A Thai caudiciform in genus Stephania  Solved

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stephania

A Thai caudiciform in genus Stephania

Post by stephania » Sat Nov 18, 2006 5:11 am

Hi all, due to a request from our friend, Colin, about the caudex pic
that I posted in my introduction massage,
so I'ld like to share some pic of them in habitat and cultivation.

The genus Stephania is belong to Menispermaceae,
all are herbaceous climber, some species form a woody tuberous above
or rarely underground caudex with its annual climber which dried off in the dry season.
Some can form a really huge caudex, many records said more than 200-300 kilogram, 3 feet in diameter.
Those caudiciform species are : S.suberosa, S.venosa, S. glabra, S.pierrei (Snym. with S.erecta in trade),
and a few less known species.
They are dioecious plant : male or female plant can have only one sex flowers.

They are native to South-east Asia to Australasia region,
especially Indochinese countries, including my country Thailand.
In it habitat, these caudex plant are usually found in seasonal deciduous forest on limestone mountain.

In China and also in Thailand, we use these caudiciform as medicinal plant.
Most of wild collected have been sold in local market for that purpose.

Mr. Giant, Stepania suberosa, a wild collected that I rescued from a local market
before he being killed for medicinal purpose. The caudex look like a man face,
with 48 kilo and could be 100 or more years old.
[IMG]http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e240/ ... _Giant.jpg[/IMG]


Stephania suberosa, a wild collected specimen, with a special fissued-cork bark in my collection.
[IMG]http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e240/ ... berosa.jpg[/IMG]

Stephania venosa which had been listed as S. rotunda in trade for long time.
You can distinguish this species from the other by its red sap like blood!.
[IMG]http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e240/ ... e3ffaf.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e240/ ... C07680.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e240/ ... C07683.jpg[/IMG]

Stephania glabra, a rare species with its gloosy leaves.
[IMG]http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e240/ ... ia_sp2.jpg[/IMG]

Stephania suberosa, left, and S.venosa, right.
[IMG]http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e240/ ... 4c1b0d.jpg[/IMG]

In my expedition trip on a limestone hill, Northern Thailand, twenty years ago.
Note a brown caudex lower me is a S.cf. venosa. (sorry for my very old pic!)
[IMG]http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e240/ ... ailand.jpg[/IMG]

A huge specimen near the left of my friend, this caudex will be cover with its vine
and other vegetation in rainy seoson.
[IMG]http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e240/ ... habit1.jpg[/IMG]

Stephania in its habitat, they usually found growing as lithophyte : rock dweller,
on limestone cliff.
[IMG]http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e240/ ... habit2.jpg[/IMG]
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WOW

Post by Tina » Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:59 am

Hi again

These pictures are great, it must be so nice growing them as patio plants & mr Giant is lovely.

Thats interesting about Stephania venosa & the red sap

Tina

varied collection of succulents and cacti but I especially like Euphorbia's and variegated agaves.

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Re: A Thai caudiciform in genus Stephania

Post by Julie » Sat Nov 18, 2006 8:41 pm

Red sap.. wow! I feel guilty when I damage a Euphorbia, and it bleeds white latex. If something bled red sap, I would feel even more guilty...

That's a lovely story, that you rescued Mr. Giant from being chopped up. Seems a shame to kill such an old plant... can young plants be farmed for this purpose?

48kg... how did you move him?!

Happy carrier of Forby Disorder - an obsession with Euphorbia obesa.

NB. Anyone failing to provide a sensible name for me to address them will be called, or referred to, as Fred.
stephania

Re: A Thai caudiciform in genus Stephania

Post by stephania » Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:27 am

Hi Tina & Julie,

As I know, no one grows them as commercial farm for medicinal use.
They grow very very slowly.
And as I mentioned that, a Stepania (plant not me !) plant will produce flowers of only one sex.
So they need the opposite to fertilize at the same time.
The problem is, female plant is rare, yet you never know its sex, untill flowering time.

I'm also worry about the extiction, if we over use or collect it without any conservation.
I will try my best to do someting with this amazing caudex.
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Re: A Thai caudiciform in genus Stephania

Post by Maria J » Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:02 pm

Beautiful plants & great habitat pictures!!

Maria
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Tending more towards cacti :D, particularly Gymnocalyciums, Rebutias, Sulcorebutias, Echinopses, Thelos, Feros and Mamms (and anything else I like the look of!) all in an 8 x 6 polycarb greenhouse and a few windowsills!
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Re: A Thai caudiciform in genus Stephania

Post by Colin Walker » Sun Nov 19, 2006 7:38 pm

Hi Stephania,

Many, many thanks for all that fascinating info and wonderful pics of the caudiciform Stephania. As I've said earlier, this plant is very unfamiliar here in the UK and I'd never seen habitat shots before now.

Do you know what medicinal uses these plant have?

Cheers,
Colin

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Re: WOW

Post by Colin Walker » Sun Nov 19, 2006 7:40 pm

Hi Chief Mod,

Thought you'd be impressed by these caudiciforms. In fact I'd bet you're green around the gills!

Cheers,
Colin

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Re: A Thai caudiciform in genus Stephania

Post by Colin Walker » Sun Nov 19, 2006 7:42 pm

Hi Stephania,

What are the flowers like? Bet they're small as in the more familiar cucurbits of the Cucurbitaceae.

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stephania

Re: A Thai caudiciform in genus Stephania

Post by stephania » Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:34 am

Hi Colin, I've heard the caudex was used as an invigorating medicine and aphrodisiac purpose,
also antimalarials, as they found some different kind of steroids, terpenes and alkaloids, etc. inside.
That pitty caudex will be chopped, dried and preserved or steeped in liquor
for months with another medicinal herbal.

This is a link to Bihrmann's site, showing some pic of Stephania's flowers.
http://www.bihrmann.com/caudiciforms/su ... en-sub.asp



Post Edited (11-20-06 00:36)
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Re: A Thai caudiciform in genus Stephania  Solved

Post by Colin Walker » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:21 am

Hi,

A bit more info on the family Menispermaceae, relatively unfamiliar in the world of succulents.

According to Eggli (2002) in The Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants, just three genera with the grand total of 8 species are considered to be succulent:

Chasmanthera (1 sp.)

Stephania: S. cyanantha (Tropical Africa), S. erecta (Thailand), S. pierrei (Cambodia), and S. suberosa (Thailand). Total number of species in this genus seems uncertainly, but over 30 have been described.

Tinospora (3 spp.)

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