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Osyridicarpos schimperianus (Hochst. ex A.Rich.) A.DC.

Protologue
Prodr. 14(2): 635 (1857).
Family
Santalaceae
Origin and geographic distribution
Osyridicarpos schimperianus is distributed from Eritrea south to South Africa.
Uses
The Samburu people of northern Kenya drink a root decoction to cure malaria. To reduce excessive swelling of the breasts the roots are soaked in water, which is then drunk. In South Africa leaves and stems are traded by traditional medicine sellers, but the use appears to be undocumented.
Botany
Hemiparasitic shrub, scrambling up to 5 m high, straggling; branches ribbed, glabrous to coarse-hairy. Leaves alternate, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole 1–4 mm long; blade elliptical, 0.5–5 cm × 2.5–15 mm, base cuneate, apex acute, dark green, 3-veined at base. Inflorescence a terminal panicle or raceme 3–30 cm long, 10–30-flowered; bracts leaf-like. Flowers bisexual, 5-merous, regular, sessile; perianth white, pale yellow or greenish, ribbed, tube cylindrical, 3–7 mm long, lobes spreading, ovate, acute; stamens free, with filament up to 1.5 mm long and anthers up to 1 mm long; ovary superior, 5-ribbed, style up to 8 mm long, stigma 2–5-lobed. Fruit a globose drupe up to 6 mm in diameter, crowned with persistent perianth, turning creamy-white, 1-seeded.
Osyridicarpos comprises a single species. Recently, phylogenetic research has confirmed a close relationship between Osyridicarpos and Thesium.
Ecology
Osyridicarpos schimperianus occurs mainly in upland dry, evergreen forest and bushland, at 900–2400 m altitude, and less often in more humid forests, along rivers and in deciduous woodland.
Management
Harvesting of Osyridicarpos schimperianus is exclusively from the wild.
Genetic resources and breeding
Osyridicarpos schimperianus is fairly widespread; it is not uncommon, not heavily utilized and thus not likely to be threatened by genetic erosion.
Prospects
Research on the ethnobotany and properties of Osyridicarpos schimperianus is still needed to be able to assess its potential as a medicinal plant.
Major references
• Bussmann, R.W., 2006. Ethnobotany of the Samburu of Mt. Nyiru, South Turkana, Kenya. Journal of Ethnobiology & Ethnomedicine 2: 35.
• Polhill, R.M., 2005. Santalaceae. In: Beentje, H.J. & Ghazanfar, S.A. (Editors). Flora of Tropical East Africa. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 27 pp.
Other references
• Arnold, T.H., Prentice, C.A., Hawker, L.C., Snyman, E.E., Tomalin, M., Crouch, N.R. & Pottas-Bircher, C., 2002. Medicinal and magical plants of southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 13. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria, South Africa. 302 pp.
• Cunningham, A.B., 1993. African medicinal plants: setting priorities at the interface between conservation and primary healthcare. UNESCO People and Plants Working Paper 1, Paris, France. 53 pp.
• Hutchings, A., Haxton Scott, A., Lewis, G. & Cunningham, A., 1996. Zulu medicinal plants: an inventory. University of Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. 450 pp.
• Miller, A.G., 1989. Santalaceae. In: Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (Editors). Flora of Ethiopia. Volume 3. Pittosporaceae to Araliaceae. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Department of Systematic Botany, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. pp. 379–383.
• Nickrent, D.L. & Malécot, V., 2001. A molecular phylogeny of Santalales. In: Fer, A., Thalouarn, P., Joel, D.M., Musselman, L.J., Parker, C. & Verkleij, J.A. [Editors]. Proceedings of the 7th International Parasitic Weed Symposium, Faculté des Sciences, Université de Nantes, Nantes, France. pp. 69–74.
Author(s)
C.H. Bosch
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
Photo editor
A. de Ruijter
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

Correct citation of this article:
Bosch, C.H., 2007. Osyridicarpos schimperianus (Hochst. ex A.Rich.) A.DC. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.
flowering stem
obtained from
B. Wursten


fruiting stem
obtained from
B. Wursten