Detail of herbarium specimen of Camoensia brevicalyx, collected in Equatorial Guinea by Gustav Mann in 1842.
Camoensia brevicalyx Benth.
Least Concern (LC) according to IUCN Red List criteria.
Around lakes and lagoons, by streams and in swampy forest.
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.
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.
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.
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
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