Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1
Engl., Pflanzenr. IV, 147(7): 426 (1914).
Origin and geographic distribution
Grossera macrantha occurs in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Congo and DR Congo.
In Congo powdered bark is applied to sores, after these have been washed with a decoction of the bark.
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.
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.
Grossera macrantha will probably remain of minor importance as a medicinal plant.
• 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.
• 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.
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.