Ichnocarpus frutescens (Apocynaceae)

Ichnocarpus frutescens

This native creeper of rainforest and coastal forest is a known medicinal plant in Indian medicine. The plant has been used as a treatment for a whole range of ailments including atrophy, bleeding gums,
cough, dysentery, cancer, skin infections, diabetes and liver disorders (see pdf here). The distinctive features are the hairs fringing the flower petals and the red glands at the nodes where the leaves join the stem. The leaf midrib is also distinctively hairy on the underside. Like many members of the Apocynaceae family, the shoots and leaves weep copious white sap when injured.

Ichnocarpus frutescens
Closeup of flowers. Petals with hairy fringe

Ichnocarpus frutescens
Red glands at the node. Note also hairy leaf petioles

Ichnocarpus frutescens
Leaf upperside. The leaves may also be more ovate.

Ichnocarpus frutescens
Hairs on the leaf midrib of leaf underside

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About David Tng

I am David Tng, a hedonistic botanizer who pursues plants with a fervour. I chase the opportunity to delve into various aspects of the study of plants. I have spent untold hours staring at mosses and allied plants, taking picture of pollen, culturing orchids in clean cabinets, counting tree rings, monitoring plant flowering times, etc. I am currently engrossed in the study of plant ecology (a grand excuse to see 'anything I can). Sometimes I think of myself as a shadow taxonomist, a sentimental ecologist, and a spiritual environmentalist - but at the very root of it all, a "plant whisperer"!
This entry was posted in Apocynaceae (Periwinkle family), Habitat - Coastal forest, Habitat - Rain forest, Lifeform - Climbers, Useful plants and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Ichnocarpus frutescens (Apocynaceae)

  1. Lucy Tran says:

    Hi David,

    Many thanks for the detailed info of this plant. May I asked where about can I find this plant near Cairns city please?.

    Best regards

    Lucy

    • David Tng says:

      Hi Lucy, it is quite common around the campus of the Cairns campus of the James Cook University.
      Best regards,
      David

      • Lucy Tran says:

        Hi David,

        Many thanks for the information, I will visit JCU very soon. By the way, I love reading your web page, I have learned so much from you and excited to read some very details of plants we have had and continue to read more.

        Have a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year 2017.

        Best regards

        Lucy

      • David Tng says:

        It’s a pleasure Lucy. Yes, JCU has quite a bit around the edges of the forests, but the vine is pretty common throughout the lowlands, and you will probably see a fair bit around the forests near the Botanical gardens as well. Good to know you’ve found the blog useful. You too have a merry christmas and great new year.
        Regards,
        David

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