Anamirta cocculus

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Anamirta cocculus


Leaves with glabrous petioles 6—18(—26) cm, swollen at both ends, geniculate at the base; Inflorescences 16-40 cm with lateral branches 2-5 cm, glabrous, bracteoles c. 0.5 mm long.


Alor present, Aru Is present, Asia-Tropical: India present; Maluku (Maluku present); New Guinea present; Philippines (Philippines present); Thailand (Thailand present), Babar present, Basilan present, Ceram present, Ceylon present, Damar present, E. Java present, Flores present, Halmahera present, Kei present, Lesser Sunda Is present, Luzon present, Mindanao present, Mindoro present, N. Sumatra present, Sula Is present, Sumba present, Tenimber present, Timor present, Wetar present
Ceylon, India, Thailand, Indochina; in Malesia: N. Sumatra (once), E. Java (twice), Lesser Sunda Is. (Sumba, Flores, Alor, Timor, Wetar, Damar, Babar), Moluccas (Tenimber, Kei, Ceram, Sula Is., Halmahera), Philippines (Luzon, Mindoro, Basilan, Mindanao), New Guinea (incl Aru Is.).


The stem produces bast-fibres. The fruits are used as a fish-poison and are also used to kill lice in the hair. They are a source of picrotoxin, which has proved to be a mixed crystallizate of picrotoxinin, which is a violent convulsant poison, and picrotin, which is very much less toxic. Picrotoxin has been used in the treatment of schizophrenia and is an effective antidote for barbiturate and morphine poisoning. A review of the chemical constituents and pharmacological properties is given by QUISUMBING () and in .
According to FLÜCKIGER & HANBURY () the fruits have been known in Europe at least since the 16th century when they were being imported via Alexandria and other centres in the Middle East. They are well figured in GERARDE'S Herbal of 1597. In the 1633 edition, p. 1548 he stated that they were 'well known in shoppes by the name of Cocculus Indicus, some call them Cocci Orientales. They are used with good success to kill lice in children's heads. In England we use the fruit called Cocculus Indi in pouder mixed with flower, hony, and crummes of bread to catch fish with, it being a numming, soporiferous, or sleeping medicine, causeth the fish to turn up their bellies, as being senceless for a time.' In 1635 the fruits were subject in England to an import duty of 2s. per pound. HOOKERf. & THOMSON (1855) reported of the fruits that 'in England they are extensively used in the adulteration of beer.'.


The anomalous stem-structure was described by SANTOS (). Details of the primary xylem elements were given by ZAMORA (). According to BROWN (1920, l.c.) the flowers are fragrant; the field notes on some Philippine specimens describe the odour as unpleasant.


HEYNE 1927: Nutt. Pl.: 620
DECNE 1834 – In: NOUV. Ann. Mus. Paris: 423
Roxb. 1832 – In: Fl. Ind. ed. Carey: 807
BACK. & BAKH.f. 1963 – In: Fl. Java: 156
KANEH. & HATUS. 1942 – In: Bot. Mag. Tokyo: 471
DC. 1824 – In: Prod.: 97
Merr. 1923 – In: En. Philip.: 145
BACK. 1911: Schoolfl.: 41
BECC. 1877 – In: Malesia: 143
SPAN. 1841 – In: Linnaea: 163
Diels 1910: p. 108. – In: Pfl. R.: f. 10, 40
SCHEFF. 1873 – In: Nat. Tijd. N. I.: 395
Hook.f. 1872 – In: Fl. Br. India: 98
Koord. 1912 – In: Exk. Fl. Java: 232
WIGHT & ARN. 1868 – In: Ann. Mus. Bot. Lugd.-Bat.: 80
WIGHT & ARN. 1855 – In: Hook.f. &Th., Fl. Ind.: 185
Engl. 1886 – In: Bot. Jahrb.: 455
HEMSL. 1885 – In: Rep. Chall. Bot.: 118
WIGHT & ARN. 1921 – In: Minor Prod. Philip. For.: 79, 185
FORMAN 1978 – In: Kew Bull.: 329
PANCHO 1983 – In: Vasc. Fl. Mt Makiling: 281
K. SCH. & HOLLR. 1889: Fl. Kaiser.Wilh. Land: 44
Diels 1911 – In: Elmer, Leafl. Philip. Bot. 4: 1165
YA-MAMOTO 1944 – In: J. Soc. Trop. Agric.: 37
Merr. 1917: Int. Rumph.: 221
GAERTN. 1788: p. 219. – In: Fruct.: t. 70
BOERL. 1899 – In: Cat. Hort. Bog.: 37
Miq. 1858 – In: Fl. Ind. Bat.: 78
K. SCH. 1898 – In: Notizbl. Berl.-Dahl.: 116
WIGHT & ARN. 1918: Sp. Blanc.: 145
ARN. 1834: p. 65. – In: Ann. Sci. Nat.: t. 3
BLANCO 1837: Fl. Filip., ed. 1: 809
W.H. BROWN 1920 – In: Minor Prod. Philip. For.: 375