HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT


Family Bignoniaceae
Krus-krusan
Crescentia alata HBK .
GOURD TREE

Scientific names Common names
Crescentia alata Kunth Krus-krusan (Tag.)
Crescentia ternata Sessé & Moc. Gourd tree (Engl.)
Crescentia trifolia Blanco Jicaro (Engl.)
Otophora paradoxa Blume Mexican calabash (Engl.)
Parmentiera alata (Kunth) Miers Winged calabash (Engl.)
Pteromischus alatus (Kunth) Pichon  
Crescentia alata Kunth is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
MEXICO: Tecomate.
SPANISH: Hoja cruz.

Botany
Krus-krusan is a small tree, 3 to 6 meters high. Leaves occur in fascicles at the nodes of the branches. Leaves are striking in appearance, with its winged leaflike stalk, about 1 centimeter wide, at the tip of which are three leaflets, shorter than the leaflike petiole. Leaflets are broadest near the end, with a notched tip and a wedged-shaped base, 4 to 7 centimeters long, without individual stalks. Flowers are borne singly on the trunk, brownish and rank-scented. Calyx is split into two lobes, about 1.5 centimeters long. Corolla is somewhat bell-shaped, about 6 centimeters long, 4 centimeters wide, with 5 short lobes. Fruit is hard, rounded, and about 5 centimeters in diameter.

Distribution
- Occasionally cultivated for ornamental purposes in Rizal and Quezon Provinces.
- Introduced from Mexico during Spanish colonial times.

Constituents
- Analysis of the pulp yielded: mineral salts, fixed oil 8%, resin, glucose, tannic acid, peptic principles, dextrine and cellulose.
- Study pulp of fruits of Crescentia alata isolated four new 11-nor-iridoids, 6beta,7beta,8alpha,10-tetrahydroxy-cis-2-oxabicyclo[4.3.0]nonan-3-one (1), 6beta,7beta,8alpha,10-tetra-p-hydroxybenzoyl-cis-2-oxabicyclo[4.3.0]nonan-3-one (2), 1beta,6beta,7alpha,8alpha,10-pentahydroxy-cis-2-oxabicyclo[4.3.0]nonane (3), and 6beta-hydroxy-2-oxabicyclo[4.3.0]Delta8-9-nonen-1-one (4). (1)
- Chemical evaluation of ensilaged fruit material material showed the meals to contain on average 17% crude fat, 11% crude fiber, and 18% crude protein. (3)
- Studies have yielded flavonols rutin, kaempferol 3-O-rutinoside, and kaempferol.
- Phytochemical study of leaves and bark yielded three compounds from the bark: a phenylpropanoid, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzoic acid (vanillic acid); a triterpenoid, lupeol; and a flavonol glycoside, quercetin-3-rutinoside (rutin), and one compound from the leaves: a sterol, 24-ethyl-5,22-cholestadien-3-b-ol (stigmasterol). (see study below) (8)
- Fractionation of methanol extract yielded two flavonol glycosides: quercetin 3-O-alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1->6)-beta-D-glucopyranoside (rutin) (1), kaempferol 3-O-alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1->6)-beta-D-glucopyranoside (kaempferol 3-O-rutinoside) (2), and flavonol aglycone, kaempferol (3). (see study below) (9)

Properties
- Considered astringent, anti-hemorrhagic, pectoral.
- Studies have shown antimicrobial, antioxidant, bioinsecticidal properties.

Parts used
Leaves

Uses

Edibility
- Seeds are edible, high in protein, with a licorice-sweet taste. Used in Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua in making a horchata, Semilla de Jicaro. (4)
Folkloric
- Decoction of leaves employed as astringent and anti-hemorrhagic.
- Used for hemoptysis and dysentery.
- In Mexico, pulp taken internally as a pectoral and for diseases of the kidney.
- Pulp or decoction of leaves used for diarrhea.
- Decoction also used for hair growth or to prevent it from falling.
- In Guatemala, used for inflammation, respiratory diseases, fever and weight loss.


Studies
Iridoids:
Study yielded four new 11-nor-iridoids from the pulp of the fruits of Crescentia alata. (1)
Antimicrobial: Study of 18 crude extracts from six different plants evaluated for potential antimicrobial activity against S aureus, E faecalis, S pneumonia, S pyogenes, E coli and C albicans. The extracts of G oxyphyllum, G americanum and Crescentia alata possessed strong antimicrobial activity against the pathogens tested. (2)
Chemical Evaluation of Flours: Chemical evaluation of ensilaged fruit material material showed the meals to contain on average 17% crude fat, 11% crude fiber, and 18% crude protein. The flours were limiting in the sulfur amino acid, lysine and threonine content. (3)
Distribution Factors:
Report hypothesizes that the distribution of jicaro dramatically changed with the introduction of the horse. The pulp is eaten by horses, surrogate Pleistocene dispersal agents, and the seeds pass through to germinate in dung. Two samples of ripe fruits weighed an average of 210 and 390 g containing an average of 400 and 600 seeds. (6)
Bioinsecticidal / Larvae of Spodoptera frugiperda: Study evaluated the activity of Crescentia alata against Spodoptera frugiperda. Results showed bioinsecticidal activity. Possibly, the iridoids identified from C. alata fruit fractions are responsible for the antifeedant activity and mortality. (7)
Antioxidant / Phytochemicals of Bark and Leaves: Phytochemical study of leaves and bark yielded one compound from the leaves, stigmasterol; and three compounds from the bark, vanillic acid, lupeol, and rutin. Screening of crude extracts and pure compounds showed antioxidant activity comparable to vitamin E. (see constituents above) (8)
Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated a methanolic extract for in vivo anti-inflammatory activity on carragenan paw edema in rats. Results showed significant in vivo anti-inflammatory activity at highest dose tested. Same extract showed in vitro inhibitory activity on induced NO synthase expression and NO formation in LPS-primed 3774.A1 cells. (see constituents above) (9)

Availability
Wild-crafted.

Last Update August 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / File:Crescentia alata Blanco2.327-original.png/ Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Iridoids from Crescentia alata / Maria Guadalupe Valladares and Maria Yolanda Rios / J. Nat. Prod., 2007, 70 (1), pp 100–102 / DOI: 10.1021/np060499w
(2)
Antimicrobial evaluation of certain plants used in Mexican traditional medicine for the treatment of respiratory diseases / Gabriela Rojas, Juan Levaro et al /
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 74, Issue 1, January 2001, Pages 97-101 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(00)00349-4 |
(3)
Chemical evaluation of morro or jícaro (Crescentia alata) flours prepared by ensilaging and/or dehydration / Gómez-Brenes RA, Contreras I, Braham JE, Bressani R. / Arch Latinoam Nutr. 1980 Jun;30(2):236-53.
(4)
Crescentia alata / Wikipedia
(5)
Crescentia alata / Synonyms / The Plant List
(6)
Fruit Traits, and Seed Consumption by Rodents, of Crescentia alata (Bignoniaceae) in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica / D. H. Janzen / American Journal of Botany, Vol. 69, No. 8 (Sep., 1982), pp. 1258-1268
(7)
BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY OF CRESCENTIA ALATA (LAMIALES: BIGNONIACEAE) FRACTIONS ON LARVAE OF SPODOPTERA FRUGIPERDA (LEPIDOPTERA: NOCTUIDAE) / MARÍA GUADALUPE VALLADARES-CISNEROS, MARIA YOLANDA RIOS-GOMEZ, LUCILA ALDANA-LLANOS, MA. ELENA VALDES-ESTRADA AND MIRNA GUTIERREZ OCHOA / Florida Entomologist 97(2) June 2014
(8)
Phytochemical study of leaves and bark of Crescentia alata HBK / Aunchita Wiyaporn
(9)
Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase expression by a methanolic extract of Crescentia alata and its derived flavonols. / G Autore, L Rastrelli, M R Lauro, S Marzocco, R Sorrentino, U Sorrentino, A Pinto, R Aquino /
Life Sci. 2001 Dec 21;70(5):523-34.

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT