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Landolphia letestui (Pellegr.) Pichon

Protologue
Mem. Inst. Franç. Afr. Noire 35: 82 (1953).
Family
Apocynaceae
Synonyms
Carpodinus letestui Pellegr. (1898), Clitandra letestui Pellegr. (1925).
Origin and geographic distribution
Landolphia letestui occurs from Cameroon and Gabon south to Congo and Bas Congo province in DR Congo.
Uses
In Congo the stems are traditionally used for making ropes to climb palm trees.
Production and international trade
Rope made of Landolphia letestui is only used occasionally and locally.
Botany
Liana up to 15 m long; stem up to 10 cm in diameter; branchlets smooth or narrowly fissured, lenticellate, creamy or grey to dark brown, glabrous, latex white. Leaves opposite, simple and entire, with a long tendril in axil; petiole 3–12 mm long, glabrous; blade elliptical to obovate, 3–14 cm × 2–5 cm, base acute or sometimes rounded, sometimes decurrent, apex obtuse to acuminate, papery or leathery, glabrous. Inflorescence an axial or terminal, irregular, dichasial cyme 0.5–1.5 cm × 0.5–1.5 cm, up to 14-flowered; peduncle 1–3 mm long; bracts ovate or triangular, 0.5–1 mm × c. 0.5 mm. Flowers bisexual, 5-merous; pedicel 1–3 mm long; sepals unequal, ovate, 1–1.5 mm × 0.5–1.5 mm, connate at base; corolla tube 2–3 mm long, lobes equal or nearly so, ovate or elliptical, 1.5–3.5 mm × 1–1.5 mm, creamy, white or yellowish, sometimes discolourous; stamens inserted near middle of corolla tube, filaments c. 0.5 mm long, anthers acute; ovary superior, ovoid to rhomboid, 1–1.5 mm × 0.5–1 mm, pistil a head. Fruit ovoid, ellipsoid or obovoid, 3.5–6 cm × 3–6 cm, pale yellow, sometimes with orange-red gloss, 5–17-seeded. Seed irregularly ovoid, laterally compressed, 10–17 mm × 9–14 mm. Seedling with epigeal germination.
Landolphia letestui flowers from the beginning to the middle of the rainy season and fruits later in that season.
Landolphia comprises about 55 species occurring in Africa, Madagascar and the Mascarenes.
Ecology
Landolphia letestui occurs from sea-level up to 500 m altitude in primary or secondary forest, in dense shade or in open places.
Management
Landolphia letestui is only collected from the wild.
Genetic resources and breeding
There is no information on the conservation status of Landolphia letestui.
Prospects
Landolphia letestui is of occasional local use only, and there are no indications that the species will become more important in the future.
Major references
• Huber, H., 1963. Apocynaceae. In: Hepper, F.N. (Editor). Flora of West Tropical Africa. Volume 2. 2nd Edition. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. pp. 51–80.
• Persoon, J.G.M., van Dilst, F.J.H., Kuijpers, R.P., Leeuwenberg, A.J.M. & Vonk, G.J.A., 1992. The African species of Landolphia P. Beauv. Series of revisions of Apocynaceae 34. Wageningen Agricultural University Papers No 92–2. Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen, Netherlands. 232 pp.
• Pichon, M., 1953. Monographie des Landolphiées : classification des Apocynacées. Mémoires de l’Institut Français d’Afrique Noire No 35. Institut Français d’Afrique Noire, Dakar, Senegal. 437 pp.
• Stapf, O., 1902–1904. Apocynaceae. In: Thiselton-Dyer, W.T. (Editor). Flora of tropical Africa. Volume 4(1). Lovell Reeve & Co, London, United Kingdom. pp. 24–231.
Other references
• Pauwels, L., 2002. Inventaire d’herbiers (Afrique - R.D. Congo). [Internet] http://www.nzenzeflowerspauwels.be/ HERBKIN.htm. Accessed September 2009.
• Raponda-Walker, A. & Sillans, R., 1961. Les plantes utiles du Gabon. Paul Lechevalier, Paris, France. 614 pp.
• Watson, L. & Dallwitz, M.J., 1992–. The families of flowering plants: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. [Internet]. http://delta-intkey.com. Accessed September 2009.
Author(s)
L.P.A. Oyen
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands


Editors
M. Brink
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
E.G. Achigan Dako
PROTA Network Office Africa, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), P.O. Box 30677-00100, Nairobi, Kenya

Correct citation of this article:
Oyen, L.P.A., 2010. Landolphia letestui (Pellegr.) Pichon. In: Brink, M. & Achigan-Dako, E.G. (Editors). Prota 16: Fibres/Plantes à fibres. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.