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Cunuria - Endospermum

(Spurge family)


Cunuria spruceana Baill.

Gunasekera et al. (1979) isolated montanin, a daphnane polyol orthoester, from this species.

Dalechampia L.

About 100 species are found in warm regions, especially in America.

Stiff, stinging hairs have been noted on the following species (Allen 1943, von Reis Altschul 1973, von Reis & Lipp 1982):

Dalechampia dioscoreaefolia Poeppig & Endl.
Dalechampia ipomoeaefolia Benth.
Dalechampia panamensis Pax & K.Hoffm.
Dalechampia tiliaefolia Lam. 

Dalechampia roezliana Müll.Arg.

Rao & Sundararaj (1951) and Thurston & Lersten (1969) refer to the early literature on the stinging hairs of this species.

Dalechampia scandens L.

The stinging hairs cause acute skin irritation (Standley 1930). Costa Ricans rub the leaves on the cheek or jaw as a counter-irritant in case of toothache (Standley 1923). Brache & Aquino (1978) note that this species is among the 14 commoner causes of plant contact dermatitis in the Dominican Republic.

Drypetes caustica Airy Shaw
[syn. Guya caustica Frappier]

This species releases mustard oil when crushed (Airy Shaw 1972); the specific epithet apparently refers to the irritant properties of the mustard oil.

Drypetes gossweileri S.Moore

von Reis & Lipp (1982) record that the slash smells of horseradish (Armoracia rusticana G.Gaertn., B.Mey. & Scherb., fam. Cruciferae).

Drypetes myrmecophila Merrill

The specific epithet suggests that this species is myrmecophilous.

Drypetes pendula Ridl.
Sabre Leaf, Gelugor Salak

Ants eat out the pith and live in the leaf twigs (Corner 1952).

Drypetes roxburghii Hurusawa
[syn. Putranjiva roxburghii Wall.]

The seeds contain glucoputranjivin and glucocochlearin, thioglucosides from which irritant mustard oils are derived when the plant material is crushed (Puntambekar 1950, Kjær 1960). See also Cruciferae.

Endospermum medullosum L.S.Sm.

According to Conn & Damas (2005b), in their online Guide to Trees of Papua New Guinea, this species bears stinging hairs.

Endospermum moluccanum Becc.
[syn. Endospermum formicarum Becc.]
Moon Tree

Souder (1963) lists this species among spurges that can cause an acute dermatitis on contact with their sap or latex. According to Burkill (1935), the plant has purgative properties.

This species has branches that are normally hollow towards their extremities, and which are inhabited by ants (Bequaert 1922).

Endospermum myrmecophilum L.S. Smith

The specific epithet suggests that the plant is myrmecophilous. Airy Shaw (1980) notes that the species has a tendency to have hollow branches but that this feature is inconstant.

Richard J. Schmidt

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