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Pakistan | Family List | Apocynaceae | Rauvolfia

Rauvolfia serpentina (Linn.) Benth. in Gen. Pl. 2:697. 1876. Hook. f., l.c.; Talbot, l.c.; Parker, For. Fl. Punj. Haz. & Delhi 331. 1921; Bailey, l.c.; Cooke. l.c.

English: Serpentine Wood.

Vern.: Chhota Chand, Asrol.


  • Ophioxylon serpentinum Linn.

    A small shrub 50-60 cm high, branches simple and glabrous. Leaves whorled, usually 3, ovate-lanceolate, elliptic-lanceolate, 7-16 x 2.5-5 cm, acute or acuminate, entire, dark green above and pale green beneath, membranous, with 8-12 pairs of lateral nerves, petiole 5-15 mm long, with glands in the leaf axils. Inflorescence of terminal or axillary, many-flowered much branched cymes, peduncle 2.5-10 cm long, pedicel c. 5 mm long, red, bract minute, acute, triangular, bright red. Flowers pink, c. 1 cm across. Calyx c. 2.5 mm long, ovate or lanceolate, acute, equalling the tube. Corolla tube 8-12 mm long, inflated in the middle, throat hairy, lobes spreading, 4 mm long, overlapping to the left in bud, stamens inserted in the middle of the corolla. Disc conspicuous, cupshaped, style filiform, stigma capitate. Fruit c. 8 mm in diameter, 2 separate or in two lobes, red, ovoid, pointed, turning shining black when fully mature.

    Fl. Per.: July-September.

    Type: Described from Ceylon. (Zeylona) Herbarium Hermann (BM).

    Distribution: Tropical Himalayas to Sikkim, Assam, Deccan Penninsula, South East Punjab. Cultivated in Karachi.

    A concotion of the root is hypnotic, sedative and reduces blood pressure; it is also employed in labours to increase uterine contraction.


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