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Related article: Njassi (Bo).
2. ECOLOGY AND DISTRIBUTION
Lonchocarpus sericeus occurs in coastal savanna woodlands; it is fairly common in
fringe and transition forests, usually near water. In Ghana it is found throughout the
high forest zone as well as in the Volta Region and in neighbouring Togo. It is sometimes
used as a shade tree in gardens and cemetries. It regenerates freely from seeds.
Lonchocarpus is fairly tolerant of climatic and edaphic conditions and is able to
withstand fairly long periods of drought provided soil conditions are favourable. It
thrives at temperatures between 25 and 35 and with an annual rainfall of not less than
900mm. It is a lowland tree.
It is a West African species, native to Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea,
Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Dahomey, Nigeria, Fernando Acyclovir 400 Mg Po Acyclovir 400 Mg and Cameroon.
It Acyclovir 400 Mg has been introduced elsewhere in tropical Africa, also in tropical America and the
West Indies, where it is reported to have naturalized (see distribution map).
A tree 12-15m high, 1.2-1. 4m in diameter; bark greyish, fairly smooth, slash
yellowish-brown with reddish streaks; sometimes branching low-down; twigs and young
shoots covered with brownish velvety hairs. Leaves imparipinnate with 3-5 pairs of
opposite leaflets, stipules inconspicuous and soon falling; rachis 10-20cm long; Acyclovir 400 Mg
leaflets increasing, in size towards the terminal leaflet, ovate-elliptic or elliptic,
6- 14cm long, 3 -9 cm wide, apex shortly or bluntly acuminate, base rounded to broadly
cuneate or subcordate, margins entire or slightly wavy, glabrous above, pusbescent below,
midrib prominent below, lateral nerves 6-10 pairs, upcurving, slightly compressed above,
prominent below; petiolules 5 -8mm long. Inflorescence in conspicuous axillary, pedulous
racemes towards the end of shoots; pedicels usually paired, short, hairy. Flowers pale
purple or lilac, calyx broadly cup-shaped, 5mm long, lobes obscure, densely hairy;
standard petal suborbicular, 12-20mm long, densely silky outside; stamens about 12mm long,
united into a tube. Fruits flattened indehiscent pods, clustered, persistent, 5-15cm long,
about 1.5cm wide, irregularly constricted between the seeds and more or less twisted, both
ends acute, margins thickened, the upper margin with a narrow crest but not winged, rusty
pubescent, calyx remains persistent. Seeds oblong-kidney-shaped, reddish-brown, about
7mm long, 5mm wide.
Commonly flowering in the deciduous state when it is usually easily recognized by its
showy pale purple or lilac, fragrant flowers. These may sometimes be mistaken for
Millettia thonningii (Schum. & Thonn.) Bak. , from which it may best be distinguished by
the fruits, which are indehiscent in Lonchocarpus and dehiscent in Millettia.
The tree is deciduous during the dry season, which in Ghana is between December and
February. The flowering periods Acyclovir 400 Mg are between December and February and April to July.
Fruiting is from November to May with the pods hanging on the tree for a long time before
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4. ESTABLISHED MODERN PHARMACEUTICAL USES
In Tropical America the tree is quoted as an insecticidal plant.
It appears Lonchocarpus sericeus has not Acyclovir 400 Mg been studied chemically in Ghana, but it is
popularly known that most of the Lonchocarpus species, especially L. urucu in Brazil and
L. utilis in Peru are a source of Rotenone, a compound which is used universally as an
insecticide also present in L. sericeus (Oliver, 1960). The dried roots are powdered and
mixed with clay for dusting or mixed with liquid for spraying.
5. FOLK MEDICINAL USES
In Nigeria the bark is often applied as a lotion in the treatment of convulsion and
backache, while it is also applied in Ghana for parasitic skin conditions and eruptions.
The bark is employed throughout the Acyclovir 400 Mg area of distribution as a stomachic and laxative for
In Ghana an infusion of the bark mixed with lime is applied as a bath for the cure
of biliousness and fever in children. Part of the liquid is also administered orally in
small doses for the same illness. (Traditional medicine).
According to Dalziel (1937), Lonchocarpus spp. are used as a medicine for horses.
6. MAJOR CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS AND MEDICINAL PRODUCTS
Castagne (1946), isolated "lonchocarpine" from the plant. A yellowish-orange dye or
resin occurs in the seeds and the fruit is considered to be a violent poison in Casamance
A green dye can be obtained from the bark (Irvine, 1961). It has been used as a fish
poison (Kerharo and Bouquet, 1950).
Lonchocarpus species have an extensive folklore in the Caribbean region as fish
poison, almost certainly due to the presence of Rotenone. (Commonwealth Science Council)
Leaves and bark contain 2-6% rotenone (Oliver, 1960).
7. HARVESTING, CONSERVING AND PREPARATION
The bark is obtainable by slashing or peeling with a cutlass. The Acyclovir 400 Mg leaves and the
fruits can be collected from the tree by climbing as it often branches low down. In
Ghana medicinal plant materials are usually preserved by drying them in the sun and
keeping them in paper bags or light wrappers. The plant parts are sometimes pounded into
powder form. Extraction of medicinal properties is effected by boiling or steeping in
8. ECONOMICS AND MARKETING
The tree yields valuable timber. Although it is not one of the exploited species in
Ghana at the moment, probably because of the size, it has a potential as a commercial wood.
The insecticide in the plant may also be of potential value.
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Lonchocarpus sericeus thrives on wet areas and along river banks. It regenerates
itself satisfactorily on favourable sites and can be propagated by seeds. It has been
grown Acyclovir 400 Mg as a shade tree in villages, gardens and cemetries but has not been cultivated in
plantations in Ghana.
10. MAJOR DISEASES
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