Image of Vincetoxicum hirundinaria Medicus


Vincetoxicum hirundinaria ssp. adriaticum (Beck) Markgr., syn.: Vincetoxicum adriaticum Beck, Cynanchum adriaticum (Beck) R. M. FritschFamily: Apocynaceae Juss.EN: Adriatic Swallow-Wort, DE: Adriatische SchwalbenwurtzSI.: jadranski kokoovec, CR: jadranski lastavinjakDat.: April 26. 2006Lat.: 44.39484 Long.: 14.80070Code: Bot_0117/2006_DSC0220Habitat: sea shore, in the transition zone between shore pebbles and island's internal macchia; flat terrain, calcareous, stony ground; open, sunny and dry place; elevation 4 m (17 feet); average precipitations ~ 1.000 mm/year, average temperature 13-15 deg C, Sub-Mediterranean phytogeographical region. Substratum: soil.Place: Adriatic Sea, island Olib, south shore of Slatina bay, Zadar archipelago, Zadar region, Croatia EC. Comment: Vincetoxicum hirundinaria ssp. adriaticum is an endemic, endangered and fully protected plant in Croatia. It grows only along east shore of the Adriatic Sea, on Adriatic Islands, in Velebit and Biokovo mountains, in Bosnia and Hercegovina and in some parts of south Italy. Nikoli et al. (2014) (Ref.:1.) claims its presence also for Slovenia, but Martini et al. (2007) (Ref.:2.) disagree with this, or at least, doesn't list the taxon in the Slovenian flora. The presence of this species on island Olib was confirmed by Milovi et al. in the first scientific survey of the island's flora in 2016 (Ref.5.).The plants in genus Vincetoxicum are poisonous since they contain different glycosides. Yet, they have been used in popular medicine for centuries. It was considered a detox for all kind of toxins, hence its Latin name 'Vince-toxicum' 'vincere' means to defeat in Latin. Nowadays the plants are not in use anymore because it is too risky. Any overdose can result in serious medical problems including death in the extreme cases.Ref.:(1) T. Nikoli, M. Milovi, S. Bogdanovi, N. Jaspica, Endemi u Hrvatskoj Flori (Endemics in Croatian Flora) (in Croatian), Alfa, Zagreb (2014), p 458.(2) A. Martini et all., Mala Flora Slovenije (Flora of Slovenia - Key) (in Slovenian), Tehnina Zaloba Slovenije (2007). (3) R. Domac, Flora Hrvatske (Flora of Croatia) (in Croatian), kolska Knjiga, Zagreb (1994), p 310.(4) W.K. Rottensteiner, Exkursionsflora fr Istrien, Verlag des Naturwissenschaftlichen Vereins Krten (2014), p 193.(5) M. Milovi, S. Kovai, N. Jasprica & V. Stamenkovi, Contribution to the Study of Adriatic Island Flora: Vascular Plant Species Diversity in the Croatian Island of Olib, Nat. Croat., Vol. 25:1, 2554 (2016), Zagreb.

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