The generic name is often mis-spelt as Rauwolfia[
Rauvolfia angustifolia Salisb.
Rauvolfia lanceolata A.DC.
Rauvolfia nitidissima Steud.
Rauvolfia pulaparia Roxb. ex Sm.
Rauvolfia nitida is an evergreen shrub or a tree with an open, rounded crown; it can grow 2 - 15 metres tall. The bole can be up to 45cm in diameter[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of wood. It is sometimes planted near the coast to provide shelter from the wind.
The fruits are reputedly poisonous[
C. America - Panama; southern N. America - Mexico; Caribbean - Cuba to Trinidad.
Coastal and limestone forests and thickets[
]. Sandy and stony soil, on hills, in the forests and in pastures, at elevations from sea-level to 600 metres[
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Probably requires a sunny position[
The plant flowers and produces fruit almost all year round[
A decoction of the bark and leaves has been used as a gargle and internally administered in intestinal disorders and in syphilitic infections[
The bark is used as an unguent on skin eruptions[
The plant is an efficient windbreak when planted near the sea shore[
The heartwood is a clear yellow; the sapwood light brown. The wood is light in weight and hard. It is used for posts and has been suggested for making furniture and musical instruments[
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