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Strophanthus speciosus

Strophanthus speciosus

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Gentianales

Familia: Apocynaceae
Subfamilia: Apocynoideae
Tribus: Nerieae
Subtribus: Alafiinae
Genus: Strophanthus
Species: Strophanthus speciosus

Strophanthus speciosus (N.B.Ward & Harv.) Reber, (1887).

Christya speciosa Ward & Harv., J. Bot. (Hooker) 4: 134, t. 21 (1841).

Strophanthus capensis A.DC., Prodr. (Candolle) 8: 419 (1844).

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Africa
Regional: Southern Africa
Zimbabwe, South Africa (Limpopo, Mpulamanga, KwaZulu-Natal, E-Cape Prov.)

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Reber, B. 1887. Der Fortschritt. 3: 299.


Hassler, M. 2018. Strophanthus speciosus. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2018. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Sep 25. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2018. Strophanthus speciosus in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Sep 25. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Strophanthus speciosus. Published online. Accessed: Sep 25 2018.
The Plant List 2013. Strophanthus speciosus in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Sep 25. 2018. Strophanthus speciosus. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Sep 25.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Strophanthus speciosus in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
Afrikaans: Bosgiftou, Bobbejaantou, Osdoring
English: Forest tailflower, Forest poison rope
SiSwati: umHlazazane
Xitsonga: Ntsulu
isiXhosa: umKhukhumeza
isiZulu: amaSebele, umHlazazane, isiHlungu

Strophanthus speciosus, commonly known as the forest poison rope, is a tree, shrub or woody climber which is native to southern Africa.[4]


Strophanthus speciosus grows as a tree or shrub up to 4 metres (13 ft) tall, and as a liana up to 16 metres (52 ft) long, with a stem diameter up to 3 centimetres (1.2 in). Its flowers feature a white turning orange corolla, red-streaked on the inside.[5]
Distribution and habitat

Strophanthus speciosus is native to Zimbabwe, South Africa and Eswatini.[2][5] It occurs in forests and their margins from 300–1,400 metres (1,000–5,000 ft) altitude.[5]

Local medicinal uses of S. speciosus include snakebite treatment. The plant has also been used as arrow poison.[5] As with other species of Strophanthus it contains the cardiac glycoside strophanthin - plants of allied genera contain similar compounds.


1868 illustration by Walter Hood Fitch (1817 – 1892) - Curtis's Botanical Magazine v94 (1868) Plate 5713
Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI).; IUCN SSC Global Tree Specialist Group (2019). "Strophanthus speciosus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2019: e.T149511893A149511895. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-2.RLTS.T149511893A149511895.en. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
"Strophanthus speciosus". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
Snyman, Hannelie (Kirstenbosch NBG). "Strophanthus speciosus (Ward & Harv.) Reber". PlantZAfrica. SANBI. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
Medicinal Plants. PROTA. 2008. p. 560. ISBN 978-9-05782-204-9.

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