Ceanothus napalensis Wall.
Celastrus tristis H.Lév.
Rhamnus paniculiflora C.K.Schneid.
Rhamnus napalensis is an erect or scrambling, deciduous shrub, occasionally becoming more tree-like; it usually grows from 1 - 6 metres tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials, perhaps also as a food.
Species in this genus contain hydroxyanthracene derivatives which have a stimulant laxative effect upon the body, and many species are used traditionally as laxatives. In small doses, and for short periods, these can be safe and effective, but used over long periods they can weaken the body's natural ability to defecate and can have a range of long-lasting negative effects upon the body, including anaemia, malabsorption, haematuria and weight loss. Large single doses can cause severe purging.
E. Asia - southern China, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, to Papua New Guinea and n. Australia
Sparse to dense forests, thickets; at elevations up to 1,800 metres[
]. Upland rain forest, often in association with Agathis robusta; at elevations from 450 - 900 metres in northern Australia[
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Rhamnus napalensis is found from the warm temperate regions of southern China through India and southeast Asia to New Guinea and northern Australia
Succeeds in any reasonably good soil[
The species in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
]. The purplish black, obovoid-globose drupe is 5 - 6mm in diameter, containing 3 seeds[
]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
The fruits, when pounded and macerated in vinegar, have been used in the treatment of herpes[
The fruit and leaves are used medicinally[
The flowers are a good source of nectar for bees[
The leaves are often used for dyeing tissues[
All the species of Rhamnus contain a mixture of compounds (mainly rhamnetin, quercitin and rhamnazin) that make a range of good quality dyes. The colour and its intensity depend upon what part of the plant is used as dyeing material (leaves, fruits and bark are most commonly used), at what period of growth it is collected and in what state it is used. With the use of the corresponding mordants (alum, copper and iron vitriols, tin dioxide, chromium, etc.) it is possible to obtain virtually the entire spectrum of colours from lemon-yellow to purple and dark cinnamon-brown, from olive-green to intensive blue and violet[
The dye extracts obtained from the bark, leaves and fruits are suitable for dyeing cottons, silks, woollens, leather, paper and wood. These dyes are often exceptional for their fastness[
Although we have seen no specific information for this species, the seeds of Rhamnus species are generally rich in fatty oil and several of them are extracted for use as lubricating oils etc[
The plant is used for making paper[
The heartwood is a dark reddish-brownish; the sapwood yellow or ochre[
]. The wood is moderately hard[
Seed - best sown in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed will require 1 - 2 months cold stratification at about 5° and should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame or outdoor seedbed[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame[
Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, autumn in a frame.
Layering in early spring[