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Quaqua mammillaris (L.) Bruyns

Protologue
Bradleya 1: 63 (1983).
Family
Asclepiadaceae (APG: Apocynaceae)
Chromosome number
2n = 22
Synonyms
Caralluma mammillaris (L.) N.E.Br. (1902).
Origin and geographic distribution
Quaqua mammillaris occurs in southern Namibia and western South Africa.
Uses
Fresh stems are eaten to treat peptic ulcers, to treat hangovers and to reverse drunkenness. A small piece of stem is sufficient to suppress hunger and thirst for a day. Larger quantities can be eaten as a fresh vegetable, but it should not be eaten by pregnant women.
Botany
Succulent, much-branched, patch-forming, glabrous shrub, 12–50 cm × 50(–70) cm; stems erect, up to 2.5 cm in diameter, green, sometimes mottled with purple-brown; tubercles conical, spreading, 5–20 mm long, fused near base into 4–5 irregularly arranged angles, each with hard, yellowish tooth. Leaves rudimentary, forming the tubercle tooth; stipular denticles absent. Inflorescence a dense fascicle in the upper 2/3 of the stem, 3–15-flowered; flowers opening simultaneously. Flowers bisexual, regular, 5-merous; pedicel 2–3 mm long, spreading, holding the flower horizontally; sepals ovate, 3–4 mm long, acuminate; corolla campanulate, 20–27 mm in diameter, outside pale green towards base, rest purple-brown, inside purple-black to red, at mouth of tube becoming striped with cream, with conical papillae, each tipped with a thick bristle, tube cup-shaped, 3–5 mm × c. 5 mm, lobes narrowly lanceolate, 10–20 mm × 4.5–7 mm, erect to spreading, margins strongly folded back; corona c. 3 mm × 4–4.5 mm, dark purplish brown, on short stipe, outer lobes erect, 2-fid to halfway, fused with bases of inner lobes into pouch, inner lobes linear, apically meeting in small column over style head. Fruit a pair of follicles.
Quaqua comprises 19–28 species, depending whether taxa are recognized at species or subspecies level. All species occur in the west of South Africa and Namibia, and are a characteristic element of the flora of Namaqualand. Quaqua incarnata (L.f.) Bruyns is also medicinally used in the region. Stems in brandy are taken to treat stomach problems and convulsions.
Ecology
Quaqua mammillaris occurs in most Karoo-Veld types, at 150–1100 m altitude.
Genetic resources and breeding
There are no signs that Quaqua mammillaris is threatened by genetic erosion.
Prospects
The stems of Quaqua mammillaris are similarly used as Hoodia spp., as a suppressant of appetite and thirst. Most Hoodia species are protected by CITES regulations nowadays because of overharvesting. More research is needed in Quaqua to identify the active compounds, and to evaluate its potential as an alternative for Hoodia. As a medicinal plant, it will probably remain of limited use.
Major references
• Albers, F. & Meve, U. (Editors), 2002. Illustrated handbook of succulent plants. Asclepiadaceae. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, Germany. 318 pp.
• Bruyns, P.V., 1999. The systematic position of Quaqua (Apocynaceae - Asclepiadoideae) with a critical revision of the species. Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 121(3): 311–402.
• Metelerkamp, W. & Sealy, J., 1983. Some edible and medicinal plants of the Doorn Karoo. Veld & flora 69(1): 4–8.
• van Wyk, B.E. & Gericke, N., 2000. People’s plants: a guide to useful plants of southern Africa. Briza Publications, Pretoria, South Africa. 351 pp.
Other references
• Jansen, P.C.M., 2004. Hoodia currorii (Hook.) Decne. In: Grubben, G.J.H. & Denton, O.A. (Editors), 2004. Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 2. Vegetables. PROTA Foundation, Wageningen, Netherlands / Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands / CTA, Wageningen, Netherlands. pp. 329–330.
• SEPASAL, 2009. Quaqua mamillaris. [Internet] Survey of Economic Plants for Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (SEPASAL) database. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. http://www.kew.org/ ceb/sepasal/. Accessed July 2009.
• van Heerden, F.R., 2008. Hoodia gordonii: a natural appetite suppressant. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 119: 434–437.
Author(s)
G.H. Schmelzer
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
R. Arroo
Leicester School of Pharmacy, Natural Products Research, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH, United Kingdom
Photo editor
G.H. Schmelzer
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

Correct citation of this article:
Schmelzer, G.H., 2010. Quaqua mammillaris (L.) Bruyns. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(2): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 2. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.

obtained from Stapeliads




obtained from Asclepidarium




obtained from Asclepidarium




obtained from Asclepidarium