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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: Vinceae
Subtribus: Rauvolfiinae
Genus: Rauvolfia
Species: R. amsoniifolia – R. andina – R. anomala – R. aphlebia – R. atlantica – R. bahiensis – R. balansae – R. biauriculata – R. caffra – R. cambodiana – R. capixabae – R. capuronii – R. chaudocensis – R. cubana – R. decurva – R. dichotoma – R. gracilis – R. grandiflora – R. hookeri – R. insularis – R. javanica – R. kamarora – R. leptophylla – R. letouzeyi – R. ligustrina – R. linearifolia – R. littoralis – R. macrantha – R. mannii – R. mattfeldiana – R. maxima – R. media – R. micrantha – R. microcarpa – R. moluccana – R. mombasiana – R. moricandii – R. nana – R. nitida – R. nukuhivensis – R. obtusiflora – R. oligantha – R. pachyphylla – R. paraensis – R. paucifolia – R. pentaphylla – R. polyphylla – R. praecox – R. pruinosifolia – R. purpurascens – R. rhonhofiae – R. rivularis – R. rostrata – R. sachetiae – R. salicifolia – R. sanctorum – R. sandwicensis – R. schuelii – R. sellowii – R. semperflorens – R. serpentina – R. sevenetii – R. spathulata – R. sprucei – R. steyermarkii – R. sumatrana – R. tetraphylla – R. tiaolushanensis – R. verticillata – R. viridis – R. volkensii – R. vomitoria – R. weddeliana – R. woodsoniana

Nothospecies: R. × ivanovii

Rauvolfia L., Sp. Pl. 1: 208. (1753)

type species: Rauvolfia tetraphylla L., Sp. Pl. 1: 208 (1753)


Ophioxylon L., Sp. Pl.: 1034 (1753)
Dissolena Lour., Fl. Cochinch.: 95 (1790)
Cyrtosiphonia Miq., Fl. Ned. Ind. 2: 401 (1857)
Heurckia Müll.Arg., Flora 53: 168 (1870)
Podochrosia Baill., Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Paris 1: 750 (1888)


Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum 1: 208.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2017. Rauvolfia in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2017 Oct. 6. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2017. Rauvolfia. Published online. Accessed: Oct. 6 2017.

Rauvolfia (sometimes spelled Rauwolfia) is a genus of evergreen trees and shrubs, commonly known as devil peppers, in the family Apocynaceae. The genus is named to honor Leonhard Rauwolf. The genus can mainly be found in tropical regions of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and various oceanic islands.[3][4]


The International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants stipulates that the genus name was established by Carl Linnaeus in his 1753 book Species Plantarum,[5][6] which cites his earlier description[7] which states in Botanical Latin that the name is dedicated "to Leonhard Rauwolf": "Leon. Rauvolfio". Although some subsequent authors hypercorrected the Classical Latin letter "v" to a modern "w", this is not accepted by the code of nomenclature.[8]
Chemical constituents

Rauvolfia serpentina, commonly known as Indian snakeroot or sarpagandha, contains many indole alkaloids.[9]
Medicinal uses

Reserpine is an alkaloid first isolated from R. serpentina and was widely used as an antihypertensive drug[10]

Rauvolfia serpentina is declining in the wild due to collection for its medicinal uses.[11] Consequently, it is listed in CITES Appendix II.[12] Rauvolfia vomitoria is a highly invasive species in Hawaiʻi, and is capable of establishing dense monotypic stands.

Species include:[3]

Rauvolfia amsoniifolia A.DC. - Philippines, Sulawesi, Maluku, Lesser Sunda Islands
Rauvolfia andina Markgr. - Peru
Rauvolfia anomala Rapini & I.Koch - Mato Grosso
Rauvolfia aphlebia (Standl.) A.H.Gentry - Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia
Rauvolfia bahiensis A.DC. - E Brazil
Rauvolfia balansae (Baill.) Boiteau - New Caledonia
Rauvolfia biauriculata Müll.Arg. - Cuba, Haiti, Lesser Antilles, Trinidad & Tobago
Rauvolfia caffra Sond., 1850 - Africa from Togo east to Tanzania, south to Cape Province
Rauvolfia capixabae I.Koch & Kin.-Gouv - Bahia + Espírito Santo in Brazil
Rauvolfia capuronii Markgr. - Madagascar
Rauvolfia chaudocensis Pierre ex Pit. - S Vietnam
Rauvolfia cubana A.DC. - Cuba; naturalized in Yunnan
Rauvolfia decurva Hook.f. - India
Rauvolfia dichotoma K.Schum. - São Tomé
Rauvolfia gracilis I.Koch & Kin.-Gouv. - Rondônia, Mato Grosso
Rauvolfia grandiflora Mart. ex A.DC. - E Brazil
Rauvolfia hookeri S.R.Sriniv. & Chithra - S India
Rauvolfia indosinensis Pichon - Cambodia, S Vietnam
Rauvolfia insularis Markgr. - Palau
Rauvolfia × ivanovii Granda & V.R.Fuentes - Cuba (R. ligustrina × R. viridis)
Rauvolfia javanica Koord. & Valeton - Java, Sumatra, Lesser Sunda Islands
Rauvolfia kamarora Hendrian - Sulawesi
Rauvolfia leptophylla A.S.Rao - Colombia, Venezuela
Rauvolfia letouzeyi Leeuwenb. - Gabon, Republic of Congo
Rauvolfia ligustrina Willd. ex Roem. & Schult. - from Mexico + Cuba south to Paraguay + NE Argentina
Rauvolfia linearifolia Britton & P.Wilson - E Cuba
Rauvolfia littoralis Rusby - Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador
Rauvolfia macrantha K.Schum. ex Markgr. - Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, N Brazil, Peru
Rauvolfia mannii Stapf, 1894 - tropical Africa from Ivory Coast to Tanzania, south to Malawi
Rauvolfia mattfeldiana Markgr. - Brazil
Rauvolfia maxima Markgr. - Venezuela
Rauvolfia media Pichon, 1947 - Comoros, Madagascar
Rauvolfia micrantha Hook.f., 1882 - SW India, S Thailand, Vietnam
Rauvolfia microcarpa Hook.f. - Myanmar
Rauvolfia moluccana Markgr. - Maluku, New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago
Rauvolfia mombasiana Stapf - Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique
Rauvolfia moricandii A.DC. - E Brazil
Rauvolfia nana E.A.Bruce - E Angola, Zambia, S Zaïre
Rauvolfia nitida Jacq. - West Indies, Panama, S Mexico
†Rauvolfia nukuhivensis (Fosberg & Sachet) Lorence & Butaud -French Polynesia but extinct
Rauvolfia obtusiflora A.DC. - Madagascar
Rauvolfia oligantha Hendrian - C Java
Rauvolfia pachyphylla Markgr. - Venezuela, Guyana
Rauvolfia paraensis Ducke - N Brazil, Peru, Suriname, French Guiana
Rauvolfia paucifolia A.DC. - E Brazil
Rauvolfia peguana Hook.f. - Myanmar
Rauvolfia pentaphylla Ducke - N Brazil, Peru
Rauvolfia polyphylla Benth. - S Venezuela, N Brazil
Rauvolfia praecox K.Schum. ex Markgr. - W Brazil, Peru, Bolivia
Rauvolfia pruinosifolia I.Koch & Kin.-Gouv. - Minas Gerais
Rauvolfia purpurascens Standl. - Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador
Rauvolfia rhonhofiae Markgr. - Ecuador
Rauvolfia rivularis Merr. - Myanmar
Rauvolfia rostrata Markgr. - Maluku, New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago
Rauvolfia sachetiae Fosberg, 1981 - Marquesas in French Polynesia
Rauvolfia salicifolia Griseb. - Cuba
Rauvolfia sanctorum Woodson - Colombia, Peru
Rauvolfia sandwicensis A.DC., 1844 - Hawaiian Islands (Hawaiʻi)[13]
Rauvolfia schuelii Speg. - Bolivia, NW Argentina
Rauvolfia sellowii Müll.Arg. - Brazil, Paraguay, Misiones Province of Argentina
Rauvolfia semperflorens (Müll.Arg.) Schltr. - New Caledonia
Rauvolfia serpentina (L.) Benth. ex Kurz, 1877 - Indian Subcontinent, China, Southeast Asia
Rauvolfia sevenetii Boiteau - New Caledonia
Rauvolfia spathulata Boiteau - New Caledonia
Rauvolfia sprucei Müll.Arg. - S Venezuela, Peru, N Brazil
Rauvolfia steyermarkii Woodson - Táchira in Venezuela
Rauvolfia sumatrana Jack, 1820 - Guangdong, Thailand, Myanmar, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Malaysia,, Indonesia, Philippines
Rauvolfia tetraphylla L., 1753 - Also called Rauwolfia carescens; from Mexico and West Indies to Peru; naturalized in China, Indian Subcontinent, Andaman Islands, Vietnam, Queensland
Rauvolfia tiaolushanensis Tsiang - Hainan in S China
Rauvolfia verticillata (Lour.) Baill., 1895 - China, Indian Subcontinent, Indochina, Malaysia,, Indonesia, Philippines
Rauvolfia vietnamensis Lý - Vietnam
Rauvolfia viridis Willd. ex Roem. & Schult. - West Indies, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela
Rauvolfia volkensii (K.Schum.) Stapf - Tanzania
Rauvolfia vomitoria Afzel., 1817 - tropical Africa from Senegal east to Sudan + Tanzania, south to Angola; naturalized in China, Bangladesh, Puerto Rico
Rauvolfia weddeliana Müll.Arg. - Brazil, Paraguay
Rauvolfia woodsoniana Standl. - Costa Rica

formerly included[3]

Rauvolfia celastrifolia Baker = Stephanostegia hildebrandtii Baill.
Rauvolfia dentata Tafalla ex D.Don = Citharexylum dentatum D.Don
Rauvolfia flexuosa Ruiz & Pav. = Citharexylum flexuosum (Ruiz & Pav.) D.Don
Rauvolfia glabra Cav. = Vallesia glabra (Cav.) Link
Rauvolfia laevigata Willd. ex Roem. & Schult. = Tabernaemontana amygdalifolia Jacq.
Rauvolfia longifolia A.DC. = Alstonia longifolia (A.DC.) Pichon
Rauvolfia macrophylla Ruiz & Pav. 1799 not Stapf 1894 = Citharexylum flexuosum (Ruiz & Pav.) D.Don
Rauvolfia oppositifolia Spreng. 1822 not Sessé & Moc. 1888 = Tabernaemontana oppositifolia (Spreng.) Urb.
Rauvolfia pubescens Willd. ex Roem. & Schult. = Citharexylum quitense Spreng.
Rauvolfia spinosa Cav. = Citharexylum flexuosum (Ruiz & Pav.) D.Don
Rauvolfia stenophylla Donn.Sm. = Alstonia longifolia (A.DC.) Pichon
Rauvolfia strempelioides Griseb. = Strempeliopsis strempelioides (Griseb.) Benth. ex B.D.Jacks.
Rauvolfia striata Poir. = Ochrosia borbonica J.F.Gmel.


"Rauvolfia L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2003-03-14. Archived from the original on 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
"Rauvolfia L." TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
"World Checklist of Selected Plant Families". Retrieved May 18, 2014.
Flora of China Vol. 16 Page 157 萝芙木属 luo fu mu shu Rauvolfia Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 208. 1753.
(McNeill et al. 2012, Article 38.1)
Linnaeus, C. (1753), "Rauvolfia tetraphylla", Species plantarum: exhibentes plantas rite cognitas, ad genera relatas, cum differentiis specificis, nominibus trivialibus, synonymis selectis, locis natalibus, secundum systema sexuale digestas, 1, Stockholm: Lars Salvius, p. 208
Linnaeus, C. (1737), "Rauvolfia g. pl. 179", Hortus Cliffortianus, Amsterdam, p. 75
(McNeill et al. 2012, Articles 60 and 61, particularly 60.1)
Lobay D (2016). "Rauwolfia in the Treatment of Hypertension". Integr Med (Encinitas). 14 (3): 40–46. PMC 4566472. PMID 26770146.
"India's wild medicinal plants threatened by over-exploitation". International Union for Conservation of Nature. 2008-11-24. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
"Appendices I, II and III" (PDF). Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species. 2009-05-22. Retrieved 2009-11-11.

Little Jr., Elbert L.; Roger G. Skolmen (1989). "Hao" (PDF). United States Forest Service. [permanent dead link]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rauvolfia.
Wikispecies has information related to Rauvolfia.
McNeill, J.; Barrie, F.R.; Buck, W.R.; Demoulin, V.; Greuter, W.; Hawksworth, D.L.; Herendeen, P.S.; Knapp, S.; Marhold, K.; Prado, J.; Prud'homme Van Reine, W.F.; Smith, G.F.; Wiersema, J.H.; Turland, N.J. (2012). International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (Melbourne Code) adopted by the Eighteenth International Botanical Congress Melbourne, Australia, July 2011. Regnum Vegetabile 154. A.R.G. Gantner Verlag KG. ISBN 978-3-87429-425-6.

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