You are on page 1of 60

African ornamentals

Plant Resources of Tropical Africa

Proposals and examples
Plant Resources of Tropical Africa

African ornamentals
Proposals and examples
PROTA is an international Foundation involving the following participating institu-
Wageningen University (WU), Plant Sciences Group (PSG), Droevendaalsesteeg
1, 6708 PB, Wageningen; P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
Centre de Coopration Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Dve-
loppement (CIRAD), Avenue Agropolis, 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (RBGKEW), Centre for Economic Botany, Rich-
mond, Surrey TW9 3AB, United Kingdom
Centre National de Semences Forestires (CNSF), 01 B.P. 2682, Ouagadougou
01, Burkina Faso
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique et Technologique (CENAREST),
B.P. 842, Libreville, Gabon
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), KNUST, University P.O. Box
63, Kumasi, Ghana
Parc Botanique et Zoologique de Tsimbazaza (PBZT), B.P. 4096, Tsimbazaza,
Antananarivo 101, Madagascar
National Herbarium and Botanic Gardens of Malawi (NHBGM), P.O. Box 528,
Zomba, Malawi
Makerere University (MU), Department of Botany, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala,
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), P.O. Box 30677, Nairobi, Kenya
Prosea Association (PROSEA), P.O. Box 332, Bogor 16122, Indonesia

This publication has been made possible through the financial support by:
International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), Voorhout, Nether-

PEFC Certified

This product is
from sustainably
managed forests and
controlled sources

Plant Resources of Tropical Africa

African ornamentals
Proposals and examples

PROTA Foundation
Wageningen, Netherlands, 2011
Correct citation of this publication:
PROTA, 2011. Plant Resources of Tropical Africa. African ornamentals. Proposals
and examples. PROTA Foundation, Wageningen, Netherlands. 56 pp.

PROTA Foundation, Wageningen, Netherlands, 2011.

No part of this publication, apart from bibliographic data and brief quotations em-
bodied in critical reviews, may be reproduced, re-recorded or published in any form
including print, photocopy, microfilm, electric or electromagnetic record without
written permission from the copyright holder: PROTA Foundation, P.O. Box 341,
6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands.

Printed by: GVO|Ponsen & Looijen, Ede, Netherlands.



Introduction and proposals 6

Sample articles 14

Canna generalis garden canna, canna 15

Catharanthus roseus Madagascar periwinkle, annual vinca 20

Dais cotinifolia pompom tree, African button flower 27

Impatiens niamniamensis parrot plant, Congos cockatoo 29

Ravenala madagascariensis travellers palm, travellers tree 32

Spathodea campanulata African tulip tree, flame-of-the-forest 35

Strophanthus boivinii wood shaving flower, cork-screw flower 40

Literature 43

Photographers 49

PROTA publications 50

PROTA in short 55

Map of Tropical Africa for PROTA 56


Introduction and proposals

The PROTA programme

Plant Resources of Tropical Africa (PROTA) is an international programme fo-

cussed on the more than 8000 plant species used in Tropical Africa. Its main objec-
tive is to critically review, summarize and publish the existing knowledge on these
plant species and to make the reviews widely available for users in education, re-
search, extension and industry. The information is published in a series of books
and CD-ROMs and in an interactive web database (PROTA4U). The PROTA team
was also involved in a similar review of 7000 species of useful plants of South-East
Asia. PROTA is well underway and it is time to start work on the large, important
and fascinating group of ornament plants, together with our partners in Africa and
in close cooperation with major players in the ornamental plant sector, and publish
the reviews as PROTA 4: Ornamentals.

Aim of this publication

This publication is intended to incite interest in this initiative and to show its feasi-
bility. It deals with the specific problems of this commodity group and summarizes
proposals for the approach to be followed. The booklet presents 7 sample reviews for
PROTA 4: Ornamentals to give an outline of the intended approach, to show the
set-up of the reviews, and to indicate the peculiarities of the group of ornamental
plants and ways to tackle them.

With economic development, interest in ornamental plants is growing in many coun-

tries of tropical Africa, not only from plant lovers for their home gardens, but also
from owners of resorts, private and public parks, shopping centres and other com-
mercial venues, as well as for the green city concept. The establishment of indus-
tries producing for the international cut-flower market in several East-African coun-
tries is a rather recent development, employing a considerable number of people in
the region. Many ornamental plants from Africa are grown as pot plants in Europe
and the United States and the potential to identify and develop new species is great.
It is imperative that plants for use as ornamental are obtained from cultivated ma-
terials and not from wild populations. Time is ripe for making the complete over-
view of African ornamental plants. The demand for good and reliable information
for identification, propagation and cultivation is rapidly growing.

Choice of species

All species with ornamental value in tropical Africa need to be listed before actual
work on this group can start. The PROTA database Specieslist contains the names
of 600 species of ornamental plants. Still, it can serve as a starting point only, as
this list should be updated and expanded. The few books or other publications on
tropical African ornamental plants cannot serve as a base to produce a complete list
also indicating the present importance of species.

Organize inventories of ornamental plants sold in
some major cities of tropical Africa.

The PROTA project on ornamental plants will start with an inventory of ornamental
plant species sold in nurseries in large cities in tropical Africa. To do this in an effi-
cient way, an inventory will be done in selected cities in each of the major regions of
tropical Africa. A provisional list of cities includes: West Africa: Ouagadougou or
Dakar, Cotonou, Accra, Lagos; Central Africa: Libreville or Douala; East Africa:
Nairobi and Addis Ababa; Southern Africa: Harare, Lusaka or Gaborone; and the
Indian Ocean Islands: Antananarivo and Port Louis or Saint Denis. The PROTA
network in tropical Africa will play a central role in the inventory to control costs.
PROTA will work closely with specialists who can ascertain proper identification
and who can also take photographs.

From its inception, PROTA has chosen not to include South Africa because this
country is largely outside the tropics. Moreover, it hosts a large number of endemic
species, especially in the Cape region, which would make the list of species to be
treated dramatically longer. However, many well-known ornamentals originate from
South Africa and local scientists publish regularly on the ornamental plants. Infor-
mation on South African species grown also in tropical Africa will be included in the
PROTA reviews.

Numerous ornamental species present in tropical Africa are also present in other
tropical regions. Many species originating from Africa have been introduced else-
where, and vice versa. A complete overview of African ornamentals will therefore
also be of great value for tropical Asia, tropical America and other tropical regions.
It will certainly offer new opportunities for plant breeders inside and outside Africa.

Subdivision of the commodity group

Because of the large number of species to be treated in Ornamentals the articles

will be published in 2 volumes. There are basically 3 ways to group the species: 1)
alphabetically by species names 2) by plant family or 3) by growth forms.

For two other large commodity groups in the PROTA programme, i.e. Timbers (2
volumes) and Medicinal plants (4 volumes), it was decided to adopt a combination
of approach 1 and 2: distribute plant families over the different volumes, and then
publish the species alphabetically per volume. The main advantages are that collect-
ing botanical literature per family is more efficient and that nomenclatural changes
of genus names during the course of preparation of the volumes can be incorporated
Treatment by growth forms also has several advantages, including the possibility of
writing a general introduction per group, easier collection of relevant literature,

easier identification of experts, authors and editors, and better correspondence to

the interest of individual plant breeders, growers and plant lovers. A possible group-
ing would be:

1. Woody plants - Palms

- Wayside trees
- Ornamental trees and shrubs
- Hedge plants
- Bamboo
- Woody climbers
- Cycads
- Conifers

2. Flowering herbs - Orchids

- Annual herbs
- Perennial herbs
- Bulbs/Tubers

3. Foliage herbs - Mosses

- Ferns and allies
- Aquatic plants
- Herbs with ornamental foliage
- Cover plants, including lawn grasses

4. Succulent plants

PROTA considers the division of the ornamental species into groups based on
growth forms most appropriate. The first group, Woody plants would be treated in
the first volume and the other 3 groups in the second one.

Treatment of species by growth forms.

Contents of the articles

In PROTA reviews, each article contains the following paragraphs (unless no infor-
mation is available):
- Species name with Protologue, Family, Synonyms, Vernacular names and
Chromosome number;
- Origin and geographic distribution;
- Uses, Production and international trade, Properties;
- Description, Other botanical information, Anatomy;
- Growth and development, Ecology;
- Propagation and planting, Management, Diseases and pests, Harvesting,
Yield, Handling after harvest;
- Genetic resources, Breeding;

- Prospects.

A list of references is given at the end of each article, limited to a maximum of 30

references. This is in line with PROTA articles in other commodity groups. Some
paragraphs need explanation in the context of Ornamentals and some proposals
are given below.

Treatment of articles following the PROTA format
with some adaptations for Ornamentals.

In Origin and geographic distribution the origin of the species is indicated, the
countries in Africa where the species is currently present are listed, and the world-
wide distribution is described. However, the distribution of cultivated plants is poor-
ly documented and confirmation on the presence of a particular species in a particu-
lar country can be quite difficult. An example of this is Ravenala madagascariensis,
the travellers palm. It is native to Madagascar and naturalized in some other Indi-
an Ocean islands. It has been planted in gardens all over continental Africa, but its
presence cannot be confirmed in all countries. Therefore, the map in the article of
Ravenala madagascariensis only shows where it grows wild and has been natural-

In Uses all uses of a species are described, not only its ornamental value. Other
paragraphs may contain information that is linked to these other uses, e.g. Anato-
my, Harvesting, Yield and Handling after harvest. An example is Catharanthus
roseus, which is an important ornamental but also an important cultivated medici-
nal plant. In Anatomy a wood-anatomical description might be included for orna-
mental trees with important timber value.

It is difficult to find information for Production and international trade. For orna-
mentals, production is usually in local nurseries and sale is in nearby markets. Sug-
gestions to obtain reliable information on trade are most welcome.

Toxicity in ornamental plants is an important issue, as ornamentals are usually

close to humans and pets. The toxicity of a species is always indicated in the para-
graph Properties, where also detailed information is given, if available, on the toxic

In Growth and development, Propagation and planting and Management infor-

mation is given on how to grow the plant. In general, this concerns how to sow seeds
in nurseries, methods of vegetative propagation and planting distance. Sometimes,
detailed information is available on cultivation in greenhouses, which could be use-
ful for growers outside Africa.

In Diseases and pests common diseases and their causing agents are summarized,
as well as pests, often insects. The symptoms and control measures are given. If
they exist, cultivars which show resistance to important diseases and pests are

Genetic resources will focus on in-situ or ex-situ conservation of germplasm, but

also on the conservation status of the species. Reference will be made to the IUCN
Red List and CITES regulations, which is especially relevant for ornamentals col-
lected from wild stands for export.

In Breeding information is given on selection of cultivars with particular character-

istics. In some cases, e.g. Bougainvillea or Nerium, thousands of cultivars have been
developed and it is impossible to list all of them. However, where possible, infor-
mation will be given on important cultivar groups and on major lines along which
selection takes place. Additionally, International Cultivar Registration Authorities
are listed where appropriate.

Many of the articles published by PROTA contain a line drawing, usually redrawn
and adapted from illustrations published in books and journals. As in other PROTA
publications, it is intended to include line drawings for the more important orna-
mental plants. Unlike in other PROTA books, a limited number of photographs of
the major species will be included in the books on ornamental plants. In the
PROTA4U database line drawings and photographs will be included, as usual.

Include line drawings for major species, as well as
photographs in both the web database (PROTA4U)
and book publications.

Names of ornamental plants

In general, PROTA deals with species, each having a separate review in the data-
base. However, in some groups of ornamental plants, interspecific or even interge-
neric hybrids exist, which are sometimes difficult to classify according to the bino-
mial system. For orchid hybrids a grex classification has been created, based on
specified parentage and applied to a cross and its reciprocal. Another example of a
difficult group to tackle are roses. Many of the horticultural groups in Rosa are so
highly bred that they cannot be treated as a species. This implies that for Orna-
mentals different types of entries to articles are sometimes needed. Names of culti-
vated plants should be according to the International Code of Nomenclature for Cul-
tivated Plants (8th Edition, 2009, or upcoming new editions).

Appeal for comments

One of the main reasons for making this booklet is to find out the needs and ideas of
stakeholders of ornamentals. We would be very grateful to receive feedback at concerning the proposals for the approach of Ornamentals and for the
contents of the articles in this commodity group.

Please send us feedback.

Basic literature

A provisory literature list on tropical ornamental plants to compile a more complete

overview of species for PROTA is the following:

Bakare, P.A., 2008. Exploration of wild ornamental plants. BSc Botany degree
thesis, Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Obafemi Awolowo University,
Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. 28 pp.
Brtels, A., 1993. Guide des plantes tropicales. Plantes ornementales, plantes
utiles, fruits exotiques. Eugen Ulmer GmbH & Co., Paris, France. 384 pp.
Booth, F.E.M. & Wickens, G.E., 1988. Non-timber uses of selected arid zone
trees and shrubs in Africa. FAO Conservation Guide No 19. FAO, Rome, Italy.
176 pp.
Brandies, M.M., 2004. Landscaping with tropical plants: design ideas, creative
garden plans, cold-climate solutions. Sunset Books, Cornell University, United
States. 128 pp.
Darke, R., 2004. Pocket guide to ornamental grasses. Timber Press, Portland,
United States. 226 pp.
Llamas, K.A., 2003. Tropical flowering plants: a guide to identification and cul-
tivation. Timber Press, Portland, United States. 425 pp.
Rauch, F.D. & Weissich, P.R., 2000. Plants for tropical landscapes: a gardener's
guide. University of Hawaii Press, Hawaii. 139 pp.
Riffle, R.L., 1998. The tropical look: an encyclopedia of dramatic landscape
plants. Timber Press, Portland, United States. 428 pp.
South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). [Internet]
Staples, G.W. & Herbst, D.R., 2005. A tropical garden flora: plants cultivated in
the Hawaiian Islands and other tropical places. Bishop Museum Press, Honolu-
lu, United States. 908 pp.
Van der Spuy, U., 1965. Ornamental shrubs and trees for gardens in southern
Africa. Juta, South Africa. 254 pp.
Waiganjo, M.M., Gikaara, D.N., Muriithi, A., Kihara, S., Kamau, E. & Gateri,
M., 2008. The status of native ornamental plants and their potential utilization
in the floriculture industry in Kenya. In: Jaenicke, H., Ganry, J., Hoeschle-
Zeledon, I. & Kahane, R. (Editors). International symposium on underutilized

plants for food, nutrition, income and sustainable development, Arusha, Tanza-
Whistler, W.A., 2000. Tropical ornamentals, a guide. Timber Press, Portland,
United States. 542 pp.
Williams, R.O., 1949. The useful and ornamental plants in Zanzibar and Pemba.
Zanzibar, Tanzania. 497 pp.


We are grateful to the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH)

for the grant to make this publication possible. It is hoped that this booklet will
raise the interest of individuals and organizations in the efforts of PROTA to pub-
lish a complete overview of African ornamental plants, the well-known ones as well
as the lesser-known and potentially interesting ones.

Sample articles

CANNA GENERALIS L.H.Bailey & E.Z.Bailey iegated, and the flowers are usually large,
brightly uniformly coloured, or streaked and
Protologue Hortus: 118 (1930). speckled with other colours. They can be plant-
Family Cannaceae ed as a border plant, or they may be planted as
Chromosome number 2n = 18, 27 an individual amongst other ornamentals as an
Synonyms Canna orchiodes L.H.Bailey & eye catcher, and also in containers. Several
E.Z.Bailey (1930). cultivars are adapted to growing near water.
Vernacular names Garden canna, canna, In Africa garden canna is regularly planted as
canna lily (En). Canna, balisier (Fr). a large hedge. Cattle will browse the leaves if
Origin and geographic distribution Canna given the chance. The leaves are sometimes
is native to the New World, but several species used as wrapping material for food. The seeds,
have been introduced and naturalized in the if any are produced, are used as beads in neck-
Old World tropics a long time ago. The orna- laces. Garden canna, as well as Canna indica
mental garden canna comprises an assortment L., are used to extract polluting compounds in
of over 1100 cultivars. These belong to a hybrid wetland environments and domestic waste
complex and are nowadays classified into 10 water.
cultivar groups, including one agricultural Production and international trade A large
group, but originally the garden plants come horticultural industry depends on garden can-
from two main groups of complex hybrids that na. Major production areas are found in the
arose in Europe in the 19th Century, Canna United States, Australia, United Kingdom,
generalis and Canna orchiodes. The distinc- France, Germany and the Netherlands, but
tion between the two groups has since then also in Israel, South Africa, Japan and Thai-
become blurred, so that they are combined land. In 2000 in the United States production
here. was 43,00053,000 rhizomes/ha on an estimat-
Garden canna is planted throughout the trop- ed 200 ha. Of these rhizomes, 5080% was sold
ics and subtropics, and also as annual or con- wholesale to distributors, c. 15% of the smaller
tainer plants in the temperate zone. In tropical rhizomes were kept for replanting and the re-
Africa, it probably occurs in all countries. Most mainder was sold to garden centres and nurse-
Canna hybrids have been developed in temper- ries. In 2011 rhizomes are sold on the internet
ate climates. They grow in almost every coun- for US$ 228 each, depending on the rarity of
try of the world as long as they get 68 hours the cultivar. In 20052007 production world-
sunlight per day during the flowering season. wide was seriously hampered by the advance-
Uses Garden canna is popular as ornamen- ment of canna yellow mottle virus and bean
tal and widely cultivated in gardens and parks yellow mosaic virus, and most stock had to be
for its growth form, foliage and large, coloured burnt, causing a loss in the number of culti-
flowers. The plants can be up to 2 m tall, but vars. Recently, healthy to fairly healthy plants
dwarf varieties also exist, the foliage varies can be obtained again, which are reproduced by
from bright green to strikingly coloured or var- micropropagation, although diseased plants
are also still available from suppliers.
Properties From the stems of Canna gene-
ralis (cultivar not stated) the following com-
pounds were isolated: -sitosterol, linoleic acid
methyl ester, daucosterol and a glycerol deriva-
Canna gum, an exudate from the stalks of
Canna generalis (cultivar not stated), was
found to be a nontoxic emulsifying agent and a
potential substitute for commercial gums.
Since the amount of the gum available in the
plant was not large, different methods of in-
creasing its production were investigated, in-
cluding artificial incisions in the flowering
stalks, special nutrition and extraction meth-
ods, but none of these methods increased the
quantity of gum considerably.
Canna generalis planted In Australia Canna generalis (cultivar not

stated) is used in trials to clean domestic waste The cultivar groups recognized for Canna are
water in constructed wetlands. It has a great the following:
water consumption, total biomass production Crozy Group: This group includes all culti-
and aboveground N and P content. vars where the flowers are arranged close to-
Description Glabrous perennial herb 0.5 gether on the stalk of the inflorescence and
2(4) m tall; stem not branched, arising from have narrow to medium wide staminodes.
fleshy rhizome, sympodially branched. Leaves There is always space between the stami-
arranged spirally, sessile, simple and entire, nodes, and the labellum is smaller than the
green, waxy blue or streaked with other col- staminodes and often curled or twisted. This
ours; sheath open; blade slightly asymmetrical, is the most cold hardy cultivar group. It in-
ovate to elliptical, 2545(100) cm 2030( cludes many diploids but also sterile trip-
60) cm, base obtuse to cordate, apex usually loids. The triploids have larger staminodes,
short-acuminate, pinnately veined, with nu- sometimes creating a perfect circle, and a
merous lateral veins. Inflorescence a terminal new cultivar group needs to be created for
raceme or panicle, with 12-flowered cymes. this subgroup.
Flowers bisexual, zygomorphic, 3-merous, Italian Group: In this cultivar group the
erect, red, orange, yellow, purple, white, pink, large flowers are loosely arranged on the
or variously 2-coloured; pedicel 11.5 cm long; stalk of the inflorescence, and have large,
sepals free, narrowly triangular to narrowly fragile staminodes, which are so wide that
obovate, up to 2(3) cm long, green or coloured, there is no space between them. The label-
apex acute to obtuse, slightly curved inwards; lum is at least as large as the staminodes.
corolla with short tube, lobes unequal, narrow- The stamen is much wider than in other cul-
ly ovate-triangular, up to 10 cm long, apex tivar groups.
curved inwards, acute to obtuse; staminodes 3 Foliage Group: The cultivars in this group
4, petal-like, one of them usually with different are grown principally for their large leaves,
shape, called labellum, obovate to narrowly which can even resemble banana leaves and
triangular, stamen 1, for half its length petal- may have different colours, so that several
like; nectaries 3; ovary inferior, 3-celled, style cultivars can also be included in the Varie-
petal-like, fleshy, fused for most of its length gated Group. The flowers are relatively
with the stamen, stigmatic areas 3, terminal small, and can be red, orange or yellow.
and marginal. Fruit an ellipsoid to obovoid Australian Group: The cultivars in this small
capsule, more or less triangular, 1.54(5.5) cm group are the result of a crossing of a Foliage
1.52(3.5) cm, covered with soft warts, Group seed parent and an Italian Group pol-
green, maturing brown, opening by longitudi- len parent. They have large leaves and large,
nal slits, many-seeded. Seeds globose, 48 mm white, pink and yellow variegated flowers.
in diameter, hard, brown to black. Premier Group: This group contains culti-
Other botanical information Canna com- vars with large flowers, which are circular in
prises 1020 species, but several of these spe- outline, without space between the stami-
cies are based on a single specimen. Recent nodes. These cultivars are derived from trip-
molecular research tends to support a restrict- loids and cultivars from the Italian Group.
ed number of species. The taxonomy of garden Variegated Group: This group contains
canna is complex due to its extensive hybridi- plants with variegated leaves, as long as the
zation for ornamental use and its worldwide variegation is distinctive. Variegation may
cultivation as a starch crop. In 2007 canna consist of white or red splotches or of narrow
breeders made 10 cultivar groups in garden stripes between the small veins. Most varie-
canna, as the genetic background of the culti- gation is introduced through mutations, and
vars had become too unclear to be of any use to is not transmitted by seed, so that these cul-
breeders. The cultivar groups are only con- tivars need to be propagated vegetatively.
cerned with the phenotype of plants, and are Many cultivars also belong to another culti-
also based on the history of garden canna. var group.
However, these 10 cultivar groups have not yet Conservatory Group: The cultivars in this
been formally published. group have been selected for the specific, all-
The International Cultivar Registration Au- year round growing conditions of conservato-
thority (ICRA) for Canna is the Royal General ries, and characteristics include plant vigour,
Bulbgrowers Association (KAVB), Hillegom, early flowering, self-shedding capacity and
the Netherlands. good propagation qualities. The approxi-


mately 12 cultivars have been developed in can cause chilling injury, and then plants or
the United States. their rhizomes need to be brought inside. Gar-
Aquatic Group: The cultivars in this cultivar den canna prefers a rich, well-draining soil,
group grow well at the borders of water. In which is high in organic matter, but will grow
general they have lanceolate leaves and thin, well in a wide variety of soils. The optimum
spreading rhizomes, so that they are not range of soil pH is 67. The soil needs to be
suited for small ponds. permanently humid, not wet, although some
Miniature Group: This cultivar group in- cultivars tolerate wet growing conditions. Gar-
cludes all cultivars up to 50 cm tall, with rel- den canna needs full sun to develop flowers,
atively small flowers, suitable as cut flowers and has the potential to bloom throughout the
in large flower arrangements. year, but when temperatures are too high or
Agriculture Group: This group includes all too low, flowering stops altogether.
cultivars that have been used in agriculture. Propagation and planting In some culti-
Most cultivars have been selected for their vars propagation is by seed, in others it is veg-
ability to produce high quantities of starch in etatively by rhizomes or tissue culture.
their rhizomes. The earliest cultivars origi- Seeds remain viable for a long period of time;
nate from the Andes region. Nowadays many seed that was recovered from an archaeological
cultivars exist in Australia and Asia. Espe- site, estimated about 600 years old, was still
cially in Thailand the starch is popular in able to germinate. Seed dormancy has been
producing a certain type of noodles. Most cul- observed, but not in all cultivars. The hard
tivars are triploids. Common cultivars are seed coat can be chipped or treated with sand
Achira and Queensland Arrowroot. As their paper, or the seed can be soaked in water 12
large leaves are more prominent than their days before sowing. The best place to scarify
flowers, they can also be included in the Fo- the seed is near the hilum, where the seed was
liage Group. attached to the fruit. Without pre-treatment,
Of the cultivar groups described above, proba- seedlings will appear only after several
bly the most common ones, i.e. Crozy Group, months. Seeds are individually sown 1 cm deep
Italian Group and Foliage Group, are repre- in a pot using well-draining soil with peat-
sented in gardens in Africa. based compost, and they will germinate after
Growth and development Growth of young 13 weeks when the temperature is kept at 21
plants can be rapid if adequate light and tem- 27C. As soon as the plants are about 15 cm
perature are provided. Usually it takes 3 tall, they can be potted into a 15 cm diameter
months between sowing and flowering. Flowers pot, using well-draining soil mixture with a
should be removed as they fade; this promotes little slow-release fertilizer granules. The seed-
the development of more buds and prevents lings are hardened-off by gradually increasing
formation of fruits. Each rhizome will produce the light level and exposure to cooler tempera-
several flowering shoots, one after the next. tures until they are growing in full sun at out-
After a flowering shoot has died, it should be side temperatures.
cut towards the base to promote growth of new Rhizomes are planted horizontally, 612 cm
shoots. deep, with the eyes (growing points) facing up,
Bees, bumblebees, hummingbirds and bats if they are visible. Usually they are planted
collect nectar and pollen. Pollen is shed on the 3060 cm apart. Some of the cultivars adapted
style while still in the bud, and in early flower- to a wet environment need a larger planting
ing hybrids some is also found on the stigma distance as they produce long runners. After
because of the high position of the anther, planting, the rhizomes need to be kept moist
which means that they are self-pollinating. but not wet. When new growth appears they
Later flowering cultivars have a lower anther, can be watered more heavily. A layer of mulch
and rely on pollinators landing on the labellum will conserve water and reduce weeds. When
and touching first the terminal stigma, and the plants begin to die back at the end of the
then the pollen. season, the aerial parts can be cut. Rhizomes
Ecology Garden canna requires a warm to are dug up in areas with frost. They need to be
hot climate for best performance, but many kept at 10C in the dark and in peat moss to
cultivars are adapted to a wide range of climat- prevent drying out. Before replanting, the rhi-
ic conditions. The optimum temperature range zomes can be cut into sections, each containing
for growth and development is 2035C. Pro- at least 3 growing points. Rhizomes with a
longed exposure to temperatures below 10C single growing point may survive but will take

longer to produce a vigorous new plant. Each rus, bean yellow mosaic virus, hippeastrum
clump will yield 4 or more new rhizomes. mosaic virus and tomato aspermy virus. The
Tissue culture has also been used to propagate most serious virus is canna yellow mottle virus,
garden canna but it has long time been uneco- which may result in spotted or streaked leaves
nomical compared to propagation by division. and finally in stunted growth and twisted and
Micropropagation techniques are especially distorted leaves and flowers.
interesting for specimens infected with canna Canna viruses are the most serious problem in
viruses and are used to disinfest plants of the cultivation; they are easily passed from plant
virus, as it is possible to use a growing shoot to plant by sucking insects such as aphids and
tip as the explant, which is dividing so fast then spread by division of rhizomes. They are
that it has had no time to be infected with the sometimes also transmitted by seed. In most
virus. In this way, healthy stock can be re- cases, low levels of virus are undetectable and
claimed from virus contaminated plants. unnoticed, except during cool weather, increas-
Management Cultural requirements are ing stress. Most garden canna cultivars toler-
similar for most garden canna cultivars. A deep ate a certain amount of viral infection and will
rich soil, with much compost, that holds mois- grow and flower despite being infected. High
ture well without becoming waterlogged is virus loads, however, can render garden canna
best. Full sun is necessary for best develop- very unattractive.
ment and flowering, but light shade is tolerat- In the mid-2000s, there were virtually no vi-
ed and even necessary especially in dry and hot rus-free garden canna, and the development of
areas. Dense shade leads to thin, weak shoots, tissue culture multiplication saved many culti-
loss of colour of the leaves and reduced flower- vars, although it is a time consuming and ex-
ing. pensive process (US$ 10005000 per plant)
To assure good growth and flowering, garden since it often takes several tries to make sure
canna should be regularly given manure or the tissue is clean. Despite selling clean stock,
compost, or a slow-release fertilizer that in- there is no guarantee that the plants will stay
cludes trace elements. In dry weather, garden clean once they are exposed to the environ-
canna requires a steady supply of water. Regu- ment.
lar additional fertilization during the growth Garden canna may be attacked by canna leaf
season is recommended. The beds may need roller (Calpodes ethlius), grasshoppers, snails
additional calcium or magnesium to counteract and slugs, which all eat holes in the tender
the acidity built up in the soil through the con- young leaves. Control of many insects is by
stant use of organic matter. Yellowing of the removing the old and dead lower leaves. Sys-
leaves indicates trace element deficiency, usu- temic insecticides or insecticidal soap can be
ally iron. Application of trace elements fertiliz- applied to prevent and control attacks. Aphids,
er every three months overcomes this. Garden spider mites or whiteflies will rarely attack
canna generally does not need wind protection. garden canna in the garden, but can sometimes
Garden canna needs to be replanted every be a problem indoors or in a greenhouse. Stress
year. In garden centers plants may have been reduction is the best method to prevent such
treated with growth retardants, creating short, attacks, but when present, they can be con-
compact plants. Replanting the rhizomes the trolled with insecticides. Dead flowers need to
year after may result in much taller than the be removed to control thrips infestations. Mice
year before. may eat the stored rhizomes and can be treated
Diseases and pests Canna diseases include with poisonous bait or traps.
canna rust (Puccinia thaliae), rhizome rot and Genetic resources The genetic background
viruses. They occur more often during high of the cultivars of garden canna is very diverse,
humidity. The rust forms rusty-orange col- due to the high level of hybridity. Studies have
oured spots spread by splashed water on the shown that about 85% of the cultivars are dip-
back of the leaves which eventually turn black loid, the majority of these belonging to the Cro-
and die. Canna rust is difficult to control but zy Group. Triploids make up about 15% of cul-
there are fungicidal sprays that can prevent it tivars; tetraploids exist but are exceptions be-
from starting. cause of their slow growth and lack of fertility.
Garden canna is also susceptible to various In the early 1960s it was found that diploids
plant viruses, including canna yellow mottle had about 90% of pollen fertility and produced
virus (a badna virus), canna yellow streak vi- fertile seeds and triploids were about 65% pol-
rus, canna mosaic virus, cucumber mosaic vi- len fertile and produced no seeds, whereas

there were no data concerning pollen fertility CATHARANTHUS ROSEUS (L.) G.Don
for the rare tetraploids, which occasionally
produced seeds. As a rule, triploid cultivars Protologue Gen. hist. 4(1): 95 (1837).
tend to have fewer rhizomes, smaller but com- Family Apocynaceae
paratively broader and thicker leaves and larg- Chromosome number 2n = 16
er flowers in comparison to the diploids. Synonyms Vinca rosea L. (1759), Lochnera
Breeding The phenotype transformation from rosea (L.) Rchb. ex Endl. (1838).
wild Canna plants to cultivated ones has in- Vernacular names Madagascar periwinkle,
volved reduction in plant height, change in rosy periwinkle, annual vinca (En). Pervenche
form and colour of leaves, inflorescences above de Madagascar, rose amre (Fr). Sempre noiva,
the leaves, erect flowers, increase in number of flor de anjinho, pervinca de Madagascar (Po).
inflorescence branches, increase in flower size Mtunda (Sw).
and colour diversity, increase in thickness of Origin and geographic distribution Catha-
flower petals, durability of flowers and self- ranthus roseus originates from Madagascar,
shedding capability. but for centuries it has been cultivated as an
Breeders are still looking for very pure flower ornamental throughout the tropics, subtropics
colours, especially white. Canna liliiflora and warm temperate regions; it has become
Warsc. ex Planch. has almost white flowers but naturalized in many regions. It was brought
is not cold hardy and it has been difficult to under cultivation in the first half of the 18th
produce successful cultivars from it. Other century in Paris, from seeds collected in Mada-
flower colours sought after by breeders are blue gascar, and was later distributed from Europe-
or purple. In addition, objectives of breeders an botanical gardens to the tropics. The anti-
are to increase the length of time that individ- mitotic properties of some of its alkaloids were
ual flowers last and selecting cultivars of which discovered accidentally in the late 1950s dur-
the flowers open during the day instead of the ing searches for antidiabetic substances.
night. Improvements in these traits would re- Uses Catharanthus roseus is a popular gar-
sult in plants that have more flowers open at den ornamental, grown as a perennial in the
the same time. There is also potential to im- tropics and as an annual in temperate regions,
prove the scent of Canna flowers, although although it can overwinter as a pot plant in a
flower scent is not the focus of many breeders. conservatory. It is valued for its bushy habit
Prospects Garden canna will remain popu- and many large flowers carried above dark
lar as garden plant, especially in the tropics green foliage with a lighter midrib. Catharan-
and subtropics, and new cultivars are being thus roseus can also be kept as a cut flower; the
developed all the time. Many cultivars are branches will last for weeks or even months,
adapted to the temperate zone as well, but they producing new, but smaller, flowers all the
need a warm and sunny locality for optimal time.
growth and flowering. As garden canna is easi- In Africa, especially in the Indian Ocean is-
ly propagated by division of rhizomes or by lands, medicinal uses of Catharanthus roseus
seed, planting material is rarely a problem. A
point of concern, however, is the prevalence of
viruses, causing a reduced development and
leaf spots. Infected rhizomes are still offered
for sale, depriving customers of a successful
Major references Carey & Avent, 2011;
Cooke, 2001; Khoshoo & Guha, 1976; Khoshoo
& Mukherjee, 1970; Latham, 2007; Maas-van
der Kamer & Maas, 2008; Staples & Herbst,
2005; Tanaka, 2001.
Other references Bang et al., 2006; Blan-
chard & Runkle, 2009; Broschat, Reinert &
Donselman, 1983; Chen et al., 2009; Hatch,
2011; Konnerup, Koottatep & Brix, 2009;
Strittmatter, 2006; Winter, Kishida & Gold-
stein, 1995.
Authors G.H. Schmelzer Catharanthus roseus planted and naturalized

are manifold and are similar to those in Asia. A roseus, are sold for a total of US$ 100 million
decoction of all parts of Catharanthus roseus is per year.
well known as an oral hypoglycaemic agent. Catharanthus roseus is widely cultivated in
The decoction is also taken to treat malaria, Spain, United States and China for its phar-
dengue fever, diarrhoea, diabetes, cancer and maceutical compounds.
skin diseases. Extracts prepared from the Properties Catharanthus roseus has been
leaves have been applied as antiseptic agents found to contain as many as 130 constituents
for the healing of wounds, against haemor- with an indole or dihydroindole structure. The
rhage and skin rash and as a mouthwash to principal component is vindoline (up to 0.5%);
treat toothache. The aerial parts are also con- other compounds are serpentine, catharan-
sidered diaphoretic and diuretic, and decoc- thine, ajmalicine (raubasine), akuammine,
tions are taken to relieve indigestion, dyspep- lochnerine, lochnericine and tetrahydroalsto-
sia, dysentery, toothache and the effects of nine. Ajmalicine and serpentine are essentially
wasp stings, and as an emetic, purgative, ver- present in the roots, whereas catharanthine
mifuge and depurative. In Uganda an infusion and vindoline accumulate in aerial parts. The
of the leaves is taken to treat stomach ulcers. aerial parts contain 0.21% alkaloids.
In Botswana the leaves ground in milk are The substances of pharmacological interest are
applied to mature abscesses. In Togo a root the bisindole alkaloids, most of them contain-
decoction is taken to treat dysmenorrhoea. ing a plumeran (vindoline) or an ibogan
The aerial parts of the plant are used for the (catharanthine) moiety. Several of these alka-
extraction of the medicinal alkaloids vincris- loids have cytostatic properties, but occur in
tine and vinblastine. The alkaloids are pre- very small amounts: vincristine (leurocristine)
scribed in anticancer therapy, usually as part in up to 3 g/t of dried plant material and vin-
of complex chemotherapy protocols. The dried blastine (vincaleucoblastine) in a slightly larg-
root is an industrial source of ajmalicine, which er amount. Other active compounds are leuro-
increases the blood flow in the brain and pe- sidine (vinrosidine) and leurosine.
ripheral parts of the body. Preparations of Vincristine and vinblastine are highly toxic
ajmalicine are used to treat the psychological antimitotics, blocking mitosis in the meta-
and behavioural problems of senility, sensory phase. They both also have neurotoxic activity
problems (dizziness, tinnitus), cranial traumas (especially vincristine), affecting neurotrans-
and their neurological complications. mission. Their peripheral neurotoxic effects are
Alkaloids extracted from the aerial parts of neuralgia, myalgia, paresthesia, loss of the
Catharanthus roseus are marketed as lyophyl- tendon reflexes, depression and headache;
isates (solutions of salts) designed for intrave- their central neurotoxic effects are convulsive
nous application. Vindesine and vinorelbine, episodes and respiratory difficulties. Other side
which are semisynthetic derivatives of vinblas- effects are many and include alopecia, gastro-
tine, are marketed as a sulphate and a bitar- intestinal distress including constipation, ul-
trate, respectively. These are prescription cerations of the mouth, amenorrhoea and azoo-
drugs in Western countries. spermia. As vinblastine decreases the total
Production and international trade In the number of white blood cells in the blood, its
United States there is a large market potential dosage must be carefully controlled. The alka-
for ornamental Catharanthus roseus bedding loids are very irritating; when extravasation
plants and pot plants. Many cultivars are being accidentally occurs there is a risk of tissue ne-
developed, and there is a recent focus on culti- crosis. It is possible to limit the side effects by
vars with resistance to fungal diseases, in or- careful dosage and administration, and inten-
der to be able to grow them under more humid sively monitoring the treatment. Vindesine, a
conditions. There is a restricted number of cul- semisynthetic derivative of vinblastine, is also
tivars available in southern Europe and Japan. a potent antimitotic. Its side effects include a
The world market consumed 510 kg of vincris- transient decrease of the number of granulo-
tine and vinblastine in the early 1990s, with a cytes in the blood and effects comparable to
total value of US$ 2550 million. In 2005 the those caused by vincristine and vinblastine,
market was estimated at US$ 150300 million. although the neurological symptoms are less
In 1991 the world market consumed 35 t of obvious. Vinorelbine (noranhydrovinblastine) is
ajmalicine, with a total value of US$ 4.57.5 synthesized from anhydrovinblastine. It acts
million. Two anticancer medicines, Oncovin preferentially on mitosis and its neurological
and Velban, derived from Catharanthus toxicity is limited. However, its haematotoxic

activity is substantial, so its dosage must be tured cells, so attention has turned to the pro-
carefully controlled. Vincristine (Oncovin) is duction of catharanthine and vindoline, which
indicated in the treatment of acute leukaemia, can be used as precursors for the synthesis of
Hodgkins disease, small-cell lung cancer, cer- the dimers. Multiple shoot cultures induced
vical and breast cancer and various sarcomas. from seedlings produce vindoline and catharan-
The indications for vinblastine (Velban) are thine in rather higher levels. Another possible
mainly Hodgkins disease, non-Hodgkins lym- method of vindoline production is by cultures of
phoma, Kaposis sarcoma, and renal, testicular, selected hairy roots. These hairy roots can be
head and neck cancer. Vindesine (Eldisine) is produced by infecting seedlings with Agrobac-
indicated in the treatment of acute lymphatic terium rhizogenes. Some clones not only pro-
leukaemia (especially in children) and refracto- duce levels of ajmalicine, serpentine and catha-
ry lymphomas and melanomas. Vinorelbine ranthine comparable to those of cell suspension
(Navelbine) has breast cancer and bronchial cultures, but also about 3 times more vindoline
cancer as current indications. It is now part of than usually found in cell cultures. Another
several phase II clinical trials. approach is to produce the alkaloids (or their
Roots to be used in pharmacy must contain at precursors) in other organisms such as yeast
least 0.4% ajmalicine and the closely related via gene transfer.
serpentine. Ajmalicine (Hydroserpan, Lamu- Adulterations and substitutes Vincristine,
ran) is an -adrenergic blocking spasmolytic, vinblastine and related compounds prevent
which at high doses reverses the effects of mitosis in a different way from colchicine (from
adrenaline and moderates the activity of the Colchicum autumnale L.), another potent anti-
vasomotor centres, especially in the brain tumour agent. Ajmalicine and derivatives are
stem. It temporarily increases the blood flow to also found in other Apocynaceae, such as Rau-
the brain. volfia spp.
Some of the alkaloids (e.g. catharanthine, leu- Description Erect or decumbent, deciduous
rosine and vindoline) exhibit a moderate hypo- undershrub up to 1 m tall, usually with white
glycaemic action. The fresh leaf juice though latex and an unpleasant smell; roots up to 70
shows considerable hypoglycaemic activity. cm long; stems narrowly winged, green or red,
Vinblastine markedly inhibits the in-vitro re- shortly hairy to glabrous, often woody at base.
production of Trypanosoma cruzi, the organism Leaves decussately opposite, simple and entire;
causing Chagas disease. Antiviral activity has stipules 24 at each side of the leaf base; peti-
been reported in vitro for some Catharanthus ole 311 mm long, green or red; blade elliptical
alkaloids, e.g. leurocristine, perivine and vin- to obovate or narrowly obovate, 2.58.5 cm 1
cristine. Extracts of the plants have shown 4 cm, base cuneate, apex obtuse or acute with a
fungicidal activity (e.g. against Fusarium sola- mucronate tip, herbaceous to thinly leathery,
ni that causes wilt e.g. in aubergine and Scle- glossy green above and pale green below,
rotium rolfsii that causes diseases such as sparsely shortly hairy to glabrous on both
southern blight in tomato) and nematicidal sides. Inflorescence terminal, but apparently
activity (e.g. against Meloidogyne incognita lateral, 12-flowered. Flowers bisexual, 5-
and Meloidogyne javanica). Extracts of the merous, regular, almost sessile; sepals slightly
dried flowers, dried leaves or fresh roots have fused at base, (2)35 mm long, erect, green;
shown antibacterial activity against some hu- corolla tube cylindrical, 23 cm long, widening
man pathogens. near the top at the insertion of the stamens,
Callus tissue of Catharanthus roseus can be laxly shortly hairy to glabrous outside, with a
cultured on various media, and can produce a ring of hairs in the throat and another lower
variety of monomeric alkaloids. The alkaloid down the tube, greenish, lobes broadly obovate,
spectra of root and shoot cultures are similar to 12(3) cm long, apex mucronate, glabrous,
those of roots and aerial parts, respectively. In spreading, pink, rose-purple or white with a
root cultures, ajmalicine and serpentine are purple, red, pink, pale yellow or white centre;
usually the major constituents and catharan- stamens inserted just below the corolla throat,
thine in shoot cultures. Much higher yields of included, filaments very short; ovary superior,
serpentine and ajmalicine can be produced in consisting of 2 very narrowly oblong carpels,
cell cultures than in whole plants: up to 2% on style slender, 1523 mm long, with a cylindri-
dry weight basis versus 0.3% in whole plants. cal pistil head provided at base with a reflexed
The dimeric anticancer alkaloids vinblastine transparent frill and with rings of woolly hairs
and vincristine are almost undetectable in cul- at base and apex, stigma glabrous. Fruit com-

concentrated extract was formerly drunk as an

ordeal poison. They are both rich in indole al-
kaloids, including several bisindole alkaloids.
Catharanthus ovalis contains the pharmacolo-
gically active leurosine, vindoline, vindolinine,
coronaridine, catharanthine and vinblastine
(vincaleucoblastine), whereas from Catharan-
thus longifolius e.g. vindolicine was isolated.
Natural hybrids exist between Catharanthus
longifolius and Catharanthus roseus, and arti-
ficial hybrids have been made between
Catharanthus ovalis and Catharanthus longifo-
Growth and development Catharanthus
roseus is usually self-compatible, and intra-
flower self-pollination is common, because the
stigma may come into contact with the anthers,
even after anthesis. The degree of outcrossing
may vary with environmental conditions and
the presence of seasonal pollinating butterflies.
Self-incompatible strains of Catharanthus
roseus exist and can be locally common. In
warmer climates, Catharanthus roseus will
flower and fruit the whole year round. The
seeds usually fall close to the mother plant, but
are sometimes transported by ants. Within 68
Catharanthus roseus 1, flowering twig; 2, weeks after germination the first flowers will
flower; 3, base and top of corolla tube in longi- appear. At temperatures below 5C some
tudinal section; 4, fruit; 5, seed. branches or even the whole plant will die.
Source: PROSEA When the temperature rises, the plant will
regrow from basal axillary buds, especially
posed of 2 free cylindrical follicles 24.5 cm after hard pruning of shoots and roots. Without
long, striate, laxly shortly hairy to glabrous, pruning, the plant regrows mainly from the
green, dehiscent, 1020-seeded. Seeds oblong, tops.
23 mm long, grooved at one side, black. Seed- Tetraploid plants, induced with colchicine,
ling with epigeal germination. have been found to have much higher alkaloid
Other botanical information Catharan- content than diploid plants, but the doubling of
thus comprises 8 species, all originating from chromosomes was found to result in reduced
Madagascar except for Catharanthus pusillus pollen fertility and poor seed set.
(Murr.) G.Don, which is restricted to India and Ecology Catharanthus roseus often occurs
Sri Lanka. Catharanthus is very closely related in sandy locations along the coast, but also
to Vinca. No consistent qualitative differences inland on river banks, in savanna vegetation
have been found in alkaloid composition in and in dry waste places and roadsides, some-
relation to the different colours of the corolla of times in open forest or scrub, usually on sandy
Catharanthus roseus. soils, but sometimes also on rocky soils. It is
Catharanthus coriaceus Markgr. is a rare spe- very salt-tolerant, and is mostly found near
cies of central Madagascar. A leaf decoction is sea-level, but occasionally up to 1500 m alti-
used to treat bilious fevers and dysentery. The tude. It can stand drought well. Under severe
bitter flowers are given to people with diabetes, water stress the alkaloid content of mature
who chew them to lessen their appetite. A de- leaves was found to double, but it did not
coction of the aerial parts was formerly drunk change in stems and immature leaves and it
as an ordeal poison. Catharanthus longifolius decreased in roots. Catharanthus roseus pre-
(Pichon) Pichon and Catharanthus ovalis fers a soil pH of 5.56.5. It is a fast-growing
Markgr. occur in southern-central Madagascar. plant that is easy to cultivate in hot growing
An extract of the aerial parts of either species conditions. It is appreciated for its hardiness in
is given to humans or calves to expel worms. A dry and nutrient poor conditions. It prefers a

well-drained soil and full sun. encourage branching, the top of the seedling
Propagation and planting Catharanthus can be cut off, resulting in side branches that
roseus is usually propagated by seed. Seed may are always opposite. When the main stem is
remain dormant for several weeks after ma- not topped, it will usually start branching at a
turity. The optimum temperature for germina- height of 2030 cm, but only one side branch
tion is 2025C, and the germination rate is in will then develop with subsequent branching.
general over 95% in 46 days. The seeds re- Catharanthus roseus responds well to N ferti-
main viable for 35 years. If the germination lizers, but can also grow and persist on poor
rate is low, this might be due to storage under soils. As Catharanthus roseus is drought-
too dry conditions. In production greenhouses, tolerant, excessive watering will induce stress,
growers add limestone to adjust the pH to 5.5 which will make plants more vulnerable to
5.8, as well as micronutrients and a small diseases and pests.
amount of superphosphate to the germination Catharanthus roseus is also cultivated for me-
medium. Ammonium levels higher than 10 dicinal purposes, in Africa mainly in Madagas-
ppm should be avoided. After emergence of the car. In India it is mainly cultivated as a 200-
seedlings the moisture and temperature should day crop for its leaves (for the extraction of
be reduced to avoid damping-off disease. Ferti- vinblastine and vincristine) and its roots (for
lization of seedlings should start at 5075 ppm the extraction of ajmalicine). The crop needs
nitrogen, increasing to 100150 ppm nitrogen little irrigation or fertilizer. Too excessive wa-
when the first true leaves develop. A protective tering causes yellowing of the leaves. Plant
fungicide can be applied once the seedlings spacing is 3040 cm between plants.
have all emerged. Seedlings need to be kept Diseases and pests In Africa no diseases or
rather dry and can be potted after 3 weeks. pests are known, but in Malaysia Catha-
Seedling growth can be controlled and stretch- ranthus roseus has been reported to be infected
ing prevented by application of chemical with Malaysian periwinkle yellow. Symptoms
growth retardants. This is usually not neces- include excessive yellowing of foliage, bunchy
sary with adequate light intensity, except for top and stunted flowers and leaves, suggesting
fast-growing cultivars such as Apricot De- infection by a mycoplasm-like organism. Simi-
light, Raspberry Cooler, Rose Cooler, Pacifica lar diseases have been reported from China,
Punch, Pacifica Red and the Tropicana series. Taiwan, North America and Europe. Myco-
Among the slow-growing cultivars are other plasm-like organisms can be transferred to
cultivars of the Cooler series, Pacifica Blush, Catharanthus roseus by parasitic plants of the
Pacifica Lilac, Pacifica Polka Dot and Pacifi- genus Cuscuta, and perhaps also by leafhop-
ca White. Catharanthus roseus can also be pers. Plants in the United States cultivated as
propagated vegetatively by greenwood or semi- ornamentals have been reported susceptible to
ripe cuttings rooted in a closed container with a variety of fungal diseases. Phytophthora par-
bottom heat. When rooting powder is used, the asitica, and to a lesser extent Phytophthora
cuttings will start to root after 45 weeks. Put- nicotianae and Phytophthora tropicalis, cause
ting cuttings in water will also induce rooting root rot and stem blight in outdoor plantings.
but it will take longer than in the soil. Black lesions will form on stems, causing them
Catharanthus roseus has brittle roots; rough to wilt and die back. Root rot may result in
handling should be avoided. Newly-planted reduced root systems and stunted plants.
cuttings or seedlings should be watered thor- Damping-off and root rot caused by Pythium
oughly immediately after transplanting. Ferti- and Rhizoctonia may be serious in seedbeds of
lization can be started 710 days after trans- production greenhouses and plots with newly
plantation or when the roots reach the sides transplanted plants. The soil-borne fungus
and bottom of the container. Thereafter, liquid Thielaviopsis basicola occurs commonly on
fertilizer should be given at a constant level, Catharanthus roseus in production greenhous-
with equal nitrogen and potassium but low es. These diseases are controlled by good
phosphorus to prevent stretching. High ammo- drainage, drip irrigation and by avoiding ex-
nium levels will inhibit root development. cessive fertilizer. Slow-release fertilizer is best.
Magnesium sulphate can be added to prevent Alternaria leaf spot can be a problem too, as
magnesium deficiency. well as grey mould caused by Botrytis cinerea,
Management Catharanthus roseus is usual- which is commonly seen outside during cool
ly cultivated as an ornamental. When the and humid spring weather. To prevent diseas-
plants become too tall, pruning is necessary. To es, the plants need to be watered in the morn-


ing, which allows the leaves to dry during the chophyllus (Baker) Pichon, with the F1 having
day. a high seed set and good viability when Catha-
The susceptibility of Catharanthus cultivars to ranthus trichophyllus was the female parent.
Alternaria leaf spot varies. Tropicana Rose The alkaloid profiles of the two species are
and Tropicana Bright Eye have low suscepti- different, and alkaloid production seems to be
bility, Tropicana Blush, Parasol and Little higher in hybrids than in the parent species.
Blanche have medium susceptibility and Trop- In breeding, the following characteristics seem
icana Pink, Cooler Grape, Cooler Peppermint to be dominant: purple corolla colour, dark eye
and Cooler Blush have high susceptibility. of the flower and tall and open habit. Breeding
Most popular cultivars are susceptible to aims at plants of which the corollas drop, be-
Phythopthora infections, although the Nirvana cause the old corolla will otherwise stick to the
Series has low susceptibility and Little Bright young fruit and to the new bud, which cannot
Eye and Little Pinkie have medium suscepti- develop well. The cultivars of Catharanthus
bility. In greenhouses red spider mite (Tetrany- roseus have not been registered by the Interna-
chus urticae) is very common, as well as thrips tional Cultivar Registration Authority (ICRA),
and aphids. Several cultivars are susceptible to but in 1998 an International Register of
the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita. Catharanthus cultivars was published and a
Slugs and snails can be a problem in humid first supplement in 2001. Seed companies usu-
conditions. ally arrange the different cultivars in Series,
Harvesting Catharanthus roseus plants are and many Series have been developed the past
harvested for medicinal purposes by uprooting 10 years. The same cultivar name has often
the whole plant after which the roots are sepa- been used for cultivars in different Series, e.g.
rated from the rest of the plant and both parts Cooler Apricot, Cora Apricot, Heatwave
are separately processed. If only the leaves are Apricot, etc.
harvested, the plants are left in the field for a Series developed so far include: Angel Tutu
ratoon crop. Harvesting leaves is done manual- Series (sterile hybrid, ruffled petals, heat and
ly or by machine. The alkaloid content of the drought tolerant), Beauty Series, Carpet Series
plants is highest at flowering. If the seeds are (dwarf habit), Cobra Series, Cooler Series
to be harvested, fruits should be allowed to dry (compact habit, overlapping petals, tolerant of
on the plant; subsequently they can be opened cool, damp weather), Cora series (as Nirvana
to collect the seeds. Series, but propagated from seed, phytophtho-
Handling after harvest Harvested seeds ra resistant, heat tolerant), Equator Series,
need to be dry before storing them in a dark, First Kiss Series (compact habit, large flowers,
cool and dry container, preferably at tempera- heavy blooming), Heatwave Series (heat and
tures below 20C. The aerial parts and the drought tolerant), Jaio Series (compact habit,
roots of Catharanthus roseus are cleaned, after vigorous, heat and drought tolerant, disease
which they are dried at low temperatures, then resistant), Little Series (dwarf habit), Mada-
packed for shipment. Potted plants for use as gascar Series, Merlot Series, Nirvana series
ornamentals are usually traded in sealed pack- (upright and cascading types, propagated vege-
ages. They are marketable in this condition for tatively, phytophthora resistant), Solar Series
18 days, and do not require watering during (heat and drought tolerant, early flowering),
this period. Mediterranean Series (trailing habit, many
Genetic resources Although Catharanthus colour combinations, not overlapping petals,
roseus probably originated from a limited area heat tolerant), Pacifica Series (large flowers,
in south-eastern Madagascar, it is now widely overlapping petals, heat and drought tolerant),
planted and naturalized in all tropical areas, Stardust Series (compact habit, many flowered,
and is certainly not endangered. However, pro- exceptionally heat and drought tolerant), Sun
tection of the wild populations in Madagascar Devil Extreme Series (extreme heat and
is desirable to ensure the conservation of the drought tolerant, disease tolerant), Sundress
genetic diversity, which might be of interest for Series, Sunshower Series, Sunsplash Series,
breeding purposes in the future. Catharanthus Sun Storm Series (compact habit, large-
roseus is listed as an invasive plant in parts of flowered, tolerant of hot or cool weather), Titan
the United States: California, Texas and Ha- Series (bush habit, vigorous, large-flowered,
waii. many flowered), Tropicana Series (bushy habit,
Breeding Catharanthus roseus has been fast-growing, early bloomer, tolerant of humid-
successfully crossed with Catharanthus tri- ity, Tutti Frutti Series (heat and drought toler-

ant, large-flowered), Victory Series (compact DAIS COTINIFOLIA L.

habit, large-flowered) and Viper Series (large-
flowered, tolerant of hot or cooler weather). Protologue Sp. pl. ed. 2, 1: 556 (1762).
There are also individual selections, including Family Thymelaeaceae
the All-American Selections winner Parasol, a Chromosome number 2n = 18
robust plant up to 60 cm tall, with very large Vernacular names Pompom tree, African
flowers up to 6 cm in diameter, white with button flower, kannabast (En).
purple eye. Other well-known individual selec- Origin and geographic distribution Dais
tions include Apricot Delight and Morning cotinifolia is native to Tanzania, Malawi, Zim-
Mist. babwe, South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho. It
Although hybrids are only occasionally found was introduced into the highlands of Kenya
in nature, in cultivation many fertile and ster- and Tanzania as an ornamental. It has been
ile hybrids can be made between the different planted in Europe since the 18th Century and
Catharanthus species, which have the same was also introduced in other parts of the world.
chromosome numbers. Uses Dais cotinifolia is beautiful in flower
Prospects Catharanthus roseus has good and is frequently planted as an ornamental
prospects as an ornamental in temperate re- tree or shrub in East and southern Africa. It
gions. However, growers and retailers should can be planted on its own as an eye-catcher in
discourage consumers from purchasing and a lawn or as a dense background hedge of a
planting Catharanthus roseus too early in large border. It can also be planted as a way-
spring to prevent slow growth and fungal at- side tree and is used as a container plant. In
tack. The best quality is grown late in the temperate climates it is usually grown as a
spring season. container plant in a cool glasshouse. The fi-
The possibility of accessing active dimeric alka- brous bark has been used for tying and weav-
loids by biomimetic synthesis has recently at- ing and is plaited into strong rope. The bark
tracted much attention. It is now conceivable was formerly used for tanning hides. In South
that vinblastine could be obtained from start- Africa a leaf decoction is drunk to treat stom-
ing materials such as catharanthine and vindo- ach-ache.
line, which are neither rare nor too expensive. Production and international trade Dais
These latter two compounds can be produced in cotinifolia is widely traded in East and south-
sufficient amounts in in-vitro cultures of ern Africa and in the United States. Plants and
Catharanthus roseus. Studies on analogues of seeds are commonly offered for sale through
the well-known alkaloids suggest good pro- the internet.
spects for new developments vis--vis Catha- Properties The ultimate fibres in the bark
ranthus alkaloids. Horticultural production of are (2.8)3.1(3.5) mm long and (10)12(15)
Catharanthus roseus for alkaloid production is m wide. The fibre is said to be very strong.
little studied and deserves more attention. Description Much-branched shrub or small
Major references Gurib-Fakim & Brendler, tree up to 8(15) m tall; crown rounded;
2004; Neuwinger, 2000; Plaizier, 1981; Ross,
2003; Snoeijer, 1996; Snoeijer, 1998; Snoeijer,
2001; Sutarno & Rudjiman, 1999; van Bergen,
1996; van der Heijden et al., 2004.
Other references Bhadra, Vani & Shanks,
1993; Gurib-Fakim, Guho & Bissoondoyal,
1995; Johns et al., 1995; Kessler, 1998; Kulkar-
ni, 2001; Lavergne & Vra, 1989; Marfori &
Alejar, 1993; Nammi et al., 2003; Ojewole &
Adewunmi, 2000; Sevestre-Rigouzzo et al., 1993;
Singh et al., 2001; Tabuti, Lye & Dhillion, 2003;
van Wyk, van Heerden & van Oudtshoorn,
2002; Verpoorte, Contin & Memelink, 2002.
Sources of illustration Sutarno & Rudji-
man, 1999.
Authors G.H. Schmelzer

Dais cotinifolia wild and planted



branches greyish brown to dark brown, slightly Diseases and pests Dais cotinifolia is rec-
grooved, glabrous. Leaves opposite or alter- orded to be susceptible to pink disease, caused
nate, often clustered at the ends of branches, by Corticium salmonicolor (synonym: Erythri-
simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole (2) cium salmonicolor). Symptoms include branch
46 mm long; blade broadly lanceolate to ellip- and stem die-back due to girdling cankers,
tical, (2.5)39(15) cm (1.5)25(6.5) cm, which are characterized by gum exudation,
apex acute to obtuse, more or less leathery, cracking of the bark due to death of the cambi-
glabrous, green with slightly bluish tinge um, and abundant pink mycelial growth. Un-
above, pale green beneath, pinnately veined, der glasshouse conditions, plants are suscepti-
with midrib and lateral veins yellow or pale ble to spider mite.
green beneath and slightly raised. Inflo- Genetic resources In southern Africa trees
rescence a dense terminal head up to 4 cm in are locally destructively harvested for their
diameter, 2060-flowered; peduncle up to 8 cm bark, but there are no reports that Dais cotin-
long; involucral bracts (2)4(6), ovate to al- ifolia is threatened by genetic erosion.
most orbicular, 816 mm 514 mm, outer Breeding Dais has been registered by the
ones largest, leathery, green, becoming chest- International Cultivar Registration Authority
nut brown or black, persistent. Flowers bisexu- (ICRA), and is included in the database of the
al, regular, lilac, pink or white, fragrant; calyx American Public Gardens Association. No cul-
tube cylindrical, often slightly curved, 13 cm tivars have been registered.
long, lobes 5, narrowly ovate, unequal, 48( Prospects Dais cotinifolia has potential to
10) mm 12(3) mm, hairy outside, less so become a worldwide important ornamental
inside; petals absent; stamens 10, in 2 whorls plant, because of its stunning sight when flow-
of unequal length, inserted on the calyx tube; ering, its fragrant flowers and its uncomplicat-
ovary superior, 1-celled, style slender, 23 cm ed growth. The development of cultivars with
long. Fruit a small nut, reddish brown, en- different flower colours might be a good trade
closed by the persistent calyx tube, 1-seeded. option. The bark fibre of Dais cotinifolia is
Seed small, black, with hard and brittle seed strong and can be made into rope of excellent
coat. quality. However, detailed, quantitative infor-
Other botanical information Dais compri- mation on the fibre properties is scarce, and
ses 2 species, with Dais glaucescens Decne. ex research in this area is warranted.
C.A.Mey. being endemic to Madagascar. Major references Coates Palgrave, 1983;
Growth and development Dais cotinifolia Peterson, 1978; Peterson, 2006; van Wyk &
grows fast; in South Africa trees reach their Gericke, 2000.
full height within 45 years. Flowers are pro- Other references Bhat, 1998; Huxley (Edi-
duced on the previous years growth. The flow- tor), 1992a; Hyde & Wursten, 2009; Lovett et
ers are heterostylous with 3 slightly differing al., 2006; Medina, 1959; Pienaar, 2003; Roux &
style lengths, and they are self-incompatible. Coetzee, 2005; van der Walt, 2000; van Wyk &
Dais cotinifolia is deciduous in regions with a van Wyk, 1997; Zavada & Lowrey, 1995.
pronounced winter. It has a non-invasive root- Authors M. Brink
ing system. In southern Africa flowering is in
NovemberFebruary and fruiting in January
Ecology Dais cotinifolia occurs at 1200
2300 m altitude in margins of evergreen forest, Protologue Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 43: 104 (1909).
in grassland, along streams and on rocky Family Balsaminaceae
mountain sides. It is fairly resistant to drought. Chromosome number 2n = 32
Young trees need to be protected from frost for Vernacular names Parrot plant, Congos
their first two years, but older plants are frost- cockatoo, red cockies beak (En). Impatience du
hardy. Dais cotinifolia prefers a rich, well- Zare, impatience bec-de-perroquet (Fr).
drained soil and long hot periods of the year, Origin and geographic distribution Impati-
but it needs regular watering. ens niamniamensis occurs from Cameroon east
Propagation and planting Dais cotinifolia to south-western Kenya and north-western
is easily propagated by seed or semi-hardwood Tanzania, and south to Angola. It is cultivated
cuttings. in Europe, the United States, Australia and
Management Dais cotinifolia can be pruned New Zealand as an ornamental pot plant.
after flowering. Uses Impatiens niamniamensis is widely

yellow band near the petals, otherwise red,

lateral sepals tiny, pale green; lateral petals
paired, upper petal hood-like, up to 1 cm long,
pale green; stamens fused into a ring; ovary
superior, 5-celled, style very short. Fruit a
fleshy, spindle-shaped capsule c. 1.5 cm long,
green, explosively dehiscent with 5 valves,
many-seeded. Seeds small, brown.
Other botanical information Impatiens is
a large genus comprising more than 1000 spe-
cies, and occurs in tropical and subtropical
regions of Africa, Asia and Central America, as
well as in temperate regions of the northern
hemisphere, but it is absent in South America
and Australia. In Africa more than 100 species
Impatiens macroptera Hook.f. has the same
Impatiens niamniamensis wild vegetable and medicinal uses in Congo as Im-
patiens niamniamensis. It occurs in humid
grown in Africa as an ornamental garden or rainforest from Nigeria to Gabon and Congo. It
pot plant with striking yellow and red flowers, is a perennial herb up to 50 cm tall, with rose-
and it is locally popular as an exotic ornamen- pink or rose-violet flowers.
tal pot plant outside Africa. In DR Congo the Growth and development Impatiens ni-
leaves of Impatiens niamniamensis are eaten amniamensis is variable in leaf size, leaf shape
as a vegetable and are used to produce a vege- and flower size. Under favourable conditions it
table salt. The leaves are eaten in Congo as a flowers throughout the year.
cure for heart troubles and illnesses caused by Ecology Impatiens niamniamensis grows in
evil spirits. The leaves are used to make poul- moist, densely shaded localities in bushland
tices and dressings to treat wounds and sores and forest at 3502400 m altitude. Frost,
and to alleviate all kinds of painful conditions. drought and full afternoon sun are not tolerat-
Production and international trade In 2011 ed. It prefers relatively fertile, moist soils.
Impatiens niamniamensis plants are sold on Propagation and planting In cultivation,
the internet for US$ 710. propagation is mainly by cuttings, which will
Properties The flavonoids procyanidin and root quickly when put in water. Plants which
prodelphidin have been isolated from the sep- are kept outside under favourable conditions,
als and petals of Impatiens niamniamensis. usually will set viable seed.
Hypaphorine, an N,N,N-trimethyltryptophan Management Impatiens niamniamensis res-
betaine, is isolated as major constituent from ponds well to pruning.
the seeds. The ethanolic extract of the seeds Diseases and pests Impatiens niamnia-
showed mild antihyperglycaemic activity in mensis is sensitive to aphids, spider mites,
rats at a dose of 200 mg/kg body weight, scale bugs and mealy bugs, especially under in-
whereas hypaphorine showed significant activ- door conditions.
ity in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats at a Genetic resources In view of its wide dis-
dose of 50 mg/kg body weight. tribution there is no threat of genetic erosion.
Description Erect perennial herb up to 100 There are no known collections in scientific
cm tall; stem succulent, brown, becoming institutions, but Impatiens niamniamensis is
woody below, little branched, glabrous. Leaves widely distributed among professional and
arranged spirally, simple; stipules absent; peti- amateur gardeners.
ole 110 cm long; blade broadly ovate, ovate- Breeding Impatiens niamniamensis is wide-
oblong or elliptical, up to 22 cm 9.5 cm, base ly cultivated as an ornamental garden or pot
cuneate, apex obtuse to acute or short- plant, but the cultivars have not been regis-
acuminate, margins toothed, sparsely hairy on tered by the International Cultivar Registra-
the blade above. Flowers in axillary, 26- tion Authority (ICRA).
flowered fascicles, bisexual, zygomorphic, 5- Several cultivars, differing mainly in flower
merous; lower sepal c. 5 cm long, flattened, colour, are available in the United States. The
spurred, apex of spur curved inwards, with a classical yellow and red flowered cultivar is


known as African Queen, which is the same as

Congo Cockatoo or African King. African
Queen Variegated or Golden Cockatoo has
green leaves with broad pale yellow and pale
green margins. Long Spur has a long slender,
slightly curved spur; the lower sepal is mainly
red. Winter Color and Arared are very simi-
lar to Long Spur in colour, but have a normal
spur. Hares Hybrid has a red lower sepal and
spur, but the small petals are pale yellow in-
stead of green. Magenta Prince has completely
purple flowers. A few brightly coloured hybrids
between Impatiens niamniamensis and Impati-
ens auricoma Baill., Impatiens clavicalcar
E.Fischer and Impatiens wallerana Hook.f.
have been produced, but these have not been
considered commercially viable yet.
Prospects As an ornamental Impatiens Ravenala madagascariensis wild and natu-
niamniamensis has a bright future in tropical ralized
and subtropical areas. Despite its easy growth,
like many other ornamental Impatiens species, drunk rain water accumulated in the basal cup
it is rarely available in garden centres in Eu- of the petiole and in the flower bracts. Howev-
rope, where it might be a valuable addition to er, this water is often rendered undrinkable by
the assortment of pot plants. Research is need- infestation with mosquito larvae and contami-
ed to evaluate the traditional uses as a vegeta- nation by detritus.
ble and medicinal plant. Ravenala madagascariensis is economically
Major references Chand et al., 2010; Mor- important locally along the east coast of Mada-
gan, 2007; Rosna Mat Taha, 2001; Wojciech, gascar, where the leaves are used for roofing,
2006. the petioles for walls and the bark for floors in
Other references Burkill, 1985; Grey- houses. In parts of India, the stem is used in
Wilson, 1980; Hegnauer, 1989. house construction, the leaves for packing ma-
Authors C.H. Bosch terial and for roofing, and the midribs and pet-
ioles for hut walls.
Sugar can be extracted from the sap of the
RAVENALA MADAGASCARIENSIS Sonn. trunk. The young leaves are sometimes eaten
as a vegetable. The seeds are edible, but mealy,
Protologue Voy. Indes orient. ed. 1, 2: 223, and the edible arils are tasteless. The seed oil
t. 124126 (1782). is sometimes used for cooking, and is reported
Family Strelitziaceae to be antiseptic. The pith from the trunk is
Chromosome number 2n = 22 sometimes used as a fodder for livestock.
Vernacular names Travellers palm, travel- In India a leaf infusion is drunk to treat diabe-
lers tree (En). Arbre du voyageur (Fr). Palmei- tes and kidney stones.
ra do viajante (Po). Properties The oil content of the seeds and
Origin and geographic distribution Travel- arils is 4% and 68%, respectively. The oils have
lers palm is endemic to Madagascar, and natu- a fatty acid composition intermediate between
ralized in the Mascarene Islands. It is widely palm oil and cocoa butter (oleic acid 39% and
planted as an ornamental tree throughout the palmitic acid 3442%) and form a possible mi-
tropics. nor source of vegetable butter. Analysis of the
Uses The travellers palm is very commonly sterol fraction of the seed oil revealed 7 sterols,
planted for ornamental purposes. It is often mainly -sitosterol (65%), whereas 12 sterols
found near hotels, in parks and estates, but it have been isolated from the aril oil, mainly
is less suitable for home gardens because of its stigmasterol (18%), 24-methyl-5-cholest-7-en-
mature size. The leaves are arranged into 2 3--ol (16%), -spinasterol (28%) and -7-
rows, giving the impression of a gigantic fan. avenasterol (19%).
The vernacular names are an indication of the Ethanolic and aqueous leaf extracts showed a
alleged use by travellers, who are said to have significant inhibitory effect on glucose diffusion

in vitro and accordingly were screened for in- bracteoles, all flower parts creamy white; sep-
vivo antidiabetic activity on alloxan-induced als free, lanceolate, up to 20 cm long, long-
diabetic rats. Both extracts showed a signifi- acuminate; petals free, lanceolate, up to 15 cm
cant antidiabetic activity; the ethanolic extract long, one shorter than other 2; nectaries with
was most effective in reducing the blood glu- copious nectar; stamens 6 in 2 whorls of 3, up
cose levels during acute and prolonged treat- to 16 cm long; ovary inferior, 3-celled, style
ment. long, straight, stigma with finger-like protu-
Description Medium-sized evergreen tree berances. Fruit an oblong, woody capsule 24
up to 20(30) m tall; bole unbranched or cm long, many-seeded. Seeds ovoid, c. 0.5 cm
branched at base, cylindrical, woody, ring- long, glabrous, brown, surrounded by a blue to
scarred, olive green and smooth or grey and purple, irregularly lobed aril. Seedling with
fissured, apical third clothed by leaf bases; hypogeal germination; cotyledon single, mas-
crown fan-like, with 20 or more leaves. Leaves sive, tip remaining in the seed coat as an ab-
alternate, distichously arranged, simple; peti- sorbing organ.
ole 36 m long, stout, channeled, arising at 45 Other botanical information Ravenala com-
to axis, base cup-shaped, broadly sheathing prises a single species and is closely related to
and overlapping; blade oblong, 2.54(5) m Strelitzia.
0.81.5 m, base and apex rounded, entire but In eastern Madagascar 4 types of Ravenala
often torn at the veins, glabrous, dull green, madagascariensis have been observed. The
pinnately veined with numerous lateral veins. first type, locally called malama, is rather rare
Inflorescence an axillary panicle up to 85 cm and grows in the understorey of undisturbed
long, bearing flower clusters enclosed in disti- submontane rainforest. The juvenile phase is
chously arranged, stiff, boat-shaped bracts 20 characterized by a spiral arrangement of the
25(30) cm long. Flowers bisexual, slightly leaves, a long-decurrent leaf blade and the ab-
zygomorphic, 3-merous, subtended by keeled sence of a petiole; the adult phase has a fan-
like crown. The second type, hiranirana, is
more abundant in forest gaps and disturbed
primary forest, and the juvenile phase is more
similar to the usual fan-like type, with well-
developed petioles and a relatively wide leaf
blade, and a slight and regularly alternate ar-
rangement of the leaves, persisting in the adult
phase. The third type, bemavo, is most com-
mon, growing on deforested slopes at 300600
m altitude, and forming Ravenala forests; all
phases show a fan-like crown. This type is
mostly used for construction purposes. The
fourth type, horonorona, grows in deforested
lowland sites, and is different from the other 3
in that it stays rather small and develops many
suckers. It is the type that is most commonly
Growth and development The leaves at
the base of a new shoot often consist only of
sheaths. Each new leaf grows up inside the
sheath of the preceding one, the blade being
tightly rolled. A fully expanded leaf is often
slightly unequal-sided, or the base of the blade
is asymmetrical. It takes up to 10 years before
first flowering, but because travellers palm is
planted for its foliage this does not distract
from its ornamental value. Regular strong
Ravenala madagascariensis 1, plant habit; 2, winds will shred the leaves and affect its or-
inflorescence; 3, flower; 4, dehisced fruit; 5, namental look.
seed. Every 23 days, a new flower opens in an inflo-
Redrawn and adapted by M.M. Spitteler rescence, the total number of open flowers be-


ing variable; up to 29 have been counted. The Diseases and pests In general Ravenala
flowers normally open at night. Nectar produc- madagascariensis is considered very pest and
tion is copious, with maximum production at disease resistant. It is a host of the fungus
midnight. In Madagascar, travellers palm is Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, which causes
pollinated predominantly by several lemur leaf spot disease of, for example, areca nut
species, e.g. the ruffled lemur (Varecia variega- palm (Areca catechu L.) in India. There the
ta) and the black lemur (Eulemur macaco). roots of travellers palm are also attacked by
Lemurs appear to be highly dependent on the the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita.
nectar of travellers palm during specific times Genetic resources As Ravenala madagas-
of the year. In areas outside the natural range, cariensis is widely planted throughout the trop-
flowers are often visited by large bats, such as ics, there seems to be no risk of genetic erosion,
Pteropus alecto gouldii and Macroglossus although the genetic diversity of plants in cul-
lagochilus, as well as honeyeater birds (Mega- tivation is unknown. No germplasm collections
phagidae) in Australia. Two petals are linked are known.
by interlocking papillae to form a tube around Breeding There seems to be no cultivar
the anthers. When a pollinator forces into the registration for Ravenala madagascariensis,
flower to reach the nectar, the petals separate although probably different cultivars exist in
suddenly, releasing the stamens and shedding the tropics and in the United States.
pollen onto the animal. However, studies Prospects As travellers palm is a popular
showed that Ravenala madagascariensis is a ornamental tree that is widely grown, the de-
facultative self-fertilizer, although resulting velopment of cultivars with different habits
fruits often contain few seeds. It is likely that might be a good trade option. As deforestation
the seeds with their blue to purple aril are eat- in Madagascar proceeds at an alarming rate,
en and dispersed by birds. protection of the tree from uncontrolled cutting
Ecology Travellers palm prefers sheltered, may soon be necessary.
warm and humid areas near the coast, from Major references Blanc et al., 1999; Huxley
sea-level up to 450 m altitude, but it can be (Editor), 1992b; Kress et al., 1994; Rabarisoa,
found up to 1000 m. It prefers rich, loamy soils, Bianchini & Gaydou, 1981; Sakthi Priyadarsi-
but can also be grown in sandy and clayey soils ni, Vadivu & Jayshree, 2010; Staples & Herbst,
with good drainage. It does not tolerate frost 2005.
when small and needs to be covered in regions Other references Andersson, 1998; Calley,
with occasional light frost. Braithwaite & Ladd, 1993; CSIR, 1969; Dorr &
Propagation and planting Propagation is Parkinson, 1990; Kirchoff, 1991; Marais, 1983;
by seed and suckers. The fruits need to dry on Perrier de la Bthie, 1946; Piepenbring &
the plant, before harvesting the seeds. Seed is Napp-Zinn, 1992.
best sown in a moist, sandy soil at 20C. Seed- Sources of illustration Andersson, 1998;
lings of 26 months old are planted in a rich, Petersen, 1889; Perrier de la Bthie, 1946.
deep, loamy soil in full sunlight, incorporating Authors G.H. Schmelzer
organic matter at planting to prevent drying of
the roots. Suckers grow at irregular intervals,
close to the parental stem. Rooted suckers are SPATHODEA CAMPANULATA P.Beauv.
separated at the beginning of the rainy season,
and are directly planted into fertile soil for Protologue Fl. Oware 1: 47, t. 27 (1805).
quick growth. They need partial shade until Family Bignoniaceae
they are well established. Chromosome number 2n = 26, 36, 38
Management Ravenala madagascariensis Vernacular names African tulip tree, Nan-
needs to be watered on a regular base. Howev- di flame, fountain tree, flame-of-the-forest
er, excessive watering can lead to root rot. (En). Tulipier du Gabon, arbre-flamme (Fr).
Spacing between plants is 3.54.5 m. Regular Tulipeira-do-Gabo (Po). Kifabakazi (Sw).
pruning the dead leaves at the base of the Origin and geographic distribution African
crown is recommended. tulip tree is native of West, Central and west-
Ravenala madagascariensis can be planted in ern East Africa, from southern Senegal east to
containers, which will restrict growth and ena- western Kenya and Tanzania, and south to DR
ble indoor cultivation. However, the high light Congo and northern Angola. Elsewhere in trop-
requirement is usually only met under green- ical Africa it is planted as an ornamental, e.g.
house conditions. in Cape Verde, Zimbabwe and Madagascar.

pines. The seeds are eaten in many parts of

Africa. The leaves are browsed by goats. The
flower buds contain a reddish sap, and are
used as water pistols by children.
Production and international trade African
tulip tree is widely grown in the tropics and
subtropics as an ornamental tree. There is a
large market potential in frost-free regions.
Seeds and seedlings are also offered on the
Properties Medical research has concentra-
ted on the effects of Spathodea campanulata on
diabetes, malaria and schistosomiasis. A decoc-
tion of stem bark showed hypoglycaemic activi-
ty in mice, but had no influence on insulin lev-
els. In tests on Plasmodium berghei berghei in
mice, the hexane and chloroform extracts of
Spathodea campanulata wild stem bark showed blood schizontocidal action,
and the chloroform extract demonstrated some
African tulip tree is widely grown in tropical prophylactic properties. The extracts not only
and subtropical regions outside Africa. Locally suppressed parasitaemia but also prolonged
it has become naturalized and is an important the lifespan of mice. An aqueous alcoholic ex-
component of secondary vegetation, e.g. in tract of the leaves also showed some antimalar-
Mexico and Puerto Rico. It is considered a weed ial properties.
in Guam and Hawaii. Extracts have been tried as a molluscicide;
Uses African tulip tree is planted as an or- several of these proved effective against Bi-
namental, a wayside tree and shade tree. In omphalaria glabrata in Brazil, but in Swazi-
many regions it is one of the most popular land they were the least effective of all extracts
flowering trees. It is used for soil improvement, tested against Bulinus africanus, the schisto-
reafforestation, erosion control and land reha- somiasis (bilharzia) vector. As a fungicide they
bilitation, and as a live fence. Its dense crown had little effect on damping-off caused by
does not allow intercropping, but its leaves Pythium aphanidermatum, but they were ef-
make a useful mulch. It has been used as a fective against bean rust caused by Uromyces
shade tree in coffee plantations. In teak plan- appendiculatus. The extracts showed larvicidal
tations, African tulip tree can be used to at- properties against the mosquito Aedes fluviati-
tract initial populations of teak defoliator (Hy- lis, a vector of Rift Valley fever.
blaea puera), which can then easily be de- The oral median lethal dose of the leaf extract
stroyed. in mice was 4.5 g/kg. An ethanolic leaf extract
Spathodea campanulata has many medicinal possessed significant anticonvulsant activity in
uses both where it is native and introduced. tests with mice. The extract did not show se-
Extracts of bark, leaves and flowers are used to dating and psychotic properties. An ethanolic
treat malaria, HIV, diabetes mellitus, oedema, leafy twig extract showed significant antioxi-
dysentery, constipation, gastrointestinal disor- dant activity in vitro.
ders, ulcers, skin diseases, wounds, haemor- Of the many compounds isolated from the
rhoids, fever, urethral inflammation and liver wood, bark and leaves the most promising are
complaints, and as a poison antidote. It may be ursolic acid and its derivatives, which are be-
effective as a malaria prophylactic and in the lieved to play a role in the antimalarial activity
control of Aedes mosquitoes. of the bark extract. From the ethanolic leafy
In West Africa, the wood is used for carving, twig extract several phenolic compounds were
but considered inferior for other purposes. It isolated, including caffeic acid, ferulic acid and
can also be used for paper making. In Ethiopia, several flavonoids.
it is used as firewood and to produce charcoal. The wood is dirty white, lightweight (density
Plywood seems the only widespread commer- about 360 kg/m at 12% moisture content) and
cial use for the timber, traded as African tulip soft. It is liable to rot. It is a poor timber and
or tulipier; African tulip tree is grown as a firewood, although occasionally used as such.
plantation crop for this purpose in the Philip- Description Deciduous, small to medium-

stamens 4, inserted on corolla tube, unequal,

more or less exserted; ovary superior, 2-celled,
style slender, stigma 2-lobed. Fruit a narrowly
ellipsoid woody capsule 1527 cm 3.57 cm,
blackish-brown, dehiscing by 2 valves, many-
seeded. Seeds heart-shaped, strongly flattened,
c. 1.5 cm 2 cm, very broadly winged, wings
thin, silvery.
Other botanical information Spathodea
comprises only a single species, with 3 subspe-
cies distinguished by their hairiness. Subsp.
campanulata has glabrous leaves and ovary, a
minutely velvety calyx, and is restricted to
West African lowland forest. Subsp. nilotica
(Seem.) Bidgood has densely hairy leaves and
ovary, a densely velvety calyx, and is found in
Central and East African lower montane forest.
Subsp. congolana Bidgood, of the lowland for-
est in the Congo Basin, has leaves with scat-
tered long curly hairs and a glabrous to curly
hairy calyx and ovary. Some introgression be-
tween subspecies has been reported.
Anatomy Wood-anatomical description (IAWA
hardwood codes):
Growth rings: 2: growth ring boundaries indis-
tinct or absent. Vessels: 5: wood diffuse-porous;
Spathodea campanulata 1, flowering branch; 13: simple perforation plates; (19: reticulate,
2, dehisced fruit; 3, seed. foraminate, and/or other types of multiple per-
Redrawn and adapted by M.M. Spitteler foration plates); 22: intervessel pits alternate;
23: shape of alternate pits polygonal; 25: inter-
sized tree up to 25(35) m tall, in savanna of- vessel pits small (47 m); 26: intervessel pits
ten a shrub, shallow rooted; bole up to 60 cm in medium (710 m); 30: vessel-ray pits with
diameter, fluted; bark surface pale grey-brown distinct borders; similar to intervessel pits in
and smooth when young, turning grey-black size and shape throughout the ray cell; (31:
when ageing, and then rough and scaling at vessel-ray pits with much reduced borders to
the base of the bole, inner bark dirty-white apparently simple: pits rounded or angular);
with scattered blotches and pits, turning green- 42: mean tangential diameter of vessel lumina
ish brown; crown compact, with dark foliage, 100200 m; (45: vessels of two distinct diame-
sometimes somewhat flattened. Leaves oppo- ter classes, wood not ring-porous); 46: 5 ves-
site or in whorls of 3, imparipinnately com- sels per square millimetre; (47: 520 vessels
pound with (7)915(19) leaflets; stipules per square millimetre); 56: tyloses common.
absent; petiole 715 cm long, rachis 1535 cm Tracheids and fibres: 61: fibres with simple to
long; leaflets opposite, sessile or with up to 5 minutely bordered pits; 66: non-septate fibres
mm long petiolules, elliptical to ovate or ovate- present; 69: fibres thin- to thick-walled. Axial
oblong, (3)716 cm (1.5)37 cm, asymmet- parenchyma: 80: axial parenchyma aliform; 82:
rically truncate to cuneate at base with 12 axial parenchyma winged-aliform; 83: axial
glands, apex acuminate or acute, glabrous to parenchyma confluent; (89: axial parenchyma
pubescent below, pinnately veined with (6)8 in marginal or in seemingly marginal bands);
11 pairs of lateral veins. Inflorescence a termi- 91: two cells per parenchyma strand; 92: four
nal corymb-like raceme. Flowers bisexual, zy- (34) cells per parenchyma strand. Rays: 98:
gomorphic, large and showy; pedicel up to 6 cm larger rays commonly 4- to 10-seriate; 104: all
long; calyx spathe-like, 48 cm long, recurved, ray cells procumbent; 115: 412 rays per mm.
long-acuminate, ribbed, splitting down on one (E. Uetimane, H. Beeckman & P.E. Gasson)
side; corolla widely campanulate from a con- Growth and development Growth of the
tracted base, 815 cm long, 5-lobed, scarlet or bole may be up to 5 cm/year in diameter. Flow-
orange-red with yellow margin and throat; ering may start 23 years after planting. The

flowers are individually short-lived but carried year-old seedlings in Cuba. African tulip tree is
in succession over long periods. According to a host of the fungus Ceratocystis fimbriata and
some people, the flowers have an unpleasant Xyleborus beetles in Cuba, and of gypsy moth
smell. They attract many ants, which makes (Lymantria dispar) and the coreid bug Lepto-
them less suitable for flower arrangements. glossus zonatus (pest of corn, soybean, sor-
Under favourable conditions, African tulip tree ghum, cotton) in Brazil. Other insect pests in-
may flower throughout the year. In areas with clude teak defoliator (Hyblaea puera) in India
a pronounced dry season (e.g. Kenya) or cold and a leafhopper (Rabela tabebuiae) in Florida.
season (e.g. southern United States, Spain) the Genetic resources The Subtropical Horti-
trees are deciduous and have a marked peak in cultural Research Unit, Miami, United States
flowering. High temperatures during flowering has a germplasm collection of 16 accessions.
interfere with pollen development and fertiliza- Seed is available commercially from many
tion. Sunbirds feed on the nectar and serve as sources. An orange to buttercup-yellow type of
pollinators. The seeds are wind-dispersed. the species, originally from Uganda, is popular
Coppice growth is reported to be excellent; in horticulture. It is multiplied vegetatively.
trees will coppice up to at least pole size. Breeding Cultivar Aurea is comparatively
Ecology African tulip tree occurs naturally small and has amber to golden yellow flowers.
in forest fringes, riverine forest, secondary In Hawaii the yellow-flowering Kona Gold is
scrub, wooded savanna and open savanna, up commonly planted. The International Cultivar
to 2000 m altitude and in areas receiving Registration Authority (ICRA) for Spathodea is
13002000 mm annual rainfall. In secondary the American Public Gardens Association, New
forest, few juvenile trees are found as the spe- York, United States.
cies is not shade tolerant. It prefers warm, Prospects African tulip tree will remain
moist conditions but on deep soils it withstands important as a park and street tree, valued for
drought. African tulip tree is frost tender when its shade and spectacular flowers. However, its
young. It does not produce seed at high tem- shallow roots may damage foundations of
peratures or low relative humidity. buildings and pavement. Its use in agriculture
Propagation and planting Propagation is and forestry and as a medicinal plant deserves
mostly by seed. Seeds do not require treatment; more attention. It also has potential for greater
they are recalcitrant and their viability is use in rehabilitating disturbed lands on ac-
short. One kg contains about 125,000 seeds. count of its pioneering ability and rapid
Cuttings can also be used for propagation, growth. The fact that African tulip tree may
larger diameter cuttings (up to 10 cm) giving behave as an invasive species that is difficult to
the best results. Saddle and side grafting are eradicate because of its wind-dispersed seeds
sometimes used to multiply desirable ornamen- and root suckers should be taken into consid-
tal types, such as those with yellow flowers, eration before planting it.
with higher success rates for side grafting (75% Major references Bekele-Tesemma, Birnie
vs. 25%). However, saddle-grafted plants have & Tengns, 1993; Bidgood, 1994; Burkill, 1985;
better growth. Root suckers can also be used Consoli et al., 1988; Gentry, 1984; Ilodigwe,
for propagation. Akah & Nworu, 2010; Liben, 1977; Makinde,
Management The wood is soft and brittle, Amusan & Adesogan, 1990; Niyonzima et al.,
so planting should only take place where fall- 1999; Salim et al., 1998.
ing branches will not cause damage. In windy Other references Amihan, 1959; Amin &
regions, trees need to be pruned regularly to Upadhyaya, 1976; Chandler, 1982; Chauhan,
restrict rapid growth and breaking of branches. Yadav & Yadav, 1987; Consoli et al., 1989;
Large trees constantly drop leaves, twigs, flow- InsideWood, undated; Irvine, 1961; Isla &
ers and seeds, and thus produce much litter. Ravelo, 1993; Magilu, Mbuyi & Ndjele, 1996;
Because of its fast growth African tulip tree Makinde, Amusan & Adesogan, 1988; Mendes
has the potential to become weedy under fa- et al., 1990; Menninger et al., 1975; Montes-
vourable conditions, and in Hawaii and other Belmont, 1990; Ngouela, Tsamo & Sondengam,
tropical islands it is considered to be very inva- 1988; Niyonzima et al., 1990; Niyonzima et al.,
sive. 1991; Pablo, 1986; Rivera & Aide, 1998; Rock-
Diseases and pests African tulip tree is wood & DeValerio, 1986; Toledo, 1977.
affected by leaf blister in Kenya and is suscep- Sources of illustration Bidgood, 1994;
tible to butt and heart rot. Fungal diseases Liben, 1977.
(Diplodia and Corynespora spp.) attack 12 Authors C.H. Bosch


STROPHANTHUS BOIVINII Baill. An ethanolic extract of the roots, bark, wood

and leaves yielded the cardenolides boivinides
Protologue Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Paris 1: 16. All compounds showed significant antipro-
757 (1888). liferative activity against a human ovarian
Family Apocynaceae cancer cell line, with boivinide 1 being the most
Synonyms Roupellina boivinii (Baill.) Pichon active with an IC50 of 0.17 M.
(1949). Description Deciduous shrub or small tree
Vernacular names Wood shaving flower, up to 5(12) m tall, sometimes up to 30 m, di-
cork-screw flower (En). Roupellina (Fr). chotomously branched, with white latex; bole
Origin and geographic distribution Stro- up to 40 cm in diameter; bark pale grey, flak-
phanthus boivinii is endemic to Madagascar. It ing. Leaves decussately opposite, clustered at
is naturalized in Runion and Mauritius. It is the apex of branchlets, simple and entire; stip-
planted as an ornamental in several other ules absent; petiole 0.51.5(2) cm long; blade
countries, including the United States and elliptical or narrowly elliptical to obovate, 221
India. cm 16(8) cm, base cuneate, apex acute to
Uses Strophanthus boivinii is sometimes acuminate, papery, glabrous to short-hairy.
sold as a rare ornamental because of its strik- Inflorescence a congested cyme in the forks of
ing orange-brown flowers. A decoction of the lateral branches, short-hairy, few- to many-
aerial parts is drunk to treat gonorrhoea and flowered; peduncle 27 mm long, erect or
fever. It is also used to poison dogs and pest drooping; bracts ovate, up to 4 mm long, scale-
animals. A bark decoction is taken to treat colic like, whitish. Flowers bisexual, regular, 5
and is rubbed in to treat wounds and itch. merous; pedicel 1.53.5 cm long; sepals free,
Production and international trade Stro- narrowly ovate, 1.58 mm long, acute, short-
phanthus boivinii is sometimes traded on the hairy; corolla tube 822 mm long, widening at
internet as an ornamental. 2545% of its length into a cylindrical or cup-
Properties All parts of Strophanthus boi- shaped part, at the mouth 310 mm wide,
vinii are considered toxic when ingested. Sev- short-hairy, yellow or orange fading to reddish
eral cardiac glycosides (cardenolides) have brown, corona lobes scale-like or tongue-
been isolated from the seeds and leaves. The shaped, 13 mm long, obtuse, fleshy, yellow,
seeds contain mainly glycosides based on the corolla lobes oblong, 732 mm long, apex
aglycone corotoxigenin: milloside, paulioside, rounded, twisted, margin wavy or crisped,
stroboside, boistroside and christyoside. In short-hairy, orange turning reddish, with yel-
addition, the gitogenin glycoside strospeside is low margins; stamens inserted at 36 mm from
found. The leaves also contain glycosides, with the base of the corolla tube, included; ovary
paulioside, boistroside, strospeside, madagas- superior, 2-celled, style 3.55 mm long, ending
coside, zettoside and allosadleroside as main in a ringlike pistil head surrounding the stig-
components. Only strospeside is also present in ma. Fruit consisting of 2 ellipsoid follicles 11
other Strophanthus species. 24 cm 1.53 cm, tapering into a narrow apex,
curved inwards at the tip, 2-valved, divergent
at an angle of 160220, wall thick and hard,
with lenticels, many-seeded. Seeds spindle-
shaped, slightly flattened, 1116 mm long,
densely hairy, with a long beak up to 2.5 cm
long, at apex with long hairs 34.5 cm long.
Other botanical information Strophan-
thus comprises 38 species, of which 30 occur in
continental Africa, 1 in Madagascar and 7 in
tropical Asia.
Growth and development Strophanthus
boivinii is deciduous in dry regions. It flowers
towards the end of the dry season and at the
beginning of the rainy season; flowers appear
before or with the leaves. Mature fruits are
present in the dry season. Strophanthus boi-
vinii is drought tolerant and can be grown both
Strophanthus boivinii wild and naturalized in full sun and in shade. It is a compact shrub


when container-grown, and can be trained into

a small tree. Less watering during cooler peri-
ods promotes heavy flowering; continuous
moist conditions encourage a prolonged but
less prolific flowering period.
Ecology Strophanthus boivinii occurs in dry
deciduous forest and thickets, sometimes on
limestone, from sea-level up to 800 m altitude.
In cultivation, it prefers well-drained soil and
full to partial sun.
Propagation and planting Strophanthus
boivinii is mainly propagated through softwood
cuttings and seeds. Fresh seed will germinate
fast at 2025C and 85% humidity.
Diseases and pests No damping-off has been
observed in seedlings.
Genetic resources Strophanthus boivinii is
rather widespread especially in the western
part of Madagascar and is not in danger of
genetic erosion. It is cultivated in botanic gar-
dens in several countries and as ornamental.
Breeding Registered cultivars have not
been developed in Strophanthus boivinii so far.
Strophanthus has not been registered by the
International Cultivar Registration Authority
Prospects Strophanthus boivinii has very
interesting flowers and has much potential as a
specialist garden plant in tropical regions, and
also as a container plant in temperate regions.
As all plant parts are toxic, it needs to be han-
dled with care. As a medicinal plant, it will
remain of local use only, unless further re-
search of the many cardio-active glycosides
reveals properties with potential for drug de-
Major references Beentje, 1982; Boiteau &
Allorge-Boiteau, 1993; Debray, Jacquemin &
Razafindrambao, 1971; Karkare et al., 2007;
Neuwinger, 2000.
Other references Creech & Dowdle, 1952;
Hegnauer, 1964; Llamas, 2003; Markgraf,
1976; Pernet & Meyer, 1957; Rasoanaivo,
Petitjean & Conan, 1993; Russel, Schindler &
Reichstein, 1961a; Russel, Schindler & Reich-
stein, 1961b; Schindler & Reichstein, 1952a;
Schindler & Reichstein, 1952b; Schindler &
Reichstein, 1952c.
Authors A. de Ruijter


Aarestrup, J.R., Karam, D. & Fernandes, G.W., 2008. Chromosome number and cytogenetics of
Euphorbia heterophylla L. Genetics and Molecular Research 7(1): 217222.
Amihan, J.B., 1959. A study on the survival of African Tulip (Spathodea campanulata) cuttings in
relation to their diameters. Philippine Journal of Forestry 15: 135149.
Amin, P.W. & Upadhyaya, A.K., 1976. Occurrence of the teak defoliator, Hyblaea puera (Hyblae-
idae, Lepidoptera) on the fountain tree Spathodea nilotica (Bignoniaceae). Indian Forester 102(5):
Andersson, L., 1998. Strelitziaceae. In: Kubitzki, K. (Editor). The families and genera of vascular
plants. Volume 4. Flowering plants - monocotyledons, Alismatanae and Commelinanae (except
Gramineae). Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, Germany. pp. 451455.
Bang, M.H., Song, M.C., Lee, D.Y., Yang, H.J., Han, M.W. & Baek, N.I., 2006. Isolation and identi-
fication of lipids from the roots of Canna generalis. The Korean Society for Applied Biological
Chemistry 49(4): 339342.
Beentje, H.J., 1982. A monograph on Strophanthus DC. (Apocynaceae). Mededelingen Landbouw-
hogeschool Wageningen 824. Wageningen, Netherlands. 191 pp.
Bekele-Tesemma, A., Birnie, A. & Tengns, B., 1993. Useful trees and shrubs for Ethiopia: identifi-
cation, propagation and management for agricultural and pastoral communities. Technical
Handbook No 5. Regional Soil Conservation Unit/SIDA, Nairobi, Kenya. 474 pp.
Bhadra, R., Vani, S. & Shanks, J.V., 1993. Production of indole alkaloids by selected hairy root
lines of Catharanthus roseus. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 41(5): 581592.
Bhat, R.B., 1998. Medicinal plants of Transkei (South Africa) for the treatment of digestive tract
disorders. Phyton 63(12): 5155.
Bidgood, S., 1994. Infraspecific variation in Spathodea campanulata (Bignoniaceae). In: Seyani,
J.H. & Chikuni, A.C. (Editors). Proceedings of the 13th plenary meeting of AETFAT, Zomba, Ma-
lawi. Volume 1. National Herbarium and Botanic Gardens of Malawi, Zomba, Malawi. pp. 327
Blanc, P., Rabenandrianina, N., Hladik, A. & Hladik, C.M., 1999. Les formes sympatriques et allo-
patriques du genre Ravenala dans les frets et les milieux ouverts de lest de Madagascar. Revue
dEcologie la Terre et la Vie 54(3): 201223.
Blanchard, M.G. & Runkle, E.S., 2009. Influence of short-term storage temperature and duration of
canna rhizomes on subsequent greenhouse forcing. Acta Horticulturae 847: 313320.
Boiteau, P. & Allorge-Boiteau, L., 1993. Plantes mdicinales de Madagascar. Agence de Coopra-
tion Culturelle et Technique, Paris, France. 135 pp.
Broschat, T.K., Reinert, J.A. & Donselman, H.M., 1983. Resistance of Canna cultivars to Canna
rust Puccinia thaliae and Hippeastrum mosaic virus. Hortscience 18(4): 451452.
Burkill, H.M., 1985. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 1, Families A
D. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 960 pp.
Calley, M., Braithwaite, B.W. & Ladd, P.G., 1993. Reproductive biology of Ravenala madagascari-
ensis Gmel. as an alien species. Biotropica 25(1): 6172.
Carey, D. & Avent, T., 2011. Canna - growing canna lilies in your garden. [Internet]
<> Accessed June 2011.
Chand, K., Akanksha, Rahuja, N., Mishra, D.P., Srivastava, A.K. & Maurya, R., 2010. Major alka-
loidal constituent from Impatiens niamniamensis seeds as antihyperglycemic agent. [Internet]
Medicinal Chemistry Research 19. 4 pp.
Chandler, P., 1982. African Tulip Tree. Pacific Horticulture 43(2): 3940.
Chauhan, S.V.S., Yadav, V. & Yadav, D.K., 1987. Studies in the causes of seedlessness in some
Bignoniaceae. Journal of Experimental Botany 38: 173177.
Chen, Y., Bracy, R.P., Owings, A.D. & Merhaut, D.J., 2009. Nitrogen and phosphorous removal by
ornamental and wetland plants in a greenhouse recirculation research system. HortScience 44(6):
Coates Palgrave, K., 1983. Trees of southern Africa. 2nd Edition. Struik Publishers, Cape Town,
South Africa. 959 pp.

Consoli, R.A.G.B., Mendes, N.M., Pereira, J.P., Santos, B.S. & Lamounier, M.A., 1988. Influence of
some plant extracts on the survival of larvae of Aedes fluviatilis (Lutz) (Diptera: Culicidae) in the
laboratory. Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 83(1): 8793.
Consoli, R.A.G.B., Mendes, N.M., Pereira, J.P., Santos, B.S. & Lamounier, M.A., 1989. Influence of
several plant extracts on the oviposition behaviour of Aedes fluviatilis (Lutz) (Diptera: Culicidae).
Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 84(1): 4751.
Cooke, I., 2001. The Gardeners guide to growing Cannas. Timber Press, Portland, United States.
160 pp.
Creech, J.L. & Dowdle, R.F., 1952. Propagation of Strophanthus. Economic Botany 6(1): 4854.
CSIR, 1969. The wealth of India. A dictionary of Indian raw materials & industrial products. Raw
materials. Volume 8: PhRe. Publications and Information Directorate, Council of Scientific and
Industrial Research, New Delhi, India. 394 pp.
Debray, M., Jacquemin, H. & Razafindrambao, R., 1971. Contribution linventaire des plantes
mdicinales de Madagascar. Travaux et Documents No 8. ORSTOM, Paris, France. 150 pp.
Dorr, L.J. & Parkinson, P.G., 1990. Proposal to conserve the spelling 1320 Ravenala (Strelitziace-
ae). Taxon 39(1): 131132.
Gentry, A.H., 1984. Bignoniaceae. Flore du Cameroun. Volume 27. Dlgation Gnrale la Re-
cherche Scientifique et Technique, Yaound, Cameroon. pp. 4245.
Grey-Wilson, C., 1980. Impatiens in Africa. Morphology, pollination and pollinators, ecology, phy-
togeography, hybridisation, keys and a systematic treatment of all african species. With a note on
collecting and cultivation. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, Netherlands. 235 pp.
Gurib-Fakim, A. & Brendler, T., 2004. Medicinal and aromatic plants of Indian Ocean Islands:
Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles and Mascarenes. Medpharm, Stuttgart, Germany. 568 pp.
Gurib-Fakim, A., Guho, J. & Bissoondoyal, M.D., 1995. Plantes mdicinales de Maurice, tome 1.
Editions de lOcan Indien, Rose-Hill, Mauritius. 495 pp.
Hatch, L., 2011. Hatchs perennials 1.0. Cultivars of hardy herbaceous plants. [Internet] Canna
cultivar checklist project, a comprehensive index by 2011. <>. Accessed
June 2011.
Hegnauer, R., 1964. Chemotaxonomie der Pflanzen. Band 3. Birkhuser Verlag, Basel, Switzer-
land. 743 pp.
Hegnauer, R., 1989. Chemotaxonomie der Pflanzen. Band 8. Birkhuser Verlag, Basel, Switzer-
land. 718 pp.
Huxley, A. (Editor), 1992a. The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening. Volume 2.
MacMillan Press, London, United Kingdom. 747 pp.
Huxley, A. (Editor), 1992b. The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening. Volume 3.
MacMillan Press, London, United Kingdom. 790 pp.
Hyde, M.A. & Wursten, B., 2009. Thymelaeaceae. [Internet ] Flora of Zimbabwe.
< speciesdata/ family.php?family_id=220>. Accessed February
Ilodigwe, E.E., Akah, P.A. & Nworu, C.S., 2010. Anticonvulsant activity of ethanol leaf extract of
Spathodea campanulata P.Beauv. (Bignoniaceae). Journal of Medicinal Food 13(4): 827833.
InsideWood, undated. [Internet] <>. Accessed May 2007.
Irvine, F.R., 1961. Woody plants of Ghana, with special reference to their uses. Oxford University
Press, London, United Kingdom. 868 pp.
Isla, L.H. & Ravelo, H.G., 1993. Algunas enfermedades fungosas del cedro de la India (Spathodea
campanulata Beauv.) en Cuba. Centro Agrcola 20(1): 8182.
Johns, T., Faubert, G.M., Kokwaro, J.O., Mahunnah, R.L.A. & Kimanani, E.K., 1995. Anti-giardial
activity of gastrointestinal remedies of the Luo of East Africa. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 46:
Karkare, S., Adou, E., Cao, S., Brodie, P., Miller, J.S., Andrianjafy, N.M., Razafitsalama, J., Andri-
antsiferana, R., Rasamison, V.E. & Kingston, D.G.I., 2007. Cytotoxic glycosides of Rouppelina
(Strophanthus) boivinii from the Madagascar rainforest. Journal of Natural Products 70(11):
Kessler, J.R., Jr., 1998. Greenhouse production of annual Vinca. Alabama Cooperative Extension
System, Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities, United States. 4 pp.

Khoshoo, T.N. & Guha, I., 1976. Origin and evolution of cultivated cannas. Vikas Publishing
House, New Delhi, India. 81 pp.
Khoshoo, T.N. & Mukherjee, I., 1970. Genetic-evolutionary studies on cultivated cannas. Theoreti-
cal and Applied Genetics 40(5): 204217.
Kirchoff, B.K., 1991. Homeosis in the flowers of the Zingiberales. American Journal of Botany
78(6): 833837.
Konnerup, D., Koottatep, T. & Brix, H., 2009. Treatment of domestic wastewater in tropical, sub-
surface flow constructed wetlands planted with Canna and Heliconia. Ecological Engineering
35(2): 248257.
Kress, W.J., Schatz, G.E., Andrianifahanana, M. & Morland, H.S., 1994. Pollination of Ravenala
madagascariensis (Strelitziaceae) by lemurs in Madagascar: evidence for an archaic coevolution-
ary system? American Journal of Botany 81(5): 542551.
Kulkarni, R.N., Sreevalli, Y., Baskaran, K. & Kumar, S., 2001. The mechanism and inheritance of
intraflower self-pollination in self-pollinating variant strains of periwinkle. Plant Breeding 120:
Latham, P., 2007. Plants visited by bees and other useful plants of Umalila, southern Tanzania.
Third edition. P.Latham, DFID, United Kingdom. 216 pp.
Lavergne, R. & Vra, R., 1989. Mdecine traditionelle et pharmacope - Contribution aux tudes
ethnobotaniques et floristiques la Runion. Agence de Coopration Culturelle et Technique, Pa-
ris, France. 236 pp.
Liben, L., 1977. Bignoniaceae. In: Bamps, P. (Editor). Flore dAfrique centrale. Spermatophytes.
Jardin botanique national de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium. 39 pp.
Llamas, K.A., 2003. Tropical flowering plants: a guide to identification and cultivation. Timber
Press, Portland, United States. 425 pp.
Lovett, J.C., Ruffo, C.K., Gereau, R.E. & Taplin, J.R.D., 2006. Field guide to the moist forest trees
of Tanzania. [Internet] Centre for Ecology Law and Policy, Environment Department, University
of York, York, United Kingdom. < projects/ tzforeco/>. Accessed February 2009.
Maas-van der Kamer, H. & Maas, P.J.M., 2008. The Cannaceae of the world. Blumea 53(2): 247
Magilu, M., Mbuyi, M. & Ndjele, M.B., 1996. Plantes mdicinales utilises par les Pygmes (Mbute)
pour combattre le paludisme dans la zone de Mambasa, Ituri, Zaire. In: van der Maesen, L.J.G.,
van der Burgt, X.M. & van Medenbach de Rooy, J.M. (Editors). The biodiversity of African plants.
Proceedings 14th AETFAT Congress, 2227 August 1994, Wageningen, Netherlands. Kluwer Ac-
ademic Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands. pp. 741746.
Makinde, J.M., Amusan, O.O.G. & Adesogan, E.K., 1988. The antimalarial activity of Spathodea
campanulata stem bark extract on Plasmodium berghei berghei in mice. Planta Medica 54(2):
Makinde, J.M., Amusan, O.O.G. & Adesogan, E.K., 1990. The antimalarial activity of chromato-
graphic fractions of Spathodea campanulata stem bark extracts against Plasmodium berghei
berghei in mice. Phytotherapy Research 4(2): 5356.
Marais, W., 1983. Musaces. In: Bosser, J., Cadet, T., Guho, J. & Marais, W. (Editors). Flore des
Mascareignes. Familles 171176. The Sugar Industry Research Institute, Mauritius, lOffice de la
Recherche Scientifique Outre-Mer, Paris, France & Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond,
United Kingdom. 7 pp.
Marfori, E.C. & Alejar, A.A., 1993. Alkaloid yield variation in callus cultures derived from different
plant parts of the white and rosy-purple periwinkle, Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don. Philippine
Journal of Biotechnology 4(1): 18.
Markgraf, F., 1976. Apocynaceae. Flore de Madagascar et des Comores, famille 169. Musum Na-
tional dHistoire Naturelle, Paris, France. 318 pp.
Medina, J.C., 1959. Plantas fibrosas da flora mundial. Instituto Agronmico Campinas, Sao Paulo,
Brazil. 913 pp.
Mendes, N.M., de Souza, C.P., Araujo, N., Pereira, J.P. & Katz, K., 1990. Actividade moluscicida de
alguns produtos naturais sobre Biomphalaria glabrata. Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
81(1): 8791.
Menninger, E.A., Soderholm, P.K., Greensmith, P. & MacKenzie, G., 1975. Propagating the yellow
African tulip tree. Proceedings Florida State Horticultural Society 88: 443444.

Montes-Belmont, R., Cruz-Cruz, V., Domingo-Peralta, M., 1990. Extractos vegetales para el control
de la roya del frijo Uromyces appendiculatus. Agrociencia (Mexico). Serie Proteccin Vegetal 1(3):
Morgan, R.J., 2007. Impatiens: the vibrant world of busy Lizzies, balsams and touch-me-nots. Tim-
ber Press, Inc., Portland, USA. 219 pp.
Nammi, S., Boini, M.K., Lodagala, S.D. & Behara, R.B., 2003. The juice of fresh leaves of
Catharanthus roseus Linn. reduces blood glucose in normal and alloxan diabetic rabbits. BMC
Complementary and Alternative Medicine 3: 14.
Neuwinger, H.D., 2000. African traditional medicine: a dictionary of plant use and applications.
Medpharm Scientific, Stuttgart, Germany. 589 pp.
Ngouela, S., Tsamo, E. & Sondengam, B.L., 1988. Extractives from Bignoniaceae: Constituents of
the stem bark of Spathodea campanulata. Planta Medica 54: 476.
Niyonzima, G., Laekeman, G.M., Scharp, S., Smets, T. & Vlietinck, A.J., 1990. Hypoglemic activi-
ty of Spathodea campanulata bark decoctions on streptozotocin-diabetic mice. Planta Medica 56:
Niyonzima, G., Pieters, L., Balde, A.M., Claeys, M., Laekeman, G.M. & Vlietinck, A.J., 1991. Isola-
tion of 6-O-Caffeotylcatalpol and some other compounds from Spathodea campanulata. Planta
Medica 57, Supplement Issue 2: A85A86.
Niyonzima, G., Laekeman, G.M., Witvrouw, M., van Poel, B., Pieters, L., Paper, P., de Clercq, E.,
Franz, G. & Vlietinck, A.J., 1999. Hypoglemic, anticomplement and anti-HIV activities of Spath-
odea campanulata stem bark. Phytomedicine 6(1): 4549.
Ojewole, J.O. & Adewunmi, C.O., 2000. Hypoglycaemic effects of methanolic leaf extract of
Catharanthus roseus (Linn.) G. Don (Apocynaceae) in normal and diabetic mice. Acta Medica et
Biologica 48(2): 5558.
Pablo, A.A., 1986. Particleboard, cement-bonded boards and hardboards from plantation species.
FPRDI Journal 15(12): 4350.
Pernet, R. & Meyer, G., 1957. Pharmacope de Madagascar. Publications de lInstitut de Recherche
Scientifique Tananarive-Tsimbazaza. Pierre Andr Impr., Paris, France. 86 pp.
Perrier de la Bthie, H., 1946. Musaces (Musaceae). Flore de Madagascar et des Comores (plantes
vasculaires), familles 4548. Imprimerie Officielle, Tananarive, Madagascar. 9 pp.
Petersen, O.G., 1889. Musaceae. In: Engler, A. & Prantl, K. (Editors). Die natrlichen Pflanzenfa-
milien 2. Band. 6. Wilhelm Engelman, Leipzig, Germany. pp. 110.
Peterson, B., 1978. Thymelaeaceae. In: Polhill, R.M. (Editor). Flora of Tropical East Africa. Crown
Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. 37 pp.
Peterson, B., 2006. Thymelaeaceae. In: Pope, G.V., Polhill, R.M. & Martins, E.S. (Editors). Flora
Zambesiaca. Volume 9, part 3. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. pp. 85
Pienaar, K., 2003. Gardening with indigenous plants. Struik Publishers, Cape Town, South Africa.
96 pp.
Piepenbring, M. & Napp-Zinn, K., 1992. Comparative anatomical studies on foliar organs of Rav-
enala madagascariensis Sonn. Beitrge zur Biologie der Pflanzen 67(3): 367386.
Plaizier, A.C., 1981. A revision of Catharanthus roseus (L.) G.Don (Apocynaceae). Mededelingen
Landbouwhogeschool Wageningen 819, Wageningen, Netherlands. 12 pp.
Rabarisoa, I., Bianchini, J.P. & Gaydou, E.M., 1981. Composition des huiles extraites du fruit de
Ravenala madagascariensis. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 61(3): 691695.
Rasoanaivo, P., Petitjean, A. & Conan, J.Y., 1993. Toxic and poisonous plants of Madagascar: an
ethnopharmacological survey. Fitoterapia 64: 117129.
Rivera, L.W. & Aide, T.M., 1998. Forest recovery in the karst region of Puerto Rico. Forest Ecology
and Management 108: 6375.
Rockwood, D.L. & DeValerio, J.T., 1986. Promising species for woody biomass production in warm-
humid environments. Biomass 11(1): 117.
Rosna Mat Taha, 2001. Impatiens L. In: van Valkenburg, J.L.C.H. & Bunyapraphatsara, N. (Edi-
tors). Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(2). Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Backhuys
Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands. pp. 306310.
Ross, I.A., 2003. Medicinal plants of the world. Chemical constituents, traditional and modern us-
es. Volume 1. 2nd Edition. Humana Press, Totowa NJ, United States. 489 pp.

Roux, J. & Coetzee, M.P.A., 2005. First report of pink disease on native trees in South Africa and
phylogenetic placement of Erythricium salmonicolor in the Homobasidiomycetes. Plant Disease
89(11): 11581163.
Russel, J. H., Schindler, O. & Reichstein, T., 1961a. Die Cardenolide der Bltter von Roupellina
boivinii (Baill.) Pichon 1. Mitteilung. Glykoside und Aglykone, 224. Helvetica Chimica Acta 44(5):
Russel, J. H., Schindler, O. & Reichstein, T., 1961b. Die Cardenolide der Bltter von Roupellina
boivinii (Baill.) Pichon 2. Mitteilung. Glykoside und Aglykone, 225. Helvetica Chimica Acta 44(5):
Sakthi Priyadarsini, S., Vadivu, R. & Jayshree, N., 2010. In vitro and in vivo antidiabetic activity
of the leaves of Ravenala madagascariensis Sonn., on alloxan induced diabetic rats. Journal of
Pharmaceutical Science and Technology 2(9): 312317.
Salim, A.S., Simons, A.J., Waruhiu, A., Orwa, C. & Anyango, C., 1998. Agroforestree database. A
tree species reference and selection guide. Version 1.0 CD-ROM. International Centre for Re-
search in Agroforestry, Nairobi, Kenya.
Schindler, O. & Reichstein, T., 1952a. Die Glykoside der Samen von Strophanthus boivini Baill.
Glykoside und Aglykone. Helvetica Chimica Acta 35(3): 673686.
Schindler, O. & Reichstein, T., 1952b. Identifizierung von Substanz Nr. 763 aus Strophanthus spe-
ciosus und S. boivinii als Strospesid (Desgluco-digitalinum-verum). Glykoside und Aglykone, 93.
Mitteilung. Helvetica Chimica Acta 35(2): 442446.
Schindler, O. & Reichstein, T., 1952c. Millosid, Paulinosid, Strobosid und Boistrosid, die Glykoside
von Strophanthus boivini Baill. Helvetica Chimica Acta 35(3): 730745.
Sevestre-Rigouzzo, M., Nef-Campa, C., Ghesquire, A. & Chrestin, H, 1993. Genetic diversity and
alkaloid production in Catharanthus roseus, C. trichophyllus and their hybrids. Euphytica 66:
Singh, S.N., Vats, P., Suri, S., Shyam, R., Kumria, M.M., Ranganathan, S. & Sridharan, K., 2001.
Effect of an antidiabetic extract of Catharanthus roseus on enzymic activities in streptozotocin
induced diabetic rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 76(3): 269277.
Snoeijer, W., 1996. Catharanthus roseus, the Madagascar periwinkle, a review of its cultivars. Se-
ries of revisions of Apocynaceae 41. Wageningen Agricultural University Papers 963, Wa-
geningen, Netherlands. pp. 47120.
Snoeijer, W., 1998. International register of Catharanthus cultivars. Division of Pharmacognosy,
Leiden & Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands. 52 pp.
Snoeijer, W., 2001. International register of Catharanthus cultivars. First Supplement. Division of
Pharmacognosy, Leiden & Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, Leiden University, Leiden,
Netherlands. 28 pp.
Staples, G.W. & Herbst, D.R., 2005. A tropical garden flora: plants cultivated in the Hawaiian Is-
lands and other tropical places. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, United States. 908 pp.
Strittmatter, D.A., 2006. A preliminary investigation of canna gum. Journal of the American
Pharmaceutical Association 44(7): 411414.
Sutarno, H. & Rudjiman, 1999. Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don. In: de Padua, L.S., Bun-
yapraphatsara, N. & Lemmens, R.H.M.J. (Editors). Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(1).
Medicinal and poisonous plants 1. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands. pp. 185190.
Tabuti, J.R.S., Lye, K.A. & Dhillion, S.S., 2003. Traditional herbal drugs of Bulamogi, Uganda:
plants, use and administration. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 88: 1944.
Tanaka, N., 2001. Taxonomic revision of the family Cannaceae in the New World and Asia. Makino
Botanical Garden 1: 174.
Toledo, V.M., 1977. Pollination of some rain forest plants by non-hovering birds in Veracruz, Mexi-
co. Biotropica 9(4): 262267.
van Bergen, M.A., 1996. Revision of Catharanthus G.Don. Series of revisions of Apocynaceae 41.
Wageningen Agricultural University Papers 963, Wageningen, Netherlands. pp. 946.
van der Heijden, R., Jacobs, D.I., Snoeijer, W., Hallard, D. & Verpoorte, R., 2004. The
Catharanthus alkaloids: pharmacognosy and biotechnology. Current Medicinal Chemistry 11(5):

van der Walt, L., 2000. Dais cotinifolia L. [Internet] South African National Biodiversity Institute,
Kirstenbosch, South Africa. < plantcd/ daiscotonifolia.htm>. Ac-
cessed February 2009.
van Wyk, B.E. & Gericke, N., 2000. Peoples plants: a guide to useful plants of southern Africa.
Briza Publications, Pretoria, South Africa. 351 pp.
van Wyk, B. & van Wyk, P., 1997. Field guide to trees of southern Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape
Town, South Africa. 536 pp.
van Wyk, B.E., van Heerden, F. & van Oudtshoorn, B., 2002. Poisonous plants of South Africa.
Briza Publications, Pretoria, South Africa. 288 pp.
Verpoorte, R., Contin, A. & Memelink, J., 2002. Biotechnology for the production of plant secondary
metabolites. Phytochemistry Reviews 1: 1325.
Winter, H.C., Kishida, E. & Goldstein, I.J., 1995. Novel lectin and mannose-binding protein from
rhizomes of Canna (Cannaceae). Current Topics in Plant Physiology 15: 310311.
Wojciech, A., 2006. Impatiens niamniamensis. [Internet]International Environmental Weed Foun-
dation <>. Accessed April 2011.
Zavada, M.S. & Lowrey, T.K., 1995. Floral heteromorphism in Dais cotinifolia l. (Thymelaeaceae): a
possible case of heterostyly. Bulletin du Musum National dHistoire Naturelle, 4e srie, 17, sec-
tion B, Adansonia 12: 1120.


Front cover: R.H.M.J. Lemmens

Canna generalis: F.J.V. Santana, F. & K. Starr, TopTropicals
Catharanthus roseus: G.D. Carr, S. Hurst, TopTropicals, Wikipedia
Dais cotinifolia: A. Gurib-Fakim, B. Wursten
Impatiens niamniamensis: G.H. Schmelzer
Ravenala madagascariensis: J. Delonge, H.C.D. de Wit, P.S. Pratheep
Spathodea campanulata: M. Anastacio, H.C.D. de Wit, B. Navez
Strophanthus boivinii: TopTropicals

PROTA publications

Books and CD-Roms (see pages 5153)

Ordering from developing countries:

CTA:; (credit point system)
Earthprint, UK: (at 50% discount)

Ordering from industralized countries:

Earthprint, UK:

PROTA recommends series (see page 54)

The brochures can be downloaded from the PROTA website ( under
A free hardcopy (limited stocks) can be obtained by sending a request to PROTA

Developing Industralized
Title ISBN
countries countries

90-5782-170-2 (book only) 15 30

Res Plan
90-5782-171-0 (book + CD) 19 38

rces Resources of Trop e tropic
vgtales de lAfriqu
Windows 95/98
you may need a

ical A ale

2006, 298 pp.
Cereals and pulses
rales et lgumes secs
P 6
ROTA 200

90-5782-147-8 (book only) 20 40


90-5782-148-6 (book + CD) 25 50

sso t Resources of Tropical Afr icale
de lAfriqu
e tro

Vegetables / Lgumes 2004, 668 pp.
ROT 00 4
A Foundation, 2

90-5782-159-1 (book only) 12,50 25

90-5782-160-5 (book + CD) 16 32
nt Re
sources of Tropical Afr icale
de lAfriqu
e tro

2005, 216 pp.


Dyes and tannins
Colorants et tanins
ROT 00 5
A Foundation, 2

Pays en Pays
Titre ISBN
dveloppement industrialiss


90-5782-172-9 (livre seul) 15 30

Res Plan

90-5782-173-7 (livre + CD) 19 38

rces Resources of Trop e tropic
vgtales de lAfriqu

Windows 95/98
you may need a
ical A ale


Cereals and pulses
rales et lgumes secs
2006, 328 pp.
P 6
ROTA 200

90-5782-149-4 (livre seul) 20 40


90-5782-150-8 (livre + CD) 25 50

sso t Resources of Tropical Afr icale
de lAfriqu
e tro

Vegetables / Lgumes 2004, 737 pp.
ROT 00 4
A Foundation, 2

90-5782-160-X (livre seul) 12,50 25


90-5782-164-8 (livre + CD) 16 32

nt Re
sources of Tropical Afr icale
de lAfriqu
e tro

Dyes and tannins
Colorants et tanins
2005, 238 pp.
ROT 00 5
A Foundation, 2

Following the knowledgeTitlesynthesis (web database, Developing Industralized

countries countries
books, CDs), 2
conclusions and recommendations per
commodity group are formulated on six key issues P ROTA

978-90-5782-209-4 (book only) 20 40

(promising species & technologies, development

Res Plan
978-90-5782-210-0 (book + CD) 25 50
For details:

sou Readme.txt

rces Resources of Trop e tropic


vgtales de lAfriqu
gaps, research gaps, thesis subjects, conservation

ical A ale
needs and policy issues),
PROTA 7 (1)each targeting different

2008, 704 pp.
Timbers 1
Bois duvre 1

intermediate target groups (researchers, lecturers,


extension workers, policy makers and people work-

ing in NGOs or private companies).


You can obtain a free copy of the brochures by send- (book only) 20 40
Res Plan

978-90-5782-205-6 (book + CD) 25 50

For details:

ing a request to PROTA (;

sou Readme.txt
rces Resources of Trop e tropic

vgtales de lAfriqu Also French versions will soon be

ical A ale

2008, 791 pp.


PROTA 11 (1)
Medicinal plants 1
Plantes m
mdicinales 1
P 8
ROTA 200

90-5782-191-2 (book only) 14 28

90-5782-192-9 (book + CD) 17,50 35
Res lant Re

ces v
gtales de lAfrique t
sources of Tropical A

Windows 95/98 For details:
you may need a Readme.txt
system-update. Lisezmoi.txt

2007, 237 pp.


Vegetable oils
ROT 00 7
A Foundation, 2

Pays en Pays
Titre ISBN
dveloppement industrialiss


978-90-5782-211-7 (livre seul) 20 40

Res Plan

978-90-5782-212-4 (livre + CD) 25 50

For details:
sou Readme.txt
rces Resources of Trop e tropic

vgtales de lAfriqu
ical A ale

PROTA 7 (1)
Timbers 1
Bois duvre 1
2008, 785 pp.
P 8
ROTA 200


978-90-5782-206-3 (livre seul) 20 40

Res Plan

978-90-5782-207-0 (livre + CD) 25 50

For details:
sou Readme.txt
rces Resources of Trop e tropic

vgtales de lAfriqu
ical A ale

PROTA 11 (1)
Medicinal plants 1
Plantes m
mdicinales 1
2008, 869 pp.
P 8
ROTA 200

90-5782-195-0 (livre seul) 14 28

90-5782-196-7 (livre + CD) 17,50 35
Res lant Re

ces v
gtales de lAfrique t
sources of Tropical A

For details:
system-update. Lisezmoi.txt

2007, 261 pp.


Vegetable oils
ROT 00 7
A Foundation, 2

Following the knowledgeTitle synthesis (web database, Developing Industralized

countries countries
books, CDs), 3
conclusions and recommendations
commodity group 2000 - are formulated on six key issues
10 YE 10

978-92-9081-431-3 15 30
dity gr
n of the 8681
(promising species & technologies, development
skeleto . The
orms the pical Africa

gaps, research gaps, thesis subjects, conservation

er 2)
ces of
Tro (Chapt
t part the
The firs ily name and been

2010, 391 pp.

ways. fam
by the cies has

owed the spe com-

to which ed per
group arrang tion
cies but This edi

needs and policy issues), each targeting different

ame spe Uses (SU). fic nam

l Afric
Second cies (8390
d 6376
s dusa

intermediate target groups (researchers, lecturers,

de leu rpente
ue la cha tales

constit s vg
sage source
upes du ce des res tes de
ed list

ren t prsen ti-

e de rf fiques) son alphab
s lordre ), sous la

extension workers, policy s makers and people work-

oms scie espces dan ire (UP
les e prima tie
et lUsag seconde par

of T
e fam e. La e et com ste de
affect dusag

list of uping
of spec

ce a t par groupe ce la Li
-ci rempla

ord private
te fois dition ntifiques).

ing in NGOs
Update ity gro companies).
). Cette scie
es (US noms

s (8390

ies / Li

and co ces
s esp e
se de

actuali upes dusa
ste ac

L is te
You can rs gro
de leu a free copy
of the brochures by send-

ing a request to PROTA (;

e des

n, Nethe
eninge Also French versions will soon be


rlands ARS
n, Nethe 10 YE 10

2000 -

978-92-9081-434-4 15 30
gramm the
nal pro le
ernatio availab
s an int is to make , resear
pose ension
ts pur ion, ext ducts such
es for ived pro is
s, and der nt resources
Rom pla
of the tems.
wledge e land-use sys species.
abl ticular de,
ts on par

uses, tra
g the tex details on

2010, 169 pp.

with , breedi
ormat ources dity

etic res o commo

re, gen uped int database.
al Afric

are gro ed at:

species search
can be


rsary is
annive s the bas t
ing Af

tenth icle wa duc

of the iew art terms of pro jects
OTA rev in t pro
he PR mising in pilo
d as pro successfully ging to
entifie d out (belon pilot
were trie er 22 species n selected for

(yet) bee promoted for
rces of

ns. The
have not be
is book g and should ies. ral
stin teg icultu
ma rket stra pe for agr knowledge

and i.e.
uality is ample p approach,

t there ste ard s the

ican p
ws tha ee- tow
OTA thr tion, guides utilization and
t the PR

ing Afr

liza nt
dge uti best pla ent of plant
knowle ke the em

ica can ma able manag
n Afr tain
and sus

en, Ne

the rlands
en, Ne

Pays en Pays
Titre ISBN
dveloppement industrialiss
10 AN
2000 -

978-92-9081-435-1 15 30
e intern
gramm if est de
un pro

Son obj ponible
icale. dis
es vg vers de
ie au tra ivs tels
conom ts dr
dui ndie des re
t de pro nce approfo
ue trop

la ter
ssa ion de ue
s contrib

es du
systm expert un modle

2010, 187 pp.

de nom s selon que,
t dcrite botani
ces son , proprits, et
rce ctives
comme perspe dusage.
sle ction, s
tiques, groupe a.

es par se.prot
class : databa

s africa

les de

es de PR
rsaire OTA
e annive thse de PR s
u dixim syn espce
icles de r. Ces
secteu des produits
s les art nts du nt
ines pr

ervena ppeme tes

des int dvelo jets pilo s

vue du des pro ce

int de s dans aut res esp s
clu ant 22 elle
ais con ant aux s ce livre,
les. Qu t dan eurent
ns loca ren n dem
elles ne

qui figu es, ce

sage et , mais tudi

pilotes dtre
s projets riteraient rciales.

ines p
et m tgies en
antes les stra quoi faire

ts que de de
produi gement is tapes nces,
il y a lar tgie en tro

nt qu la stra connai les

n des t faire
le, et que lutilisatio ven
n et ins peu des
minatio si, les Africa conservation ion

Ain et de la ploitat
ation urer lex
ne de et ass
de vie
urs con

n, Pay

s-B as
nin gen, Pay

6 pp
200 5), 6
07, 96 p (reprint , 62
20 PUBLICATIONS 4 2009 2006

al A ns
opic ndatio
of Tr mme tables
bles ns and reAco 2: Vege

e t a
Veg usio ROT

l Afr
Con sed on P

ds S

of Tr
AR ecom

t Re
PROT ends
Reco ries

pp. pp. pp.

, 84 , 84
2008 2009 , 148

pp. pp. pp.

, 94 , 88 , 68
2009 2009 2009

pp. pp. pp.

, 86 , 92
2009 2010 , 192

PROTA in short

The Plant Resources of Tropical Africa (PROTA) programme was initiated in 2000
and developed into an international partnership of 11 institutions in 11 countries
during the Preparatory Phase 20002003. Since 19 February 2003, PROTA operates
as an international foundation domiciled in Wageningen, Netherlands.

PROTA is a major information brokerage and knowledge repatriation programme.

The objectives are to bring the world literature on the useful plants of Tropical Af-
rica, now accessible only to the resourceful happy few, into the (African) public do-
main, and contribute to greater awareness and sustained use of the plants, with due
respect for traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights. PROTA will de-
scribe the estimated 7,000 useful plants during the Implementation Phase 2003
2015. The information carriers will be freely accessible Web databases
(, a low-price Handbook and CD-Rom series featuring 16 Commodity
groups, and Special Products per commodity group for rural development, educa-
tion, research and policy actors (all in English and French).

PROTA 1: Cereals and pulses (2006) PROTA 9: Auxiliary plants

PROTA 2: Vegetables (2004) PROTA 10: Fuel plants
PROTA 3: Dyes and tannins (2005) PROTA 11(1): Medicinal plants 1 (2008)
PROTA 4: Ornamentals PROTA 12: Spices and condiments
PROTA 5: Forages PROTA 13: Essential oils and exudates
PROTA 6: Fruits PROTA 14: Vegetable oils (2007)
PROTA 7(1): Timbers 1 (2008) PROTA 15: Stimulants
PROTA 8: Carbohydrates PROTA 16: Fibres

PROTA, P.O.Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands (



1. Cape Verde 17. So Tom et Principe 35. Malawi

2. Mauritania 18. Cameroon 36. Zambia
3. Senegal 19. Chad 37. Angola
4. Gambia 20. Central African Republic 38. Namibia
5. Guinea Bissau 21. Equatorial Guinea 39. Botswana
6. Guinea 22. Gabon 40. Zimbabwe
7. Sierra Leone 23. Congo 41. Mozambique
8. Liberia 24. Democratic Republic of Congo
9. Cte d'Ivoire 25. Rwanda INDIAN OCEAN
10. Mali 26. Burundi ISLANDS
11. Burkina Faso
12. Ghana EAST AFRICA 42. Comoros
13. Togo 43. Mayotte (Fr)
14. Benin 27. Sudan 31. Somalia 44. Madagascar
15. Niger 28. Eritrea 32. Kenya 45. Seychelles
16. Nigeria 29. Ethiopia 33. Uganda 46. Runion (Fr)
30. Djibouti 34. Tanzania 47. Mauritius
PROTA, short for Plant Resources of Tropical Africa, is an international programme
focused on the 7,000 useful plants of Tropical Africa. Its purpose is to make available
the wealth of dispersed knowledge on these plant resources for education, extension,
research and industry through Internet databases, books, CD-Roms, and derived
products such as brochures, leaflets, and manuals. A thorough knowledge of the plant
resources is essential for arriving at ecologically balanced and sustainable land-use
systems. A large international team of experts is contributing the texts on particular
species. All species are described according to a standard format with details on uses,
trade, properties, botany, ecology, agronomy or sylviculture, genetic resources, breeding,
prospects and literature. In the printed series the species are grouped into commodity
groups. More information on The web database PROTA4U can be
searched at

African ornamentals: Proposals and examples

This publication is intended to incite interest in PROTA 4: Ornamentals and to show
its feasibility. It deals with the specific problems of this commodity group and makes
proposals for the approach to be followed. The booklet presents seven review articles
to demonstrate the set-up. With economic development, interest in ornamental plants
is growing in many countries of tropical Africa, and as a consequence the demand for
good and reliable information increases, not only for identification but also concerning
propagation and cultivation. It is hoped that this booklet will raise the interest of
individuals and organizations in the efforts of PROTA, and generate support for the
undertaking. Time is ripe for making the complete overview of African ornamental

PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands