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Usteria guineensis Willd.

Protologue
Schr. Berlin.Ges. Naturf. Fr. 10: 55 (1790).
Family
Loganiaceae
Chromosome number
2n = 22
Vernacular names
Burodé (Po).
Origin and geographic distribution
Usteria guineensis occurs from Senegal east to the Central African Republic and south to Angola.
Uses
In West Africa a decoction of the fruits or roots is taken to treat coughs and common cold. Sap of warmed stems is used as ear drops to treat earache. In Senegal a twig decoction is taken or used as a bath to treat fever in children. In Sierra Leone the Mende people rub the roots on the forehead, neck and joints to treat malaria. In Togo a root decoction is taken to treat gonorrhoea. In Liberia the Dan people use the leaves as an ingredient of arrow poison. In Benin the fruits are used for this purpose.
In Senegal the stem is used to make ropes for beehives.
Production and international trade
Leaves, roots, twigs, and fruits of Usteria guineensis are collected from the wild and traded only locally.
Botany
Climbing shrub or liana up to 3(–12) m tall; stems glabrous. Leaves opposite, simple and entire; stipules reduced to ridges between the petioles; petiole 2–15 mm long; blade orbicular to oblong-elliptical, 2–15 cm × 2–10 cm, base cuneate to rounded, apex acute, obtuse, rounded or occasionally acuminate, leathery, pinnately veined with 3–6 pairs of lateral veins. Inflorescence a terminal dichasial cyme, many-flowered; lower bracts leafy, the others very small. Flowers bisexual, zygomorphic, 4-merous; pedicel hairy; sepals connate at the base, 3 small, c. 1 mm long, 1 much larger, 6–10 mm long, hairy outside, pale green, pale yellow or creamy; corolla with cylindrical tube 9–14 mm long, hairy outside, lobes slightly unequal, oblong-triangular, acute, mauve, violet, purple or white, often with yellow on the lobes; stamen 1, inserted near apex of corolla tube, exserted; ovary superior, globose, 2-celled, glabrous, style filiform, exserted, glabrous, stigma minute. Fruit an oblong capsule 2–6 cm × 1–1.5 cm, dark brown, shining, opening by 2 valves, many-seeded. Seeds flat, 3–5 mm × 2–3 mm, surrounded by a large membranaceous wing up to 8 mm wide, dark brown.
Usteria comprises a single species. It belongs to the tribe Antonieae together with two South American genera and one from tropical Asia.
Ecology
Usteria guineensis occurs in secondary forest and thickets, in open localities in rainforest and in tree savanna from sea-level up to 1200 m altitude.
Genetic resources and breeding
Usteria guineensis is widely distributed and hence not threatened by genetic erosion.
Prospects
It seems likely that Usteria guineensis 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., 1963. The Loganiaceae of Africa 5. Usteria Willd. Acta Botanica Neerlandica 12: 112–118.
• 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
• Adjanohoun, E.J., Ahyi, M.R.A., Aké Assi, L., Akpagana, K., Chibon, P., El-Adji, A., Eymé, J., Garba, M., Gassita, J.N., Gbeassor, M., Goudote, E., Guinko, S., Hodouto, K.K., Houngnon P., Keita, A., Keoula, Y., Hodouto, W.P., Issa Lo, Siamevi, K.M. & Taffame, K.K., 1986. Contributions aux études ethnobotaniques et floristiques au Togo. Médecine Traditionelle et Pharmacopée. Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique, Paris, France. 671 pp.
• Backlund, M., Oxelman, B. & Bremer, B., 2000. Phylogenetic relationships within the Gentianales based on ndhF and rbcL sequences, with particular reference to the Loganiaceae. American Journal of Botany 87(7): 1029–1043.
• Kerharo, J. & Adam, J.G., 1974. La pharmacopée sénégalaise traditionnelle. Plantes médicinales et toxiques. Vigot & Frères, Paris, France. 1011 pp.
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., 2007. Usteria guineensis Willd. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.