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Solanum terminale Forssk.

Protologue
Fl. aegypt.-arab. 45 (1775).
Family
Solanaceae
Synonyms
Solanum welwitschii C.H.Wright (1894).
Origin and geographic distribution
Solanum terminale occurs from Guinea east to Ethiopia and south to Angola and South Africa. There is a single record from the Comoros.
Uses
In Rwanda a leaf extract is drunk as an abortion-inducing drug and in Rwanda and Uganda it is drunk to induce labour in childbirth. In DR Congo a root decoction is filtered and applied as an enema as a mild purgative for children. In Tanzania a root extract is drunk as a stimulant and to induce sweating. The fruits are poisonous and have been used in the Central African Republic as a criminal poison.
In eastern DR Congo the stems are used for tying in construction of houses and fences.
Botany
Liana up to 15 m long, or straggling shrub; young stems hairy, hairs simple or branched. Leaves alternate, simple; stipules absent; petiole 0.5–4 cm long; blade ovate to lanceolate or elliptical, 2–13.5 cm × 1–7 cm, base rounded or cuneate, apex acuminate, margin entire to wavy, almost glabrous. Inflorescence a terminal cyme, becoming displaced laterally, lax to congested, many-flowered. Flowers bisexual, regular, 5-merous; calyx bell- or cup-shaped, 1–3 mm long, soft-hairy, lobes triangular to ovate, obtuse, reflexed; corolla deeply stellate, 1–2 cm in diameter, blue to mauve or purple; stamens alternate with corolla lobes, filaments up to 1.5 mm long, anthers elliptical, up to 5 mm long, opening with apical pores; ovary superior, c. 1 mm in diameter. Fruit a globose to ellipsoid berry 5–10 mm in diameter, glabrous, orange or red to dark blue, many-seeded. Seeds obovoid, 2.5–3 mm in diameter, pale brown. Seedling with epigeal germination; cotyledons thin, leafy.
Solanum comprises over 1000 species and has a cosmopolitan distribution, except in boreal, alpine and aquatic habitats. At least 100 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 terminale has been placed in the subgenus Solanum, and 4 subspecies have been recognized, but in southern Africa intermediates between subspecies have been found and there is considerable overlap of the areas of distribution. In Ethiopia subsp. welwitschii (C.H.Wright) Heine is considered sufficiently different from the other subspecies to reinstate it as a separate species.
Two endemic species of Madagascar, belonging to subgenus Solanum, are also used medicinally. Grated bark of Solanum madagascariense Dunal is applied as a plaster to wounds and bark sap is applied to bruises. A bark decoction of Solanum heinianum D’Arcy & Keating is drunk to cure syphilis.
Ecology
Solanum terminale occurs in forests, especially at edges, along streams and in rocky localities, at 900–1300 m altitude. It is less frequent in high-rainfall woodland.
Genetic resources and breeding
There is no indication that Solanum terminale is in danger of genetic erosion.
Prospects
Solanum terminale will probably only remain of local importance as a medicinal plant.
Major references
• Burkill, H.M., 2000. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 5, Families S–Z, Addenda. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 686 pp.
• Gonçalves, A.E., 2005. Solanaceae. In: Pope, G.V., Polhill, R.M. & Martins, E.S. (Editors). Flora Zambesiaca. Volume 8, part 4. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 124 pp.
• 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
• D’Arcy, W.G. & Rakotozafy, A., 1994. Solanaceae. Flore de Madagascar et des Comores (plantes vasculaires), famille 176. Imprimerie Officielle, Tananarive, Madagascar. 146 pp.
• Hulstaert, G., 1966. Notes de Botanique Mongo. Académie Royale des Sciences d’Outre-mer, Classe des Sciences Naturelles et Médicales, N.S. 15–3, Bruxelles, Belgium. 213 pp.
• Kamatenesi-Mugisha, M. & Oryem-Origa, H., 2007. Medicinal plants used to induce labour during childbirth in western Uganda. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 109: 1–9.
• Kokwaro, J.O., 1993. Medicinal plants of East Africa. 2nd Edition. Kenya Literature Bureau, Nairobi, Kenya. 401 pp.
• Ralantonirina, D., 1993. Aperçu sur les plantes médicinales dans le sud de Madagascar : étude faite sur les adultes dans le périmètre de la réserve spéciale de Beza - Mahafaly. Thèse pour l’obtention du grade de Docteur en médecine, Etablissement d’Enseignement Supérieur des Sciences de la Santé, Faculté de Médecine, Université d’Antananarivo, Madagascar. 95 pp.
• Ranaivoson, A.J., 1996. Les pathologies et leurs différents traitements dans le fokontany d’Analamanga, Soavina, Antananarivo et Atsimondrano. Thèse pour l’obtention du grade de Docteur en médecine, Etablissement d’Enseignement Supérieur des Sciences de la Santé, Faculté de Médecine, Université d’Antananarivo, Madagascar. 71 pp.
• Rwangabo, P.C., 1993. La médecine traditionelle au Rwanda. Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique (ACCT), Paris, France. 258 pp.
• Vergiat, A.M., 1970. Plantes magiques et médicinales des féticheurs de l’Oubangui (Région de Bangui). Journal d’Agriculture Tropicale et de Botanique Appliquée 17: 295–339.
• Yamada, T., 1999. A report of the ethnobotany of the Nyindu in the eastern part of the former Zaire. African Study Monographs 20(1): 1–72.
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

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