Strophanthus preussii
This plant has a distinctive flower.  During its bud stage, its 5 tepals are unified but the tips of each tepal become long narrow string-shaped and are twisted together to form one string.  At the beginning, the whole is pale green, and gradually the bud turns white and the string turns dark brown and becomes long.  When it opens, the strings come apart, increase its reddish tinge, and reach around 30 cm in length.  This characteristic is mysterious and, at the same time, this flower’s appeal.
Thirty-five to forty relatives belonging to the genus Strophanthus are distributed in tropical areas from Asia to Africa.  Many of them are toxic.  The ingredient is steroid glycoside, and some of these species are used as raw material for cardiotonic and emulgent.  Some species have very strong toxicity that can kill a large animal such as an elephant within a few seconds, therefore the natives in Africa used it as an arrow poison.
The poison dart is very important as a weapon for hunting cultures, and there were four major poison cultures in the world.
  Curare poison dart culture in southern Africa and along the banks of
  the Amazon; Tubocurarine
      Non-depolarizing muscle relaxant
      LD50: 0.140 mg/kg (mouse, vein)
  Strophanthus poison dart culture in the African continent; strophanthin
      Cardiac Glycoside
      LD50: 0.116 - 0.128 mg/kg (cat)
  Ipoh (Antiaris toxicaria) poison dart culture in Southeast Asia; antiarin
      Steroid glycoside
      LD50: 0.103 - 0.116 mg/kg (cat)
  Monkshood poison dart culture in Northeastern Asia including Japan; aconitine
      The strongest poison among alkaloids
      LD50: 0.012 mg/kg (guinea pig, subcutaneous)
      (Fugu toxin, tetrodotoxin is the strongest among natural compounds
      (LD50: 0.01 mg/kg (mouse))
Classification Apocynaceae Strophanthus
Scientific name Strophanthus preussii
Japanese name ---
English name ---
Native locality West Africa
Ecological description Evergreen climbing shrub
RDB ---
Planting place Sun Gallery
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