Swartzia madagascariensis

Snake bean
Bobgunnia madagascariensis, sade en peul-fragment, Shamvura, a.jpg
pod fragment and seeds
Scientific classification
B. madagascariensis
Binomial name
Bobgunnia madagascariensis
  • Swartzia madagascariensis Desv.
  • Swartzia marginata Benth.
  • Swartzia sapini De Wild.

Bobgunnia madagascariensis (Bambara: Samagara), also called the snake bean plant,[2] is a species of legume in the family Fabaceae.


Bobgunnia madagascariensis is a small deciduous tree, 3–4 m tall. The plant has large pods that turn dark when ripe.[2]


The larvae of Abantis zambesiaca feed on B. madagascariensis.


Bobgunnia madagascarensis is toxic.[3]


Preparing poison arrows

Poison composed of the roasted seeds of Bobgunnia madagascariensis and innards of the beetle Diamphidia nigroornata is applied to the arrows of the Bushmen.[citation needed] Seeds, fruits and stem bark are also used in fishing by poisoning in Africa.[4]


The methanolic extract of the fruit of B. madagascariensis contains a saponin tetraglycoside.[5]

The root bark of B. madagascariensis contains quinone methide diterpenes.[6]

The seed pod contains two acidic saponins, swartziasaponin A and B and swartziagenin, a mixture of oleanolic and 0-acetyloleanolic acid.[7] The pod methanolic extract yields highly glycosylated flavonoids (glycosides of kaempferol and quercetin).[8]

The crude chloroform and methanol extracts of the stem bark of the plant show strong feeding deterrent activity against stored-product insect pest of maize Tribolium castaneum with the two compounds, methyl paraben and lupeol, being identified in these extracts.[citation needed]

Other compounds in S. madagascariensis are (−)-maackiain, (−)-medicarpin, gypsogenin 3-O-rhamnosylglucuronide, (−)-homopterocarpin, pterocarpin, 4-methoxymedicarpin, 4-methoxymaackiain, 4-methoxyhomopterocarpin, 4-methoxypterocarpin, anhydrovariabilin and coumestrol dimethyl ether.[9]


  1. ^ "The Plant List".
  2. ^ a b Hyde, M. A.; Wursten, B. T.; Ballings, P.; Coates Palgrave, M. (2015). "Bobgunnia madagascariensis (Desv.) J.H. Kirkbr. & Wiersama". Flora of Zimbabwe. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  3. ^ Perchman, GE (1978). "Toxicity of Swartzia madagascarensis Desv". Journal of the South African Veterinary Association. 49 (4): 362. PMID 752087.
  4. ^ Neuwinger, H.D. (2004). "Plants used for poison fishing in tropical Africa". Toxicon. 44 (4): 417–30. doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2004.05.014. PMID 15302524.
  5. ^ Wolfender, J.-L; Rodriguez, S; Hostettmann, K (1998). "Liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for the screening of plant constituents". Journal of Chromatography A. 794: 299. doi:10.1016/S0021-9673(97)00939-4.
  6. ^ Schaller, Frédéric; Wolfender, Jean-Luc; Hostettmann, Kurt; Mavi, Steven (2001). "New Antifungal 'Quinone Methide' Diterpenes fromBobgunnia madagascariensis and Study of Their Interconversion by LC/NMR". Helvetica Chimica Acta. 84: 222. doi:10.1002/1522-2675(20010131)84:1<222::AID-HLCA222>3.0.CO;2-R.
  7. ^ Jewers, K.; Coker, R.D.; Dougan, J.M.; Sandberg, F. (1971). "Swartziagenin: A mixture of oleanolic and O-acetyloleanolic acids". Phytochemistry. 10 (9): 2263. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)97243-1.
  8. ^ Stevenson, Philip C.; Nyirenda, Stephen P.; Veitch, Nigel C. (2010). "Highly glycosylated flavonoids from the pods of Bobgunnia madagascariensis". Tetrahedron Letters. 51 (36): 4727. doi:10.1016/j.tetlet.2010.07.013.
  9. ^ "KNApSAcK keyword Search". kanaya.naist.jp. Archived from the original on 2014-12-13. Retrieved 2017-08-04.

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