Rauvolfia serpentina

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Rauvolfia serpentina

Description

Shrub 0.3-1.5 m high, unbranched or rarely branched. Leaves confined to the apex of the branchlets, in whorls of 3 or 4 (or 5), very rarely opposite; Inflorescence 3.8-9(-14.1) cm long, terminal cymes, sometimes also axillary, usually solitary, congested, 20-more than 35-flowered; Sepals narrowly ovate, 1.3-3.5 by 0.4-0.8 mm, 3.2-4.8 times as long as wide, apex acute, glabrous. Stamens inserted at 7.5-12 mm from base, 0.6-0.8 of tube length; Fruit black to reddish black when mature, syncarpous, cordate, mericarps connate at the base for 3-4 mm, or 0.55-0.65 of their length, sometimes only 1 carpel developing; Seeds 1 in each half, obliquely ovoid, 3-4 by 2.2-3 mm, 1.2-1.4 times as long as wide, acute, glabrous.

Distribution

Asia-Tropical: Cambodia (Cambodia present); India present; Jawa (Jawa present); Laos (Laos present); Lesser Sunda Is. present; Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia present); Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka present); Thailand (Thailand present); Vietnam (Vietnam present), Burma present, Nepal present
India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, LaosCambodia, Vietnam; in Malesia: Peninsular Malaysia, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands.

Uses

Most of the uses described in the introductory chapters for Rauvolfia as a whole apply to this species. These include the treatment of snake bites, mental illnesses and epilepsy. In other areas it has been used as a treatment for high blood pressure, for a wide range of mental health problems, liver diseases, dysentery and in childbirth. It has also been used externally for eye problems and as a treatment for wounds.

Citation

Hook.f. - in Fl. Brit. India. 1882: 632
Miq. - in Fl. Ned. Ind. 1857: 404
Boerl. - in Handl. Fl. Ned. Ind. 1899: 393
H. Huber - in Abeyw. (ed.), Revis. Handb. Fl. Ceylon 1. 1973: 15
Markgr. - in Blumea. 1984: 161
M. Gangop. & Chakr. - in J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. 1992: 52
Pradhan - in Singh et al., Fl. Maharashtra State Dicot. 2. 2001: 325
K. Heyne, Nutt. Pl. Ned.-Ind.,, ed. 2. 1927: 1286
Whitmore et al., Checklist Bali, Nusa Tenggara Timor. 1989: 14
Kurz - in PROSEA. 1999: 430
D.J. Middleton - in Fl. Thailand. 1999: 53
Hendrian & D.J. Middleton - in Blumea. 1999: 460
Backer & Bakh.f. - in Fl. Java. 1965: 231
Koord. - in Exkurs.-Fl. Java. 1912: 74
Merr., Interpr. Herb. Amboin. 1917: 430
Kurz - in Dassan. (ed.), Revis. Handb. Fl. Ceylon 4. 1983: 49
Masam., Enum. Phan. Born. 1942: 623
Monach. - in Econ. Bot. 1954: 349
Kerr - in Craib, Fl. Siam. 2. 1939: 430
M.F. Watson - in Fl. Bhutan. 1999: 668
Koord.-Schum., Syst. Verz. 1912: 175
Miq. - in Fl. Ned. Ind. 1857: 404
Bakh.f. - in Blumea. 1950: 386