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Hippobroma longiflora

Hippobroma longiflora
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Campanulaceae
Genus: Hippobroma
Species: H. longiflora
Binomial name
Hippobroma longiflora
G. Don
  • Isotoma longiflora
    C. Presl
  • Laurentia longiflora
  • Lobelia longiflora

Hippobroma longiflora (also called "Star of Bethlehem", not to be confused with other species by that name) is a flowering plant in the Campanulaceae family. It is endemic to the West Indies, but has become naturalized across the American tropics and Oceania.[1]

It is notable for its concentrations of two pyridine alkaloids: lobeline and nicotine. The effects of nicotine and lobeline are quite similar, with psychoactive effects at small dosages and with unpleasant effects including vomiting, muscle paralysis, and trembling at higher dosages.[2] For this reason, H. longiflora (and its various synonyms) is often referenced for both its toxicity and its ethnobotanical uses.

When pulling this weed, it is important to wear gloves: the sap is an irritant which can be absorbed through the skin, and a small amount of sap in the eyes can cause blindness.


  1. ^ USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Hippobroma Longiflora information from GPRS/GRIN (English). Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.. Retrieved on 2007-12-07.
  2. ^ Baldwin, Roger E. [1979] (1979). Hawaii's Poisonous Plants, 1 (in English), Hilo, Hawaii: The Petroglyph Press, Ltd., 26-27. ISBN 0-912180-34-X. 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hippobroma_longiflora". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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