Saturday, 13 September 2008


What do you think this beautiful flower is called?

We found it growing as a creeper/bush in a clearing when Duncan and Ferdinand took us to Korup - tropical rainforest in Cameroon in West Africa (but that's another story)

It is Strophanthus.

It is used by some people in Africa for arrow poison.

Poison? The poison is called Strophanthin, and it acts a bit like Digitoxin or digitalin (the drug that comes from foxgloves) in that it affects the rate of heart beat and is a cardiac stimulant.

Its name comes from the words strophos (twisted cord or belt - referring to the tapering, twisted ends of the petals) and anthos - flower.

And it is indeed beautiful.

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