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Origin and Habitat: Limestone range in Phra Phutthabat, Saraburi, South West Thailand.
Habitat and ecology: Stephania suberosa grows in evergreen scrub and bamboo forests in rocky limestone hill together with other endemics such as: Bauhinia winitii Craib (Leguminosae), Burrettiodendron umbellatum Kosterm. (Tiliaceae), Capparis echinocarpa Pierre ex Gagnep. (Capparaceae), Combretum procursum Craib (Combretaceae), and Spondias bipinnata Airy Shaw & Forman (Anacardiaceae).
- Stephania suberosa Forman
Description: Stephania suberosa is a dioecious climber, with a huge above ground tuber (caudiciform base) and deciduous aerial vining stems on the top. The small flowers are greenish yellow. It is occasionally cultivated as succulent
Tuber (caudex): Large, succulent, above-ground and interconnected, with a special fissued-cork bark. The caudex may weight more than 50 kilos and could be 100 or more years old.
Stems: Perennial becoming woody and covered with corky bark, 1-2 cm in diameter, young stems slender, glabrous. The annual climbing-stem (vines) will grow to 4 meters or more.
Leaves: Broadly to very broadly ovate, 8-14 cm long, 9-15 cm wide, minutely papillose, base cordate to truncate, apex very obtuse. Petiole 5-17 cm long, asymmetrically inserted, puberulous to glabrescent.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Waraporn Putalun, Gorawit Yusakul, and Denpong Patanasethanont “Dicentrine Production from a Hairy Roots Culture of Stephania suberosa” Z. Naturforsch. 64 c, 692–696 (2009)
2) Stephania suberosa, in cactusmineral . web: http://www.cactusmineral.wbs.cz/CAUDICIFORMS-AND-OTHER-SUCCULENTS.html
3) Urs Eggli, Heidrun E. K. Hartmann “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Dicotyledons” Springer Science & Business Media, 2002
4) “Thai Forest Bulletin: Botany”, 29th Edition, Forest Herbarium, Royal Forest Department, 2001
Cultivation and Propagation: Stephanie suberosa are difficult to cultivate. Watering after foliage only once a month in the growing season (spring - summer). Keep plants in warm and bright place not an the direct sun with 25 (or more) Celsius degrees.
Traditional uses: Stephania suberosa is a medicinal plant which has been used in Thai traditional medicine for the treatment of hypertension and of a variety of ailments under the local name "borapet pungchang".
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