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Strychnos samba P.A.Duvign.

Protologue
Bull. Séanc. Inst. Roy. Col. Belg. 19: 216 (1948).
Family
Loganiaceae
Chromosome number
2n = 44
Origin and geographic distribution
Strychnos samba occurs from Nigeria east to the Central African Republic and DR Congo.
Uses
In the Central African Republic the root bark of Strychnos samba mixed with other plants, including root bark of Penianthus longifolius Miers, is used to make arrow poison. In Gabon, Congo and DR Congo the root bark has been used as ordeal poison. In DR Congo the pounded fruit is used as a fish poison.
Properties
The leaves of Strychnos samba contain the indolopyridine alkaloid angustine and its derivatives angustidine and angustoline. Crude leaf and stem bark extracts showed a muscle relaxant effect in mice; root bark extract showed tonic convulsion as well.
Botany
Liana up to 20 m long, climbing with paired tendrils; stem up to 5 cm in diameter; branchlets quadrangular, green, glabrous. Leaves opposite, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole 5–12 mm long, glabrous; blade elliptical, 5–10(–17) cm × 2.5–7(–8.5) cm, base cuneate to rounded, apex acuminate, leathery, glabrous, 3-veined from the base. Inflorescence an axillary or terminal lax or congested thyrse 3–10 cm long, few- to many-flowered. Flowers bisexual, regular, 5-merous; sepals fused at base, ovate, up to 1 mm long; corolla tube c. 1 mm long, lobes narrowly triangular, 1–1.5 mm long, acute, almost erect or spreading, glabrous outside, inside hairy on the lobes, greenish; stamens inserted at the mouth of the corolla tube, exserted; ovary superior, ovoid, c. 1 mm long, glabrous, 2-celled, style up to 0.5 mm long, stigma head-shaped. Fruit a globose berry 17–20 mm in diameter, soft, pale green, smooth, 1-seeded. Seed obliquely ovoid, flattened, c. 14 mm × 13 mm × 7 mm, irregularly curved, pale brown, short-hairy.
Strychnos comprises about 200 species: about 60 species in Asia, 65 in America and 75 in Africa. Strychnos samba belongs to the section Brevitubae.
Ecology
Strychnos samba occurs in rainforest, including secondary forest, in moist localities, from sea-level up to 700 m altitude.
Genetic resources and breeding
Strychnos samba does not seem to be in danger of genetic erosion.
Prospects
It seems likely that Strychnos samba will remain of limited use only.
Major references
• Burkill, H.M., 1995. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 3, Families J–L. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 857 pp.
• Leeuwenberg, A.J.M., 1969. The Loganiaceae of Africa 8. Strychnos 3. Revision of the African species with notes on the extra-African. Mededelingen Landbouwhogeschool Wageningen 69–1. Wageningen, Netherlands. 316 pp.
• Leeuwenberg, A.J.M. (Editor), 1980. Angiospermae: Ordnung Gentiales. Fam. Loganiaceae. Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien. Second Edition. Band 28 b-1. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, Germany. 255 pp.
• Neuwinger, H.D., 1998. Afrikanische Arzneipflanzen und Jagdgifte. Chemie, Pharmakologie, Toxikologie. 2nd Edition. Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Stuttgart, Germany. 960 pp.
• Neuwinger, H.D., 2000. African traditional medicine: a dictionary of plant use and applications. Medpharm Scientific, Stuttgart, Germany. 589 pp.
Other references
• Bisset, N.G., 1970. The African species of Strychnos. Part I. The ethnobotany. Lloydia 33(2): 201–243.
• Bisset, N.G. & Leeuwenberg, A.J.M., 1968. The use of Strychnos species in Central African ordeal and arrow poisons. Lloydia 31: 208–222.
• Bisset, N.G. & Phillipson, J.D., 1971. The African species of Strychnos. Part 2. The alkaloids. Lloydia 34(1): 1–60.
• Bohlin, L., 1978. Some Strychnos alkaloids: their occurrence, structure and biological activity. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis 32, Uppsala, Sweden. 68 pp.
• Phillipson, J.D., Hemingway, S., Bisset, N.G., Houghton, P. & Shellard, E., 1974. Angustine and related alkaloids from species of Mitragyna, Nauclea, Uncaria and Strychnos. Phytochemistry 13: 973–978.
Author(s)
A. de Ruijter
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:
de Ruijter, A., 2008. Strychnos samba P.A.Duvign. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.