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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Gentianales

Familia: Apocynaceae
Subfamilia: Rauvolfioideae
Tribus: Carisseae
Genus: Acokanthera
Species: A. laevigata – A. lycioides – A. oblongifolia – A. oppositifolia – A. pubescens – A. rotundata – A. schimperi

Acokanthera G.Don (1837)

Type species: A. lamarckii G.Don, nom. illeg. = A. oppositifolia
(Lam.) L.E.Codd, vide L.E.Codd, 1961.


Toxicophlaea Harv., London J. Bot. 1: 24 (1842).


African Plants Database (version 3.4.0). Acokanthera. Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève and South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. Accessed: 2009-08-22.
Codd, L.E.W. 1961. Bothalia 7: 448.
Don, G. 1837. Gen. Hist. 4: 485.
Farr, E.R. & Zijlstra, G. (eds.) 1996 onwards. Acokanthera in Index Nominum Genericorum (Plantarum). Accessed: 2009 Aug 22.

Vernacular names
Afrikaans: Gifbome
English: Poison-bushes
suomi: Vahapensaat

Acokanthera is a genus of flowering plants in the family Apocynaceae. It comprises 5 species and is generally restricted to Africa, although Acokanthera schimperi also occurs in Yemen.[1] Its sap contains the deadly cardiotoxic glycoside ouabain. The sap is among the most commonly used in arrow poisons,[2][3] including those used for poaching elephant.[4]
Acokanthera schimperi
from Köhler's Medizinal Pflanzen 1897


Acokanthera laevigata Kupicha - Tanzania, Malawi
Acokanthera oblongifolia (Hochst.) Benth. & Hook.f. ex B.D.Jacks. - Mozambique, South Africa
Acokanthera oppositifolia (Lam.) Codd - widespread from Cape Province north to Zaire and Tanzania
Acokanthera rotundata (Codd) Kupicha - Zimbabwe, Swaziland, eastern South Africa
Acokanthera schimperi (A.DC.) Schweinf. - Yemen, Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Socotra, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zaire


Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
Gould, George M. (1905). Dictionary of New Medical Terms. London: Bailliere Tindall & Cox. pp. 36. "poison."
Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors), 2008. Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 11(1). Medicinal plants 1. PROTA Foundation, Wageningen, Netherlands / Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands / CTA, Wageningen, Netherlands. 791 pp.
Kinloch, Bruce (1988). The Shamba Raiders. Hampshire: Ashford. pp. 21. ISBN 1852530359.

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