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Camoensia brevicalyx

The pink-flowered liane Camoensia brevicalyx is widely distributed in Africa, but is infrequently collected and poorly-known scientifically.
Camoensia brevicalyx

Detail of herbarium specimen of Camoensia brevicalyx, collected in Equatorial Guinea by Gustav Mann in 1842.

Species information

Scientific name: 

Camoensia brevicalyx Benth.

Conservation status: 

Least Concern (LC) according to IUCN Red List criteria.


Around lakes and lagoons, by streams and in swampy forest.

Key Uses: 

None known.

Known hazards: 

None known.


Leguminosae/Fabaceae - Papilionoideae
Genus: Camoensia

About this species

A member of the pea and bean family (Leguminosae), Camoensia brevicalyx is a woody climber from the wet forests of tropical Africa. 


Discover more

Geography and distribution

Camoensia brevicalyx is native to tropical Africa and has been recorded in Angola, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Herbarium specimen of Camoensia brevicalyx, collected in Equatorial Guinea by Gustav Mann in 1842.


A liane (woody climber, supported by other vegetation) growing up to 30 m high, with a stout stem up to 3 cm in diameter and compound leaves. The flowers are pinkish.

Threats and conservation

Camoensia brevicalyx is not considered to be threatened or in decline. It has a fairly widespread distribution and is known to occur within a number of protected areas.

Future fieldwork is needed to collect seeds for storage in a seed bank as a method of ex situ conservation, although collecting a large quantity of seeds from this liane may prove difficult in the field.

Conservation assessments carried out by Kew

Camoensia brevicalyx is being monitored as part of the 'Sampled Red List' Index project, which aims to produce conservation assessments for a representative sample of the world’s plant species. This information will then be used to monitor trends in extinction risk and help focus conservation efforts where they are needed most.


No uses are known, although it has been reported that alkaloids are present in abundance (over 1% concentration) in the roots, and in the seeds, along with some saponin and traces of steroids and terpenes.

This species at Kew

Dried and spirit-preserved specimens of Camoensia brevicalyx are held in the Herbarium at Kew, where they are available by appointment to researchers from around the world. The details, including images, of some of these specimens can be seen online in the Herbarium Catalogue.

View details and images of specimens

References and credits

Beentje, H. (2010). The Kew Plant Glossary. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Burkill, H.M. (1995). The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa, Vol. 3, Families J – L. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Groom, A. (2010). Camoensia brevicalyx. Assessment using IUCN Categories and Criteria 3.1 (IUCN 2001). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Waterman, P.G., Faulkner, D.F. (1982). Quinolizidine/indolizidine alkaloids from the seed of Camoensia brevicalyx. Phytochemistry 21(1): 215-218.

Kew Science Editor: Gwilym Lewis
Copyediting: Emma Tredwell

While every effort has been taken to ensure that the information contained in these pages is reliable and complete, the notes on hazards, edibility and suchlike included here are recorded information and do not constitute recommendations. No responsibility will be taken for readers’ own actions.

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