Viburnum prunifolium L

Black Haw Stem Bark

Viburni prunifolii Cortex Caprifoliaceae

Black haw is not widely known in North America and Europe, though it has been used in a manner that is similar to that for cramp bark, Viburnum opalus, and for as long a period of a time. Like cramp bark, black haw has a long history of use by Native Americans and is similarly used as a uterine tonic; however, it is not as prevalently used as a smooth muscle relaxant as cramp bark is. These two species can be confused in trade.

Surface view: Cork consists of reddish brown polygonal cells.

Transverse section: Cork of reddish brown polygonal cells with occasional embedded sclereids; cortex consists of slightly thickened parenchyma cells containing oil

droplets, infrequent fibers, and abundant calcium oxalate cluster crystals 10-30 ^m diameter and calcium oxalate prisms up to 20 ^m long—cortex may be absent; secondary phloem consists of parenchyma containing oil droplets and calcium oxalate prisms up to 20 ^m long; large spheroidal groups of yellow sclereids occur; medullary rays are one or two cells broad.

Longitudinal section: Spindle-like fibers in the primary cortex; groups of sclereids are highly elongated axi-ally; calcium oxalate prisms are arranged in rows.

Starch: Infrequent in the cortex, may be absent; simple, subspherical granules are 2-6 |im diameter, with an indistinct hilum.

Powder: Aggregates of yellow sclereids; parenchyma with calcium oxalate cluster crystals or prisms and oil droplets; fragments of the cork; infrequent fibers.

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