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do you know where these plants are?

Larry Daley daleyl at bcc.orst.edu
Tue Jun 25 14:04:31 EST 1996


These all are species of interest to my work on plant germplasm to support
agricultural uses, since they have interesting and useful biochemical
properties, and, as you note, they are plants of economic interest.  Could
you share your interests in them.  

There seems to be two sources of confusion in your list: (a) although we
rarely think of it that way, North America extends down to Panama; and (b)
your list includes "non-native", a word i dislike because of its
exclusionary undertones and lack of precision, species introduced into
North America.  For instance Ginkgo, Dawn Redwood and Cunninghamia, which
once grew in the U.S. Northwest, but are now extinct as native species,
when reintroduced are classified as "non-native" species. 

Calycophyllum candidissimum and Genipa americana are listed in Atila
Borhidi, 1991, Phytogeography and vegetation ecology of Cuba. Akademiai
Kiado, Budapest (ISBN 963 05 5295 7); Genipa americana (Jagua), a medium
sized tree with large, edible but not too interesting fruit, is also
listed in Fors, Alberto J. 1956. Maderas Cubanas. Ministerio de
Agricultura, Republica de Cuba.  Calycophyllum are medium to large trees
widely spread through tropical America, C. candissima is mentioned as
having a unnamed alkaloid in R.E. Schultes and R.F. Raffauf, 1990, The
healing forest. Dioscorides Press, Portland, Oregon (ISBN 9-931146-14-3);
in the same book it is pointed out: that Cephaelis is a pantropical genus
and Cephaelis ipecacuanha is the source of ipecac; Genipa americana is
used for a blue-black body paint; and Uncaria gambier is pantropical and a
source of biflavinoids. 

Coffea canephora (=C. robusta, C. ugandensis, C. quillon, etc) is robusta
coffee, a species from equatorial Africa, but has been introduced into
tropical America (Jonathan D. Sauer, 1993.  Historical geography of crop
plants; a selected roster, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, ISBN
0-8493-8901-1); it produces bad coffee but is disease resistant. Chinchona
officinalis, a source quinine is found in Costa Rica; Rubia tinctorum from
southern Europe and West Asia, is an ancient source of alzarin dyes;
Vangueria madagascariensis is an tree or shrub from Madagascar with edible
fruit (D.J. Mabberley, 1987, The plant book, Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge, England 1SBN 0 521 34060 8).  Gardenia thunbergia, an
ornamental shrub of some commercial significance, was originally from the
eastern hemisphere subtropics (Liberty H. Bailey, 1948, Manual of
Cultivated Plants most commonly grown in the continental United State and
Canada, Macmillan Company, New York). 

best wishes

larry daley


On 19 Jun 1996, Jennifer M. Thompson wrote: 

> I am trying to solve the mystery of where the following plants
> are distributed throughout North America.  Here they are:
> Calycophyllum candidissimum (Vahl) DC.
> Cephaelis ipecacuanha (Brot.) Tussac
> Cinchona calisaya Wedd.
> Cinchona officinalis L.
> Cinchona pubescens Vahl.
> Coffea canephora Pierre ex Froehner
> Gardenia thunbergia L. f.
> Genipa americana L.
> Rubia tinctorum L.
> Uncaria gambir (Hunter) Roxb.
> Vangueria madagascariensis J. F. Gmel.
> They are all members of the family Rubiaceae and are supposedly 
> economically important in North America, according to the PLANTS 
> database, yet I can't get a location for them from PLANTS, GRIN, or 
> BONAP.  Can anyone help me???
> Jennifer Thompson

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