ring boundaries distinct); (2: growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent). Vessels: 5: wood diffuse-porous; 13: simple perforation plates; 22: intervessel pits alternate; 23: shape of alternate pits polygonal; 27: intervessel pits large ( 10 μm); 31: vessel-ray pits with much reduced borders to apparently simple: pits rounded or angular; 32: vessel-ray pits with much reduced borders to apparently simple: pits horizontal (scalariform, gash-like) to vertical (palisade); 42: mean tangential diameter of vessel lumina 100–200 μm; (43: mean tangential diameter of vessel lumina 200 μm); 46: 5 vessels per square millimetre; 56: tyloses common. Tracheids and fibres: 61: fibres with simple to minutely bordered pits; 66: non-septate fibres present; 68: fibres very thin-walled; 69: fibres thin- to thick-walled. Axial parenchyma: (76: axial parenchyma diffuse); 77: axial parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates; 93: eight (5–8) cells per parenchyma strand. Rays: 97: ray width 1–3 cells; (98: larger rays commonly 4- to 10-seriate); (100: rays with multiseriate portion(s) as wide as uniseriate portions); (107: body ray cells procumbent with mostly 2–4 rows of upright and/or square marginal cells); 108: body ray cells procumbent with over 4 rows of upright and/or square marginal cells; 115: 4–12 rays per mm; 116: 12 rays per mm. Mineral inclusions: 136: prismatic crystals present; 137: prismatic crystals in upright and/or square ray cells; 140: prismatic crystals in chambered upright and/or square ray cells; (141: prismatic crystals in non-chambered axial parenchyma cells); 142: prismatic crystals in chambered axial parenchyma cells; (144: druses present); (145: druses in ray parenchyma cells); (146: druses in axial parenchyma cells); (148: druses in chambered cells).
(M. Thiam, P. Détienne & E.A. Wheeler)
Ecology
Discoglypremna caloneura occurs in rainforest and old secondary forest, from sea-level up to 1100 m altitude. In West Africa it flowers from November to March and fruits from December to April. The fruits are dispersed by birds.
Genetic resources and breeding
There are no signs that Discoglypremna caloneura is at risk of genetic erosion.
Prospects
Discoglypremna caloneura has several interesting medicinal uses, and more research into its chemistry and pharmacological activity seems warranted.
Major references
• Atindehou, K.K., Koné, M., Terreaux, C., Traoré, D., Hostettmann, K. & Dosso, M., 2002. Evaluation of the antimicrobial potential of medicinal plants from the Ivory Coast. Phytotherapy Research 16(5): 497–502.
• Burkill, H.M., 1994. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 2, Families E–I. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 636 pp.
• Manewa, S.N., 1997. Constituants chimiques du Discoglypremna caloneura (Euphorbiacées). Maîtrise en Chimie, Université de Yaoundé, Département de Chimie Organique, Yaoundé, Cameroun. 28 pp.
• Neuwinger, H.D., 2000. African traditional medicine: a dictionary of plant use and applications. Medpharm Scientific, Stuttgart, Germany. 589 pp.
• Nyasse, B., Ngantchou, I., Nono, J.-J. & Schneider, B., 2006. Antifilarial activity in vitro of polycarpol and 3-O-acetyl aleuritolic acid from Cameroonian medicinal plants against Onchocerca gutturosa. Natural Products Research 20(4): 391–397.
Other references
• Abbiw, D.K., 1990. Useful plants of Ghana: West African uses of wild and cultivated plants. Intermediate Technology Publications, London and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 337 pp.
• Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (Editors), 2006. Flore analytique du Bénin. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands. 1034 pp.
• Akubue, P.I., Mittal, G.C. & Aguwa, C.N., 1983. Preliminary pharmacological study of some Nigerian medicinal plants. 1. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 8: 53–63.
• Bolza, E. & Keating, W.G., 1972. African timbers: the properties, uses and characteristics of 700 species. Division of Building Research, CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia. 710 pp.
• InsideWood, undated. [Internet] http://insidewood.lib.ncsu.edu/search/. Accessed May 2007.
• Normand, D., 1955. Atlas des bois de la Côte d’Ivoire. Tome 2. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 132 pp.
• Petroff, G., Doat, J. & Tissot, M., 1967. Caractéristiques papetières de quelques essences tropicales de reboisement. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 166 pp.
• Stäuble, N., 1986. Etude ethnobotanique des Euphorbiacées d’Afrique de l’Ouest. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 16: 23–103.
• Takahashi, A., 1978. Compilation of data on the mechanical properties of foreign woods (part 3) Africa. Shimane University, Matsue, Japan, 248 pp.
• Téré, H.G., 2000. Signification des noms vernaculaires des plantes chez les Guérés (Côte d’Ivoire). Sempervira No 7. Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques (CSRS), Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. 96 pp.
Sources of illustration
• Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (Editors), 2006. Flore analytique du Bénin. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands. 1034 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
Photo editor
A. de Ruijter
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

Correct citation of this article:
Schmelzer, G.H., 2008. Discoglypremna caloneura (Pax) Prain. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.
1, flowering branch; 2, male flower; 3, female flower; 4, fruit.
Source: Flore analytique du Bénin



wood in transverse section


wood in tangential section


wood in radial section