Taxonomic Position According to Cronquist (1981)

Kingdom: Plantae

Phyllum: Magnoliophyta

Class: Magniopsida

Order: Malvales

Family: Sterculiaceae

Genus: Abroma

Species: Abroma augusta

Botanical Description

Habit: A shrub or small tree, 2.5-4.5 m high with horizontal branches.

Stem: Stem downy. Leaves simple, alternate, 10-25 x 10-19 cm, repand-denticulate, base 3-7 nerved, cordate, upper leaves smaller, narrower, entire, glabrescent above, tomentose beneath, tip acuminate, petioles 6.0-7.2 cm long, stipules linear, deciduous, as long as the petioles, peduncles 7-10 cm long, axillary.

Flowers:Flowers 5 cm in diameter, dark red. Sepals 5, 2.5 cm long, green, lanceolate, free nearly to the base. Petals 5, scarcely exceeding the sepals, imbricate in bud, deciduous.

Androecium: Stamens connate in a cupular column, with 5 long staminodes opposite to the sepals, fertile filaments with 2-lobbed diverging anthers.

Gynoecium: Ovary sessile, 5-loculed with many ovules in each locule.

Fruits: Fruit an obpyramidal capsule, almost 4 cm long, glabrous, thrice as long as  the  persistent  calyx,  finely  pubescent, membranous,   5-angled,   winged,   dehiscing septicidally, margin villous, apex truncate.

Seeds: Seeds 210-310 per fruit, black, enveloped in light .cottony wool  1.1 cm long.

Economic Importance: Leaves contain taraxerol. Stem bark contains friedelin. Root and root bark contain gum, alkaloids abromine, choline and betaine, stigmasterol, digitonide and magnesium salts of hydroxy acids. The fresh viscid juice of the root bark is useful in congestive and neuralgic varieties of dysmenorrhoea, it regulates the menstrual flow and acts as an uterine tonic. Fresh juice from root bark is useful in bronchitis, broncho-pneumonia, amenorrhoea, carbuncles and poisonous boils. In Meghalaya (India), the bark is used in sores. Seed oil lowers cholesterol level in blood. Infusion of leaves and stem is very efficacious in gonorrhoea. Methanol extracts of leaves, stem bark and root bark have shown antibacterial activity. Homoeopathic medicine is also prepared from the root bark of this plant. In the Philippines, the strong bast fibre from stem is used for making rope, twine, fishing lines, pouches and the like. It is also considered a substitute for rattan. In New Guinea, the fibre is used for clothing, making bags, hunting-nets and for lashing. Dyed, very fine fibres are as false hair in Sumatra (Lampung). In Bali, the inner bark is split into threads, yielding a fine, white yarn, which is made into lines and rope. In the Minahassa Peninsula (Sulawesi), the fibre is utilized for making nets. The seed of A. augusta yields 20% oil containing linoleic acid 72%, palmitic acid 14%, oleic acid 9.4% and stearic acid 4%.


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