Botanical Name: Paraderris elliptica
Species: P. elliptica
*Pomaderris kumeraho Fenzl nom. inval., pro syn.
*Pomaderris malifolia Sieber ex Steud. nom. illeg., nom. superfl.
*omaderris multiflora Sieber ex Fenzl
*Pomatoderris elliptica Schult. orth. var.
Common Names:Derris, Yellow dogwood or Smooth pomaderris
Habitat: Paraderris elliptica is nitive to E. Asia – Bangladesh, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines.It grows in the forest edges, roadsides and along rivers, usually at low elevations but up to 1,500 metres in Java. It can occur as a weed in forest plantations of Acacia, Eucalyptus and Swietenia.
Pomaderris elliptica is an evergreen climbing shrub with woody stems that typically grows to a height of 1–4 m (3 ft 3 in – 13 ft 1 in), its branchlets densely covered with soft, star-shaped hairs. The leaves are egg-shaped or elliptic, 30–90 mm (1.2–3.5 in) long and 15–45 mm (0.59–1.77 in) wide with stipules 2–5 mm (0.079–0.197 in) long at the base but that fall off as the leaf develops. The upper surface of the leaves is glabrous and the lower surface densely covered with star-shaped hairs. The flowers are pale yellow and borne in clusters up to 120 mm (4.7 in) in diameter, each flower on a pedicel 2–5 mm (0.079–0.197 in) long. The floral cup is 0.8–1 mm (0.031–0.039 in) long, the sepals 1.5–2.0 mm (0.059–0.079 in) long but fall off as the flower opens, and the petals are 1.5–2.0 mm (0.059–0.079 in) long. Flowering occurs from September to December.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
It can also be grown at elevations up to 1,500 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 24 – 30°c, but can tolerate 20 – 36°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,800 – 3,500mm, but tolerates 1,400 – 5,000mm. It can survive dry periods of up to 4 months. Prefers a position in full sun or in light shade. Succeeds in most well-drained soils of at least moderate fertility. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 – 7, tolerating 4.3 – 8.6. Plants can commence flowering when about 18 months old. The yield of dried roots is 1,100 – 1,800 kg/ha, occasionally up to 3,000 kg/ha, particularly when plants are trellised. There is a danger of soil erosion during the first few months after planting and again after harvesting, therefore land suitable for this crop should either be flat or only slightly sloping[418 ]. Several cultivars (mostly clones of this vegetatively propagated crop) are widespread in cultivation and have bean selected for high rotenone content (13% of the roots)
Propagation: Through seeds.
Edible Uses: Not known to us.
The plant is traditionally used for antisepsis and is applied to abscesses and against leprosy and itch, and sometimes as an abortifacient. The roots are used as emmenagogue. The stems are a blood tonic. Rotenone, the active insecticidal ingredient found mainly in the root, has been evaluated as a potential antitumor agent. It is broadly cytotoxic, the growth-inhibiting effect has been demonstrated both with cultured cells and experimental tumours. The roots also contain tubaic acid (0.01% of air-dried root). This compound has shown anti-microbial activity, inhibiting the growth of Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli at high concentrations.
The powdered root is widely used as an insecticide. It is effective against a range of horticultural pests, such as aphids and caterpillars, and also against external body parasites like ticks, lice, fleas and flies. The root can be up to 2cm in diameter and more than 2 metres long.
Known Hazards: Fairly harmless to warm-blooded creatures, the root is used as a fish poison throughout southern Asia and the Pacific. It is considered the strongest fish poison in South-East Asia. The leaves are said to be poisonous enough to kill cattle.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.