The use of plants in herbal medicine is as old as humankind. In Africa and Kenya in particular, plants’ ethnomedical information and the diseases they treat have been orally passed on from one generation to the other. The increasing
human population, inappropriate harvesting methods, lengthy and recurrent droughts, and overuse of plants as medicines, fodder, and firewood compounded by limited natural regeneration threaten the existence of these important plant species warranting urgent intervention. Furthermore, the high costs, insufficiency, and inaccessibility to modern medicine have forced over a million rural community members in Tana River and Garissa Counties to use Clerodendrum rupicolasynonym Rotheca rupicola (Verde) Verde
(Tiire/Harmale – Somali and Marasisa – Boran languages) to treat various ailments. Considering these challenges, this study documents the propagation abilities of Clerodendrum rupicola from big and small stem and root cuttings. Half of the cuttings were treated with Anatome rooting hormone, while the other half were planted without hormones in a randomized complete block design at the Garissa University Memorial Botanical Garden.
Germination percentage, number of shoots, shoot length and number of leaves were observed for two months. The results showed that 57% and 50% respectively of the big stems that were treated with rooting hormone and those without the hormone sprouted. Moreover,50% of small stems with or without rooting hormone sprouted. The roots recorded the lowest germination percentage of 6%. The results suggest that the stems of the C. rupicola have a higher propagative ability than the roots.
Though the small stem were able to sprout, the study shows that big stems are the most appropriate for propagation with or without hormone.
Keywords: Clerodendrum rupicola, medicinal value, propagation, sustainability, overuse, extinction