Krus-krusan is a small tree, 3 to 6 meters high. Leaves occur in fascicles at the nodes of the branches. Leaves are striking in appearance, with its winged leaflike stalk, about 1 cm wide, at the tip of whhich are three leaflets, shorter than the leaflike petiole. Leaflets are broadest near the end, with a notched tip and a wedged-shaped base, 4 to 7 cm long, without individual stalks. Flowers are borne singly on the trunk, brownish and rank-scented. Calyx is split into two lobes, about 1.5 cm long. Corolla is somewhat bell-shaped, about 6 cm long, 4 cm wide, with 5 short lobes. Fruit is hard, rounded, and about 5 cm in diameter.
Cultivated for ornamental purposes.
Introduced from Mexico during Spanish colonial times.
Analysis of the pulp yielded: mineral salts, fixed oil 8%, resin, glucose, tannic acid, peptic principles, dextrine and cellulose.
Considered astringent, anti-hemorrhagic, pectoral.
Decoction of leaves employed as astringent and anti-hemorrhagic.
Used for hemoptysis and dysentery.
Pulp taken internally as a pectoral and for diseases of the kidney.
Pulp or decoction of leaves used for diarrhea. Decoction also used for hair growth or to prevent it from falling.
• Iridoids: Study yielded four new 11-nor-iridoids from the pulp of the fruits of Crescentia alata.
• Antimicrobial: Study of 18 crude extracts from six different plants evaluated for potential antimicrobial activity against S aureus, E faecalis, S pneumonia, S pyogenes, E coli and C albicans. The extracts of G oxyphyllum, G americanum and Crescentia alata possessed strong antimicrobial activity against the pathogens tested.