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Strophanthus speciosus

   (Family: Apocynaceae)
   
English: Forest poison-rope, Forest tail-flower, Common poison-rope, Corkscrew Flower  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Shrub
Height: 12m
Rarity Status:
Common
   
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Toxicity:  
  Seeds and other parts of plant are poisonous if ingested.
 
Flowering time EDIT
x x                   x
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
 
Red
 
Yellow
 
  Flower scent EDIT
  Sweetly scented
  Flower info
  Flowers in unusual starfish-shaped clusters at the ends of branches, the long, twisted corolla lobes are a pale yellow, and reddish brown towards the base.
 
 
Leaf shape EDIT
Leaf arrangement
 
  Leaf info EDIT
  Evergreen
  Leaves in whorls of three, narrowly elliptic, glossy green above, dull and paler below.
 
 
 
  Seed info EDIT
  The fruit is a two-horned pod. The seeds contain a potent cardiac glycoside called strophanthin.
 
 
Description EDIT
Robust climber, scrambling shrub or small tree.
Clusters of unusual starfish-shaped flowers, sweetly scented.
Growing EDIT
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater.

Plant in loamy compost.
Distribution EDIT
South Africa > Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Zimbabwe.
History EDIT
As the common name poison rope suggests it contains toxic compounds.
These are in the form of cardiac glycosides, similar to those found in Digitalis.

Uses EDIT
Native hunters used preparations made from the seeds as a virulent arrow poison.
The seeds contain a potent cardiac glycoside called strophanthin. The ground seeds are used by native people to make a deadly poison for their arrow tips.

Strophanthins are also used in modern medicine to treat congestive heart failure.
Ecology EDIT
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