|Leaves and fruits|
(L.) Appelhans, Groppo & J.Wen
Zanthoxylum asiaticum is a species of plant in the family Rutaceae. Under its synonym Toddalia asiatica, it was the only species in the monotypic genus Toddalia, now included in Zanthoxylum. It is known by the English name orange climber.
This is a liana with woody, corky, thorny stems that climb on trees, reaching up to 10 m in length. It has shiny green citrus-scented leaves, yellow-green flowers, and orange fruits about half a cm wide that taste like orange peel. The seeds are dispersed by birds and monkeys that eat the fruits. In particular, the scaly-breasted munia prefers to nest in these trees.
It is native to many countries in Africa and Asia. Examples include South Africa where in Afrikaans it is called ranklemoentjie, and in Venda, gwambadzi. It is very popular among the Kikuyus of Central Kenya, where it is known as mururue, Mauritius, where it is known as patte poule  or properly mũrũrũe.
Fossil seeds assigned to Toddalia (now included in Zanthoxylum) have been described as Toddalia nanlinensis from the Miocene of Nanlin Formation in Longchuan Basin, Dehong Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China. The fossil seeds are boat-shaped with tegmen that is composed of thin-walled cells with fine criss-crossed spiral lignifications.
The plant is used medicinally by many African peoples, including the Maasai, who use it for malaria,cough, and influenza. The roots contain coumarins that have antiplasmodial activity. Extracts of the plant have demonstrated antiviral activity against H1N1 influenza in the laboratory. The harvest of this slow-growing plant from the wild for medicinal use may cause its populations to decline.
Protocols for domestication or propagation of the tree are being researched.
- "Zanthoxylum asiaticum (L.) Appelhans, Groppo & J.Wen". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2021-09-15.
- Appelhans, Marc S.; Bayly, Michael J.; Heslewood, Margaret M.; Groppo, Milton; Verboom, G. Anthony; Forster, Paul I.; Kallunki, Jacquelyn A. & Duretto, Marco F. (2021). "A new subfamily classification of the Citrus family (Rutaceae) based on six nuclear and plastid markers". Taxon. doi:10.1002/tax.12543.
- "Toddalia asiatica". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 12 January 2018.
- Njoroge, Grace N.; Bussmann, Rainer W. (2006). "Diversity and Utilization of antimalarial ethnophytotherapeutic remedies among the Kikuyus (Central Kenya)". Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. 2 (8): 8. doi:10.1186/1746-4269-2-8. PMC 1397805. PMID 16451716.
- "mũrũrũe" in Benson, T.G. Kikuyu-English dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 421.
- Kamau, Loice Njeri and Peter Mathiu Mbaabu and James Mucunu Mbaria and Peter Karuri Gathumbi and Stephen Gitahi Kiama (2016). "Ethnobotanical survey and threats to medicinal plants traditionally used for the management of human diseases in Nyeri County, Kenya", p. 11.
- Leakey, L. S. B. (1977). The Southern Kikuyu before 1903, v. III, p. 1340. London and New York: Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-439903-7
- Nabwami, J., et al. (2007). Characterization of the natural habitat of Toddalia asiatica in the Lake Victoria basin: soil characteristics and seedling establishment. African Crop Science Conference Proceedings Volume 8.
- Fruits of Schima (Theaceae) and seeds of Toddalia (Rutaceae) from the Miocene of Yunnan Province, China by Ya Li, Jian Yang, Nilamber Awasthi and Cheng-Sen Li in Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 193:119–127 · June 2013
- Orwa, J. A., et al. (2008). The use of Toddalia asiatica (L) Lam. (Rutaceae) in traditional medicine practice in East Africa. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 115:2 257-62.
- Bussmann, R. W., et al. (2006). Plant use of the Maasai of Sekenani Valley, Maasai Mara, Kenya. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed 2 22.
- Oketch-Rabah, H. A., et al. (2000). A new antiplasmodial coumarin from Toddalia asiatica roots. Fitoterapia 71:6 636-40.
- Lu, S. Y., et al. (2005). Identification of antiviral activity of Toddalia asiatica against influenza type A virus. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 30:13 998-1001.