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Mondia whitei - (Hook.f.) Skeels

Common Name Mondia, White's Ginger
Family Apocynaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards The seeds are used as a substitute for Strophanthus seeds in the preparation of arrow poison[299 ]. The latex is also added to Strophanthus arrow poison[299 ].
Habitats Found in a variety of habitats, ranging from humid forest, riverine forest, swamp forest and forest margins to humid or semi-dry savannah, sometimes along river banks, at elevations from sea-level up to 2,000 metres[299 ].
Range Tropical Africa - Senegal to Sudan and Kenya, south to Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (4 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Mondia whitei Mondia, White

Mondia whitei Mondia, White
Bart Wursten wikimedia.org


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A vigorous, perennial, climbing shrub known as Mondia or White’s Ginger (Mondia whitei) is grown in tropical Africa for a wide range of uses including food, medicine, or fiber. It grows about 8 m long and has a large and tuberous rootstock. The leaves are large and opposite, characterized by purple lower-surface veins. The flowers are reddish-purple with a green edge and are short-lived. Edible parts are the leaves (fresh, dried, or cooked) and the fruits. The roots are used as food flavoring. Mondia is a valued medicinal plant especially for its roots. It is an aphrodisiac and also used against stomach pain, indigestion, constipation, and anorexia, and as appetite stimulant. Urinary infections, jaundice, cough, bronchitis, gonorrhea, and other conditions can also be treated using the roots. The stem yield fiber used to make ropes and a fine thread.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of climber
Mondia whitei is an evergreen Climber growing to 8 m (26ft) by 2 m (6ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Flies.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves  Root
Edible Uses: Condiment  Drink  Tea

The fresh or dried leaves are cooked, sometimes with peanut butter, and eaten as a vegetable[299 ]. The dried powdered leaves are added to food as a condiment[299 ]. The vanilla-like odour may have potential as a novel African fragrance or spice[299 ]. The fruits are considered edible in some parts of Africa, although in southern Africa the seeds are used as an arrow poison[299 ]. The roots are used to flavour food and tea[299 ]. They are also used to make an energizing drink for wedding parties and a ginger-like beer[299 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antidepressant  Antiemetic  Antiinflammatory  Antitussive  Aphrodisiac  Appetizer  Carminative  Digestive  
Diuretic  Expectorant  Laxative  Malaria  Parasiticide  Purgative  Restorative  
Stomachic  Tonic  Urinary

The plant is widely used medicinally throughout its range, the root especially being valued. Relatively little research on the active compounds in the plant has been effected. The roots contain 1 - 1.2% of an essential oil, 2.8% of a fixed oil, 20% glucose, 0.7% resin and 0.045% of a glycoside[299 ]. The essential oil causes inflammation and reddening of the skin, irritation of the mucous membranes and relaxes mammalian intestinal smooth muscles[299 ]. Hexane, methanol and water extracts of the leaves and roots did not show any antibacterial activity against a range of human pathogens. The hexane and methanol extracts showed significant anti-inflammatory activity[299 ]. An aqueous root extract showed moderate activity against Schistosoma haematobium[299 ]. An aqueous root bark extract at 400 mg/kg/day given orally during 8 days increased testosterone production and fertility of male rats[299 ] An aqueous root extract administered to human spermatozoa in vitro was found to enhance total motility as well as progressive motility in a time-dependent manner[299 ]. Both the roots and the root bark have a pronounced vanilla-like odour and taste like a mixture of liquorice and ginger[299 ].They are anodyne, aphrodisiac, appetizer, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, purgative, restorative, stomachic, tonic and uterine stimulant[299 ]. The root is especially highly valued throughout Africa as an aphrodisiac - the fresh or dried roots are chewed to treat sexual weakness, prevent premature ejaculation and to increase sperm production[299 ]. A decoction or infusion is widely taken to treat digestive troubles including gastro-intestinal problems, stomach-ache, indigestion, constipation, anorexia, and as a restorative and appetite stimulant[299 ]. The decoction is also used to treat a wide range of other conditions, including urinary infections, gonorrhoea, jaundice, coughs, bronchitis, chest complaints, headache, paralysis and epileptic attacks, depression, to relieve body pains and to treat fits in children[299 ]. The root is pulverized and added to porridge in order to treat schistosomiasis[299 ]. A plant extract is taken to treat malaria[299 ]. The leaves are squeezed in water and the filtrate is drunk to stop heavy post partum bleeding[299 ].T A leaf decoction is drunk to stop vomiting[299 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Essential  Fencing  Fibre  Parasiticide  String  Teeth

Agroforestry Uses: The plant is grown to reinforce enclosures[299 ]. Other Uses A fibre obtained from the stem yields a strong rope and a fine thread[299 ]. The woody parts of the root are used as chewing sticks[299 ].

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

The flowers have a slightly fruity, unpleasant odour, which becomes stronger in the afternoons. They remain open for between 3 and 4 days and are probably pollinated by flies[299 ]. Bloom Color: Red Cream/Tan. Spacing: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm).

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - Stem cuttings. Root cuttings.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Mondia, White's Ginger, Lacadje, Muombo, Nhavoma, Ogombo, Omurondwa, Pados, assase hwam, la racine, lufute lwa matwi, mbombongazi, tonicroot, umondi, white's ginger, white's-ginger, white’s ginger..

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Cameroon, Central Africa, Congo, Congo R, East Africa, Guinea, Guinée, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Southern Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, West Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


(Hook.f.) Skeels

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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