logania lōgā´nēə [key], common name for the Loganiaceae, a family of herbs, shrubs, and trees of warmer climates, including many woody climbing species. Some plants of this family are grown in the United States as ornamentals, and several are sources of medicines and poisons. The former include introduced species of Logania (native to New Zealand and Australia) and several species of buddleia, or butterfly bush (genus Buddleia, sometimes considered a separate family). Two species of buddleia are native to Arizona and California. Carolina yellow jessamine, or jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens), also called false jasmine, is the state flower of South Carolina. It is often grown as a porch vine in the South, and its dried roots were used medicinally as an antispasmodic and sedative. The strong poison strychnine, which also affects the central nervous system, comes from the seeds of several Strychnos species (nux-vomica native to S Asia, is the commercial source). Several tropical American species are ingredients of curare arrow poisons, which have yielded important medicines. Logania is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Gentianales.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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