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Useful Tropical Plants

Rauvolfia tetraphylla

L.

Apocynaceae


The generic name is often mis-spelt as Rauwolfia[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Rauvolfia canescens L.

Rauvolfia heterophylla Willd.

Rauvolfia hirsuta Jacq.

Rauvolfia odontophora Van Heurck & Müll.Arg.

Rauvolfia subpubescens L

Rauvolfia tomentosa Jacq.

Common Name:

Rauvolfia tetraphylla
Fruiting stem
Photograph by: Reinaldo Aguilar
Creative Commons License
Rauvolfia tetraphylla Rauvolfia tetraphylla Rauvolfia tetraphylla

General Information

Rauvolfia tetraphylla is usually a much-branched shrub growing up to 1 metre tall, but sometimes becoming a small tree up to 4 metres tall[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
]. The plant contains a copious white latex[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].
The plant is often gathered from the wild for local medicinal use and as the source of a dyestuff and ink. It has been introduced into India, China and Vietnam where it has been experimentally cultivated as a substitute for R. Serpentaria in medicinal use[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. It is grown as a commercial source of the alkaloid reserpine, used in allopathic medicine[
746
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 43
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
1956
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical publication, it includes a treatment of the genus Rauvolfia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Known Hazards

The fruit is generally considered to be poisonous[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Botanical References

331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
,
746
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 43
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
1956
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical publication, it includes a treatment of the genus Rauvolfia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

S. America - Peru, Colombia, Colombia, Venezuela and French Guiana, north to the Caribbean and through Central America to Mexico.

Habitat

Wet to dry thickets, often in second growth or in waste ground or old fields, usually at elevations below 500 metres, but also extending to 2,000 metres in Guatemala[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitShrub
Height1.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details


Succeeds in full sun to partial shade, preferring a rich, well-drained soil. The plant is known to flourish equally well in much-exposed, sunny, sandy soils near the seashore and also in wet and marshy, shady grasslands at elevations of about 2,000 metres[
746
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 43
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
1956
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical publication, it includes a treatment of the genus Rauvolfia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The plant can commence flowering in its first year from seed[
746
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 43
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
1956
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical publication, it includes a treatment of the genus Rauvolfia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It can flower and fruit almost all year round[
746
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 43
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
1956
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical publication, it includes a treatment of the genus Rauvolfia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The latex, roots, leaves, bark and fruits are all used in traditional medicine in S. America[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. The roots are frequently used in India as a substitute of Rauvolfia serpentina for medicinal purposes[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

The latex in the plant is said to be cathartic, diuretic, emetic and expectorant[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. It is used for treating dropsy and various other diseases[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
493
Title
Flora of Yucatan
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; Chicago
Year
1930
ISBN
 
Description
The first flora that was attempted for this area in 1930, so it is obviously lacking information and the Botanical names can be out of date. Still, an excellent work and it records many plant uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is applied to granulated eyelids[
493
Title
Flora of Yucatan
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; Chicago
Year
1930
ISBN
 
Description
The first flora that was attempted for this area in 1930, so it is obviously lacking information and the Botanical names can be out of date. Still, an excellent work and it records many plant uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The plant is commonly used in the treatment of malaria in Guatemala, where it is also one of the reputed remedies for snake bites[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

The plant contains two alkaloids, to which the names Chalcupine A and B have been given[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].
The plant is a good source of the alkaloid reserpine, which is used in making allopathic medicines. It is harvested commercially for this purpose[
746
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 43
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
1956
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical publication, it includes a treatment of the genus Rauvolfia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The roots yield the alkaloid deserpidine, which is an antihypertensive and tranquilizer[
372
Title
Flowers of India
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.flowersofindia.net/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Good quality photos and terse details on almost 2,000 species and cultivars.
].

Other Uses

A black dye is obtained from the fruit[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].
The juice from the fruit is used as a substitute for ink[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Propagation

Seed -

Comments

clara 27th March 2016 11:04
it is available in koovathur area,cheyyur taluk,kancheepuram d.t.

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