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Neuropeltis acuminata (P.Beauv.) Benth.

Protologue
Hook., Niger Fl.: 469 (1849).
Family
Convolvulaceae
Chromosome number
2n = 28
Origin and geographic distribution
Neuropeltis acuminata is distributed from Senegal to the Central African Republic, DR Congo and Angola.
Uses
In Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire the stems of Neuropeltis acuminata are used as ropes and for tying in the construction of houses. In Gabon the leaves are eaten as a vegetable.
Botany
Woody liana with contorted stems up to 40 m long and with diameter up to 25 cm. Leaves alternate, simple; petiole 8–25 mm long; blade elliptical, 5–12 cm × 5–6 cm, rounded to cuneate at base, apex acuminate, margin entire. Inflorescences axillary and terminal racemes, up to 50-flowered, 12–30 cm long. Flowers bisexual, regular, 5-merous, fragrant; pedicel up to 4 mm long, bract strongly accrescent after flowering; sepals circular to elliptical, 1.5–3 mm long, pubescent; corolla campanulate, 5–9 mm long, with short tube, white with greenish tinge, sparsely pubescent on outside of lobes; stamens inserted at base of corolla tube, filaments glabrous, whitish; ovary superior, 2-celled, style filiform, c. 2.5 mm long, stigmas 2. Fruit a rounded capsule 7 mm in diameter, surrounded at base by persistent calyx and enlarged bract. Seeds 1(–2), globose, black, glabrous.
In Ghana flowering is in December–January.
Neuropeltis comprises about 13 species, of which about 9 in tropical Africa and 4 in tropical Asia. Neuropeltis occidentalis Breteler is restricted to an area from Guinea eastward to Côte d’Ivoire. In Sierra Leone its stems are used as a source of rope of high quality. Neuropeltis prevosteoides Mangenot is restricted to Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire, where its stems are used for tying in house construction. Neuropeltis velutina Hallier f. occurs in Nigeria and Central Africa but the name has been misapplied to Neuropeltis occidentalis.
Ecology
Neuropeltis acuminata occurs in evergreen primary forest as well as in secondary and gallery forests, and in swamps. In older forest it becomes one of the dominant climbing species. It has been recorded from altitudes up to 1500 m.
Genetic resources and breeding
Neuropeltis acuminata seems not threatened with genetic erosion.
Prospects
Neuropeltis acuminata is only locally used as a source of tying material, and its importance is unlikely to increase.
Major references
• Breteler, F.J., 2010. Neuropeltis (Convolvulaceae) in Upper Guinea (Africa): description of a new species with a synopsis of and a key to all African species. Systematics and Geography of Plants [in press].
• Burkill, H.M., 1985. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 1, Families A–D. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 960 pp.
• Lejoly, J. & Lisowski, S., 1984. Le genre Neuropeltis Wall. (Convolvulaceae) au Zaïre, au Gabon et au Cameroun. Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 54: 471–482.
• Tra Bi, F.H., Kouamé, F.N. & Traoré, D., 2005. Utilisation of climbers in two forest reserves in West Côte d’Ivoire. In: Bongers, F., Parren, M.P.E. & Traoré, D. (Editors). Forest climbing plants of West Africa. Diversity, ecology and management. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, United Kingdom. pp. 167–181.
Other references
• Irvine, F.R., 1961. Woody plants of Ghana, with special reference to their uses. Oxford University Press, London, United Kingdom. 868 pp.
• Kuzee, M.E. & Bongers, F., 2005. Climber abundance, diversity and colonisation in degraded forests of different ages in Côte d’Ivoire. In: Bongers, F., Parren, M.P.E. & Traoré, D. (Editors). Forest climbing plants of West Africa. Diversity, ecology and management. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, United Kingdom. pp. 73–91.
• Leistner, O.A., 2005. Seed plants of southern tropical Africa: families and genera. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network, Report No. 26. SABONET, Pretoria, South Africa. 498 pp.
• Mangenot, S. & Mangenot, G., 1957. Nombres chromosomiques nouveaux chez diverses Dicotyledones et Monocotyledones d'Afrique occidentale. Bulletin du Jardin Botanique de l'Etat (Bruxelles) 27(4): 639–654.
• Missouri Botanical Garden, undated. VAST (VAScular Tropicos) nomenclatural database. [Internet] http://mobot.mobot.org/ W3T/Search/ vast.html. Accessed November 2009.
• Shaw, C.T., 1945. Bead-making with a bow-drill in the Gold Coast. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 75(1/2): 45–50.
• Staples, G.W., 2006. Revision of Asiatic Poraneae (Convolvulaceae): Cordisepalum, Dinetus, Duperreya, Porana, Poranopsis and Tridynamia. Blumea 51(3): 403–491.
Author(s)
C.H. Bosch
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:
Bosch, C.H., 2010. Neuropeltis acuminata (P.Beauv.) Benth. In: Brink, M. & Achigan-Dako, E.G. (Editors). Prota 16: Fibres/Plantes à fibres. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.