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Solanum coagulans Forssk.

Fl. aegypt.-arab.: 47 (1775).
Chromosome number
2n = 24
Solanum dubium Fresen. (1833), Solanum thruppii C.H.Wright (1894).
Origin and geographic distribution
Solanum coagulans occurs in Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. It is also found in Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Records for other countries, e.g. China, probably refer to other species of Solanum.
In Kenya the boiled roots of Solanum coagulans are taken to avoid a miscarriage. Roots are chewed by expectant mothers who experience abnormal pain. The dry seeds are powdered and applied to wounds as an antiseptic. In Sudan the whole plant and fruits are pulped and applied to wounds and skin tumours as a dressing. The seeds are taken in Ethiopia as a purgative. The fruits are used for tanning and for coagulating milk. The plants are browsed by cattle, goats, sheep, donkeys and camels.
Erect or spreading perennial herb up to 70 cm tall, young parts covered with stellate hairs; stems with many straight yellow prickles, rarely without. Leaves alternate, variable, simple; stipules absent; petiole 1–6 cm long, with many prickles; blade ovate-lanceolate, 1–10 cm × 1–5 cm, base unequally truncate or slightly cordate, apex rounded, entire or lobed, with rounded lobes. Inflorescence an axillary 6–10-flowered raceme-like cyme. Flowers bisexual, regular, 5-merous; pedicel 1–1.5 cm long; calyx persistent, lobes lanceolate, c. 5 mm long, with many prickles; corolla stellate, 1–2 cm in diameter, pale blue-violet, lobes spreading or reflexed; stamens inserted on corolla throat, unequal, 4 anthers c. 5 mm long, 1 up to 8 mm long, opening by terminal pores; ovary superior, globose, style slightly longer than stamens. Fruit a globose berry c. 1 cm in diameter, yellow, enclosed in enlarged, prickly calyx, many-seeded. Seeds ovoid, compressed, shiny black. Seedling with epigeal germination.
Solanum comprises about 1000 species and has a cosmopolitan distribution, except in boreal, alpine and aquatic habitats. About 110 species are found in tropical Africa. The principal centre of diversity is located in Central and South America, with secondary centres in Africa and Australia. Solanum has been subdivided into 7 subgenera and numerous sections and series; Solanum coagulans belongs to subgenus Leptostemonum. Two other East African species from this subgenus are used medicinally.
Solanum mauense Bitter is only known from Kenya west of the Rift Valley. The Maasai people drink a decoction of the roots as a cure for malaria and chest pain. It is also applied as a cure for anthrax in both humans and livestock. Boiled berries are eaten to cure pneumonia.
Solanum richardii Dunal is a very variable species distributed from DR Congo to East and southern Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. In Tanzania a root decoction is drunk as a cure for gonorrhoea and as an anti-emetic.
Solanum coagulans occurs in roadsides, waste places and in Acacia- Commiphora bushland up to of 1800 m altitude.
In Sudan Solanum coagulans is an important reservoir of the tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), an important viral disease in tomato and Capsicum peppers.
Genetic resources and breeding
Solanum coagulans is widely distributed in ruderal habitats and not threatened by genetic erosion.
As no chemical and pharmacological analyses of Solanum coagulans have been done, meaningful predictions about its prospects cannot be made. The different local medicinal uses are interesting though and warrant research.
Major references
• Edmonds, J.M., Friis, I. & Thulin, M., 2006. Solanaceae. In: Thulin, M. (Editor). Flora of Somalia. Volume 3. Angiospermae (cont.). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. p. 197–221.
• El Kheir, Y.M. & Salih, M.H., 1980. Investigation of certain plants used in Sudanese folk medicine. Fitoterapia 51: 143–147.
• Graham, J.G., Quinn, M.L., Fabricant, D.S. & Farnsworth, N.R., 2000. Plants used against cancer – an extension of the work of Jonathan Hartwell. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 73(3): 347–377.
• Jaeger, P.M.L. & Hepper, F.N., 1986. A review of the genus Solanum in Africa. In: D’Arcy, W.G. (Editor). Solanaceae: biology and systematics. Columbia University Press, New York, United States. pp. 41–55.
Other references
• Beentje, H.J., 1994. Kenya trees, shrubs and lianas. National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya. 722 pp.
• Daffalla, G. & Ahmed, M., 2005. Sudan. In: Anderson, P.K. & Morales, F.J. (Editors). Whiteflies and whitefly-borne viruses: building a knowledge base for global action. CIAT, Cali, Colombia. pp. 118–128.
• Glover, P.E., Stewart, J. & Gwynne, M.D., 1966. Masai and Kipsigis notes on East African plants, Part III - Medicinal uses of plants. East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal 32(2): 200–207.
• Haerdi, F., 1964. Die Eingeborenen-Heilpflanzen des Ulanga-Distriktes Tanganjikas (Ostafrika). In: Haerdi, F., Kerharo, J. & Adam, J.G. (Editors). Afrikanische Heilpflanzen / Plantes médicinales africaines. Acta Tropica Supplementum 8: 1–278.
• Heine, B. & Heine, I., 1988. Plant concepts and plant use; an ethnobotanical survey of the semi-arid and arid lands of East Africa. Part 3. Rendille plants (Kenya). Cologne Development Studies 8. Breitenbach, Saarbrücken, Germany. 120 pp.
• Kokwaro, J.O., 1993. Medicinal plants of East Africa. 2nd Edition. Kenya Literature Bureau, Nairobi, Kenya. 401 pp.
• Morgan, W.T.W., 1981. Ethnobotany of the Turkana: use of plants by a pastoral people and their livestock in Kenya. Economic Botany 35(1): 96–130.
• Whalen, M.D., 1984. Conspectus of species groups in Solanum subgenus Leptostemonum. Gentes Herbarum 12(4): 1–282.
C.H. Bosch
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

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

Correct citation of this article:
Bosch, C.H., 2008. Solanum coagulans Forssk. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.