Rauvolfia serpentina (L.) Benth. ex Kurz.

Rauvolfia serpentina (L.) Benth. ex Kurz.

Family

Apocynaceae

Synonyms

Ophioxylon serpentinum L.

Vernacular Names

English

Snakewood.

Indonesia

Pule pandak (Javanese).

Thailand

Khem daeng (Northern), ra yom (Central), ka yom (Peninsular).

Vietnam

Ba g[aj]c [aas] d[ooj], ba g[aj]c hoa d[or], ba g[aj]c thu[oos]c.

Geographical Distributions

Rauvolfia serpentina is found in India, Sri Lanka, Indo-China, southern China (Yunnan), Thailand, northern Peninsular Malaysia, Java and the Lesser Sunda Islands (Flores, Timor); cultivated in Pakistan, Nepal, India, Java, Ambon, Vietnam, southern China and Georgia.

Description

Rauvolfia serpentina is a small shrub that can reach up to 0.6(-1) m tall where the prominent tuberous is usually with an unbranched root and usually unbranched slender stem.

The leaves are arranged opposite or 3(-5)-verticillate, oblance-shaped or obovate, and measuring 7-16 cm x 3-9 cm while the petiole is up to 1.5 cm long.

The flowers with narrow cylindrical tube are much longer than the sepal.

The fruits consist of 1-2 spherical drupelets that are united at the base. 

Ecology / Cultivation

Rauvolfia serpentina occurs in sunny or shaded places in well-drained rainforests and secondary thickets up to 2100 m altitude, sometimes as a weed in sugar cane fields.

Line Drawing / PhotographRauvolfia_serpentina

 

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References

1.       Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1.