Prota 16: Fibres/Plantes à fibres
Hook., Niger Fl.: 469 (1849).
2n = 28
Origin and geographic distribution
Neuropeltis acuminata is distributed from Senegal to the Central African Republic, DR Congo and Angola.
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.
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.
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.
Neuropeltis acuminata is only locally used as a source of tying material, and its importance is unlikely to increase.
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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.