Plants of the genus are evergreen trees shrubs or vines. They contain a white latex. The leaves are opposite or arranged in whorls of up to 5. The blades are generally oval and smooth-edged and some are leathery or lightly hairy. The inflorescence is a compound cyme. The flower has five lobed sepals and a bell or funnel-shaped corolla of five petals yellow in most species. The fruit is a schizocarp containing two to four seeds.
In lab analyses Allamanda species have yielded several chemical compounds including iridoid lactones such as allamandin plumericin and plumierides. Plumericin particularly was demonstrated to be a highly potent NF-κB inhibitor with anti-inflammatory activity in vitro and in vivo while its structurally related derivatives plumierdin plumeridoid C and allamandicin did not have activity. The lignan pinoresinol and coumarins such as scopoletin and scoparone have been isolated from A. schottii.
Allamanda species have been used in systems of traditional medicine for various purposes. A. cathartica has been used to treat liver tumors jaundice splenomegaly and malaria. In analyses some species have shown some activity against carcinoma cells pathogenic fungi and HIV.
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