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Grossera macrantha Pax

Protologue
Engl., Pflanzenr. IV, 147(7): 426 (1914).
Family
Euphorbiaceae
Origin and geographic distribution
Grossera macrantha occurs in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Congo and DR Congo.
Uses
In Congo powdered bark is applied to sores, after these have been washed with a decoction of the bark.
Botany
Dioecious shrub or small tree up to 6(–20) m tall; bole up to 35 cm in diameter; twigs short-hairy, later glabrescent. Leaves alternate, simple; stipules small, soon falling; petiole 1.5–10 cm long; blade elliptical, 6–33 cm × 2.5–13 cm, base cuneate with 2 sessile glands, apex acute to rounded, margins finely toothed, short-hairy, later almost glabrous, glandular-punctate beneath. Inflorescence a terminal or sometimes axillary panicle at the end of a branch, (5–) 10–25 cm long, densely short-hairy. Flowers unisexual, white; male flowers with pedicel up to 6 mm long, calyx splitting into 2–3 lobes 3–4 mm long, short-hairy outside, petals 5, orbicular, 2–4 mm in diameter, stamens 16–25, free, up to 4 mm long, disk glands 5; female flowers with pedicel up to 6 mm long, enlarging to c. 12 mm in fruit, sepals 5, ovate to almost round, c. 2 mm long, hairy outside, petals 5, orbicular, 2–3 mm in diameter, enlarging up to 5 mm, hairy outside, disk cup-shaped, margin densely hairy, ovary superior, rounded, densely hairy, 3-celled, styles 3, 2-fid at apex, hairy. Fruit a 3-lobed capsule 8–10 mm × 14–15 mm, hairy, 3-seeded. Seeds ovoid, 6–8 mm × 5–7 mm, pale brown mottled with dark brown.
Grossera comprises 8 species, 7 occurring in the forest zone of continental Africa and 1 in dry deciduous forest in Madagascar.
Ecology
Grossera macrantha occurs in the understorey of dense rainforest and periodically inundated rainforest, also as a pioneer species in forest gaps, from sea-level up to 450 m altitude.
Genetic resources and breeding
Grossera macrantha is locally common as a pioneer species, and therefore probably not threatened by genetic erosion.
Prospects
Grossera macrantha will probably remain of minor importance as a medicinal plant.
Major references
• 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.
• Léonard, J., 1962. Euphorbiaceae. In: Robyns, W., Staner, P., Demaret, F., Germain, R., Gilbert, G., Hauman, L., Homès, M., Jurion, F., Lebrun, J., Vanden Abeele, M. & Boutique, R. (Editors). Flore du Congo belge et du Ruanda-Urundi. Spermatophytes. Volume 8, 1. Institut National pour l’Étude Agronomique du Congo belge, Brussels, Belgium. 214 pp.
Other references
• 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.
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. Grossera macrantha Pax. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.