Family Campanulaceae A L de Jussieu 1789 nom conserv the Bellflower Family

The family Campanulaceae consists of 70 genera and 2000 species of herbs, known to produce inulin, piperidine alkaloids (Lobelioideae subfamily), poly-acetylenic fatty acids, pentacyclic triterpenoid saponins and tannins. The leaves are simple, alternate or opposite and without stipules. The flowers are showy, actinomorphic, tubular and epigynous. The calyx comprises of 5 lobes which are imbricate or valvate. The corolla is tubular and bell-shaped, 5-lobed, the lobes being valvate. The andrecium consists of 5 stamens alternate with the corolla lobes. A nectary disc is present. The gynecium consists of 2-3 carpels united to form a compound 2-3-locular, with each locule containing several ovules attached to the axile placentas. The fruits are capsules which are often enveloped in the persistent calyx.

Piperidine alkaloid of Lobelia species

Piperidine alkaloid of Lobelia species

Pharmaceutical interest: Classical examples of Lobeliaceae are Campanula medium L. (Canterbury Bell) and Campanula rotundifolia L. (bluebell). An example of medicinal Lobeliaceae is Lobelia inflata L. or Indian tobacco (Lobelia, British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1963); an annual herb indigenous to the eastern USA and Canada, the aerial parts of which contains lobeline, which is nicotinic antagonist piperidine alkaloid which has been used as a respiratory stimulant for resuscitation of newborn and as a smoking deterrent. Other examples of medicinal Lobeliaceae are Lobelia nicotianifolia and Lobelia chinensis Lour., which are used in India and China respectively. Codonopsis lancifolia (Roxb.) Moeliono, Laurentia longiflora (L.) Peterm., Lobelia angulata Forst., Lobelia chinensis Lour. and Wahlenbergia marginata (Thunb.) DC. are medicinal in the Asia-Pacific.

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