Coriaria ruscifolia

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Coriaria ruscifolia
Coriaria ruscifolia.jpg
Coriaria ruscifolia
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Division:
Class:
Order:
Family:
Genus:
Species:
C. ruscifolia
Binomial name
Coriaria ruscifolia
Synonyms[1]

C. microphylla Poir.
C. thymifolia Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.

Coriaria ruscifolia are shrubs or small trees with bright red fruits like berries. The fruits and the leaves are very poisonous.

Common names[change | change source]

This species has many names in Latin America. Some of them are:[2]

  • Chile: deu, dehue-lahuen, deó, hiuque, matarratones ("kill mice"), veu.[3]
  • Peru: mio-mio, saca-saca, mio venenosa, raqui-raqui
  • Ecuador: piñán, shanshi, shanchi or zhanzhi, tinta.
  • Colombia: reventadera; barbasco, chanchi, mortiño borrachero.[4]
  • Venezuela: tisís, helecho de playa, helecho uvite.
  • Guatemala: moco tinto, moco de chompipe.
  • Mexico: helecho de tierra, tlalocopetate, tlalocopatlat.

Systematics[change | change source]

Coriaria ruscifolia was described for the first time by Linnaeus in 1753 in Species Plantarum (Vol. 2, page 1037), from a plant from Peru.[5][6]

The species is divided in two subspecies:[2]

  1. C. ruscifolia subsp. ruscifolia
  2. C. ruscifolia subsp. microphylla (Poir.) L. E. Skog, with two synonyms:[7]
    1. C. microphylla Poir.
    2. C. thymifolia Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.

Description[change | change source]

Shrub up to 4 metres high. Dark green leaves on the top and pale gray on the underside. Flowers grouped in terminal inflorescences on lateral branches, sepals are green to red, small petals, yellow or red anthers. Fruits look like berries but they are small nuts (achenes). The fruits are covered by the petals.[4]

The number of chromosomes is 40.[8]

The plants of C. ruscifolia subsp. microphylla can fix nitrogen from the air because they have bacteria in their roots.[9]

Where it grows[change | change source]

C. ruscifolia grows in the Americas and some Pacific Islands:[2]

  • C. ruscifolia subsp. ruscifolia: Western slopes of Andes (and other mountain ranges) from Mexico to Peru, western Venezuela, and cool mountains of New Guinea and New Zealand and other Pacific islands.
  • C. ruscifolia subsp. microphylla: Central and southern Chile, New Zealand and other Pacific islands.

Uses[change | change source]

It is a very toxic plant. Fruits are hallucinogens exciting the nervous system. The leaves have tannin and serve for tanning (making leather out of skins). It is recommended as an ornamental.[4]

In Chile, the fruits are used mixed with bread to kill mice and rats.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Tropicos.org. "Coriaria ruscifolia L." Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Skog, L.E. (1972). "The genus Coriaria (Coriariaceae) in the western Hemisphere.". Rhodora 74: 242–253. https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/openurl?pid=title:721&volume=74&issue=798&spage=242&date=1972. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Chilebosque. "Coriaria ruscifolia - Matarratones, Deu" (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Herbario Universidad de Antioquía. "Barbasco - Chanchi - Mortiño Borrachero" (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  5. Carolus Linnaeus. "Species Plantarum, Tomus II" (in Latin). p. 1037. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  6. "Coriaria ruscifolia". The Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  7. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. "Coriaria ruscifolia subsp. microphyla". Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). Retrieved 30 May 2013.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. Yokoyama, J., Suzuki M., Iwatsuki K., & Hasebe M. (2000). "Molecular phylogeny of Coriaria, with special emphasis on the disjunct distribution.". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 14 (1): 11-19. 
  9. "Coriariaceae". Frankia & Actinorhizal Plants. Retrieved 23 May 2013.

Other websites[change | change source]