The chemical investigation of Ledebouria zebrina and Scilla natalensis.
Ledebouria zebrina and Scilla natalensis Planch were the two species investigated in this work. Ledebouria zebrina belongs to the Hyacinthaceae (Liliacea sensu lato) and to this date, the chemical composition of this species has not been investigated. Members of this family are found in southern Africa. The Ledebouria genus was formerly classified as part of the Scilla genus from which a large member of naturally occuring oxygen heterocycles known as homoisoflavanones have been isolated. In this work the bulbs of L. zebrina were investigated and five compounds were isolated. Three compounds were of the homoisoflavanone type while the remaining two belong to the eucosterol type triterpernoids. Scilla natalensis Planch also belongs to the Hyacinthaceae family. Previous chemical investigations of the bulbs of this plant yield two homoisoflavanones of the 3-benzyl-4- chromanone type. Members of this family are mostly found in the Eastern parts of the country, ranging from the Eastern Cape to Mpumalanga province including Lesotho and Swaziland. The bulbs of this plant were investigated and this yielded ten compounds. The structures of the isolated compounds were elucidated using spectroscopic methods.