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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: Tabernaemontaneae
Subtribus: Tabernaemontaninae
Genus: Tabernaemontana
Sectiones (8): T. sect. Bonafousia – T. sect. Camerunia – T. sect. Ervatamia – T. sect. Pagiantha – T. sect. Pandaca – T. sect. Peschiera – T. sect. Rejoua – T. sect. Tabernaemontana

Species: T. abbreviata – T. africana – T. alba – T. alfaroi – T. allenii – T. alternifolia – T. amplifolia – T. amygdalifolia – T. angulata – T. antheonycta – T. apoda – T. arborea – T. attenuata – T. aurantiaca – T. bouquetii – T. bovina – T. brachyantha – T. brasiliensis – T. bufalina – T. calcarea – T. capuronii – T. catharinensis – T. cerea – T. cerifera – T. chocoensis – T. ciliata – T. citrifolia – T. coffeoides – T. columbiensis – T. contorta – T. cordata – T. coriacea – T. corymbosa – T. crassa – T. crassifolia – T. cumata – T. cuspidata – T. cymosa – T. debrayi – T. dichotoma – T. disticha – T. divaricata – T. donnell-smithii – T. eglandulosa – T. elegans – T. eubracteata – T. eusepala – T. eusepaloides – T. flavicans – T. gamblei – T. glabra – T. glandulosa – T. grandiflora – T. granulosa – T. hallei – T. hannae – T. heterophylla – T. humblotii – T. hystrix – T. inconspicua – T. laeta – T. lagenaria – T. laurifolia – T. leeuwenbergiana – T. letestui – T. linkii – T. litoralis – T. longipes – T. lorifera – T. macrocalyx – T. macrocarpa – T. markgrafiana – T. maxima – T. mixtecana – T. mocquerysi – T. muricata – T. oaxacana – T. ochroleuca – T. odoratissima – T. oppositifolia – T. ovalifolia – T. pachysiphon – T. palustris – T. panamensis – T. pandacaqui – T. pauciflora – T. pauli – T. peduncularis – T. penduliflora – T. persicariifolia – T. peschiera – T. phymata – T. polyneura – T. psorocarpa – T. remota – T. retusa – T. robinsonii – T. rostrata – T. rupicola – T. salomonensis – T. salzmannii – T. sambiranensis – T. sananho – T. sessilifolia – T. simulans – T. siphilitica – T. solanifolia – T. sphaerocarpa – T. stapfiana – T. stellata – T. stenoptera – T. stenosiphon – T. ternifolia – T. thurstonii – T. tomentosa – T. undulata – T. vanheurckii – T. ventricosa – T. venusta – T. wullschlaegelii

Tabernaemontana L., Sp. Pl. 1: 210 (1753)

Type species: Tabernaemontana citrifolia L., Sp. Pl. 1: 210 (1753)


Clerkia Neck., Elem. Bot. 1: 251 (1790), opus utique oppr.
Pandaca Noronha ex Thouars, Gen. Nov. Madagasc.: 10 (1806)
Reichardia Dennst., Schlüssel Hortus Malab.: 32 (1818)
Rejoua Gaudich., Voy. Uranie: 451 (1826)
Rejoua aurantiaca Gaudich.
Conopharyngia G.Don, Gen. Hist. 4: 94 (1837)
Bonafousia A.DC. in Candolle, Prodr. 8: 359 (1844)
Peschiera A.DC. in Candolle, Prodr. 8: 360 (1844)
Stemmadenia Benth., Bot. Voy. Sulphur: 124 (1845)
Stemmadenia glabra Benth.
Odontostigma A.Rich. in la Sagra, Hist. Fis. Cuba, Bot. 11: 86 (1850)
Anacampta Miers, Apocyn. S. Amer.: 64 (1878)
Anartia Miers, Apocyn. S. Amer.: 79 (1878)
Codonemma Miers, Apocyn. S. Amer.: 72 (1878)
Merizadenia Miers, Apocyn. S. Amer.: 78 (1878)
Phrissocarpus Miers, Apocyn. S. Amer.: 71 (1878)
Taberna Miers, Apocyn. S. Amer.: 61 (1878)
Ochronerium Baill., Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Paris 1: 774 (1889)
Gabunia K.Schum., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 23: 224 (1896)
Ervatamia (A.DC.) Stapf in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 4(1): 126 (1902)
Pterotaberna Stapf in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 4(1): 125 (1902)
Oistanthera Markgr., Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 12: 550 (1935)
Pagiantha Markgr., Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 12: 546 (1935)
Testudipes Markgr., Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 12: 550 (1935)
Stenosolen (Müll.Arg.) Markgr., Meded. Afd. Handelsmus. Kolon. Inst. 30: 455 (1937)
Domkeocarpa Markgr., Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 15: 421 (1941)
Quadricasaea Woodson, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 28: 271 (1941)
Hazunta Pichon, Notul. Syst. (Paris) 13: 207 (1948)
Muntafara Pichon, Notul. Syst. (Paris) 13: 209 (1948)
Pandacastrum Pichon, Notul. Syst. (Paris) 13: 209 (1948)
Woytkowskia Woodson, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 47: 74 (1960)
Capuronetta Markgr., Adansonia, n.s., 12: 61 (1972)
Camerunia (Pichon) Boiteau, Adansonia, n.s., 16: 274 (1976)
Type species: Camerunia penduliflora (K.Schum.) Boiteau
Leptopharyngia (Stapf) Boiteau, Adansonia, n.s., 16: 276 (1976)
Protogabunia Boiteau, Adansonia, n.s., 16: 276 (1976).
Sarcopharyngia (Stapf) Boiteau, Adansonia, n.s., 16: 272 (1976)

Native distribution areas:

West Tropical Africa
Benin, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierre Leone, Togo.
West-Central Tropical Africa
Burundi, Cabinda, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gulf of Guinea Islands, Rwanda, Zaïre.
Northeast Tropical Africa
Somalia, Sudan.
East Tropical Africa
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda.
South Tropical Africa
Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Southern Africa
KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, Northern Provinces.
Western Indian Ocean
Comoros, Mauritius, Madagascar, Réunion, Seychelles.
China South-Central, Hainan, China Southeast.
Eastern Asia
Indian Subcontinent
Assam, Bangladesh, East Himalaya, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, West Himalaya.
Andaman Islands, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nicobar Islands, Thailand, Vietnam.
Borneo, Jawa, Lesser Sunda Islands, Malaya, Maluku, Philippines, Sulawesi, Sumatera.
Bismarck Archipelago, New Guinea, Solomon Islands.
New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia.
Southwestern Pacific
Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa, Santa Cruz Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu.
South-Central Pacific
Society Islands, Tuamotu.
Northwestern Pacific
Caroline Islands, Marianas.
Northern America
Southeastern U.S.A.
Mexico Central, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southwest, Mexico Southeast.
Southern America
Central America
Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama.
Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Southwest Caribbean, Trinidad-Tobago, Venezuelan Antilles, Windward Islands.
Northern South America
French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela.
Western South America
Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru.
Brazil West-Central, Brazil Northeast, Brazil Southeast, Brazil North, Brazil South.
Southern South America
Argentina Northeast, Paraguay, Uruguay.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition


Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum 1: 210.
A Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Madagascar 2008. 'eFloras. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA. 2009 Aug 21 [1].
Govaerts, R. et al. 2017. Tabernaemontana in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2017 Oct. 20. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2017. Tabernaemontana. Published online. Accessed: Oct. 20 2017.
Simões, A.O., Endress, M.E. & Conti, E. 2010. Systematics and character evolution of Tabernaemontaneae (Apocynaceae, Rauvolfioideae) based on molecular and morphological evidence. Taxon 59(3): 772-790. Full text PDF Reference page.

Vernacular names
English: Milkwood

Tabernaemontana is a genus of flowering plants in the family Apocynaceae. It has a pan-tropical distribution, found in Asia, Africa, Australia, North America, South America, and a wide assortment of oceanic islands.[1][2] These plants are evergreen shrubs and small trees growing to 1–15 m tall. The leaves are opposite, 3–25 cm long, with milky sap; hence it is one of the diverse plant genera commonly called "milkwood". The flowers are fragrant, white, 1–5 cm in diameter.

The cultivar T. divaricata cv. 'Plena', with doubled-petaled flowers, is a popular houseplant.

Some members of the genus Tabernaemontana are used as additives to some versions of the psychedelic drink ayahuasca;[3] the genus is known to contain ibogaine (e.g. in bëcchëte, T. undulata), conolidine (present in minor concentration in T. divaricata)[4] and voacangine (T. alba, T. arborea, T. africana).[5] Because of presence of coronaridine and voacangine in mexican Tabernaemontana species,[5] those plant could be used in economic production of anti-addictive alkaloids especially ibogaine and ibogamine.[6] T. sananho preparations are used in native medicine to treat eye injuries and as an anxiolytic, and T. heterophylla is used to treat dementia in the elderly.[7] Conolidine may be developed as a new class of pain killer.[8] Caterpillars of the oleander hawk-moth (Daphnis nerii) have been found to feed on the pinwheelflower (T. divaricata).



The genus was described by Carl Linnaeus and published in Species Plantarum 1: 210–211 in 1753. The type species is T. citrifolia.


The genus name commemorates the "father of German botany" Jakob Theodor von Bergzabern, a.k.a. Jacobus Theodorus Tabernaemontanus, Tabernaemontanus being a compressed form of the original Medieval Latin name (Tabernae Montanus) of the botanist's home town of Bergzabern - both the Latin and the German forms of the town's name meaning "tavern(s) in the mountains".


Tabernaemontana abbreviata - Costa Rica
Tabernaemontana africana - tropical Africa
Tabernaemontana alba - Central America, Mexico, Florida, Cuba, Colombia
Tabernaemontana alfaroi - Costa Rica, Panama
Tabernaemontana allenii - Panama
Tabernaemontana alternifolia - S India
Tabernaemontana amplifolia - Colombia, Ecuador
Tabernaemontana amygdalifolia - S Mexico, Central America, Cuba, Haiti, NW South America
Tabernaemontana angulata - NE Brazil
Tabernaemontana antheonycta - Borneo
Tabernaemontana apoda - Cuba
Tabernaemontana arborea - S Mexico, C America, Colombia
Tabernaemontana attenuata - Trinidad, Venezuela, Suriname, French Guiana
Tabernaemontana aurantiaca - Maluku, Papuasia, Vanuatu, Micronesia
Tabernaemontana bouquetii - Congo, Gabon
Tabernaemontana bovina - S China, N Indochina
Tabernaemontana brachyantha - C Africa
Tabernaemontana brasiliensis - Brazil (Pará)
Tabernaemontana bufalina - S China, Indochina, W Malaysia
Tabernaemontana calcarea - Madagascar
Tabernaemontana capuronii - Madagascar
Tabernaemontana catharinensis - S South America
Tabernaemontana cerea - Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname
Tabernaemontana cerifera - New Caledonia
Tabernaemontana chocoensis - Colombia
Tabernaemontana ciliata - N Madagascar
Tabernaemontana citrifolia - West Indies
Tabernaemontana coffeoides - Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar
Tabernaemontana columbiensis - SE Central America, NW South America
Tabernaemontana contorta - Cameroon
Tabernaemontana cordata - Philippines (Mindanao)
Tabernaemontana coriacea - W Brazil, Peru, Bolivia
Tabernaemontana corymbosa - S China, SE Asia
Tabernaemontana crassa - W + C Africa
Tabernaemontana crassifolia - N Madagascar
Tabernaemontana cumata - Brazil ( Amazonas)
Tabernaemontana cuspidata - NW South America
Tabernaemontana cymosa - N South America
Tabernaemontana debrayi - N Madagascar
Tabernaemontana dichotoma - Sri Lanka
Tabernaemontana disticha - N South America
Tabernaemontana divaricata - S China, Himalayas, N Indochina
Tabernaemontana donnell-smithii - Mexico, Central America
Tabernaemontana eglandulosa - Benin to Angola
Tabernaemontana elegans - Somalia to South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal)
Tabernaemontana eubracteata - S Mexico, NE Central America
Tabernaemontana eusepala - NE Madagascar
Tabernaemontana eusepaloides - NE Madagascar
Tabernaemontana flavicans - NW South America
Tabernaemontana gamblei - S India
Tabernaemontana glabra - Mexico, Central America, NW South America
Tabernaemontana glandulosa - Guinea to Republic of the Congo
Tabernaemontana grandiflora - SE Central America, N South America
Tabernaemontana hallei - Gabon, Cameroon
Tabernaemontana hannae - Mexico (Chiapas), Costa Rica
Tabernaemontana heterophylla - SE Central America, N + C South America
Tabernaemontana humblotii - Madagascar
Tabernaemontana hystrix - Brazil
Tabernaemontana inconspicua - Cameroon to Angola
Tabernaemontana laeta - Brazil
Tabernaemontana lagenaria - Fr Guinea, N Brazil, Peru
Tabernaemontana laurifolia - Cayman Is., Jamaica
Tabernaemontana leeuwenbergiana - Colombia
Tabernaemontana letestui - Republic of the Congo, Gabon
Tabernaemontana linkii - N + W South America
Tabernaemontana litoralis - S Mexico, C America, Colombia
Tabernaemontana longipes - SE C America, NW S America
Tabernaemontana lorifera - N Brazil, Guyana, Suriname
Tabernaemontana macrocalyx - N South America
Tabernaemontana macrocarpa - Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Borneo, Sumatra
Tabernaemontana markgrafiana - Panama, NW South America
Tabernaemontana maxima - NW South America
Tabernaemontana mocquerysii - Madagascar
Tabernaemontana muricata - Brazil (Amazonas)
Tabernaemontana oaxacana - Mexico (Oaxaca)
Tabernaemontana ochroleuca - Jamaica
Tabernaemontana odoratissima - Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania
Tabernaemontana oppositifolia - Puerto Rico
Tabernaemontana ovalifolia - Jamaica
Tabernaemontana pachysiphon - tropical C + E + S Africa
Tabernaemontana palustris - NW South America
Tabernaemontana panamensis - Panama, Colombia, Ecuador
Tabernaemontana pandacaqui - S China, SE Asia, N Australia, Papuasia, Micronesia, French Polynesia
Tabernaemontana pauciflora - SE Asia
Tabernaemontana pauli - Costa Rica
Tabernaemontana peduncularis - Indochina, W Malaysia
Tabernaemontana penduliflora - Nigeria to Democratic Republic of the Congo
Tabernaemontana persicariifolia - Mauritius, Réunion
Tabernaemontana peschiera - N Brazil, Suriname, Fr Guinea
Tabernaemontana phymata - N Madagascar
Tabernaemontana polyneura - W Malaysia
Tabernaemontana psorocarpa - W Africa
Tabernaemontana remota -, Indonesia (Sulawesi, Rossel Island)
Tabernaemontana retusa - Madagascar
Tabernaemontana robinsonii - Colombia, Central America
Tabernaemontana rostrata - Bangladesh to Philippines
Tabernaemontana rupicola - N South America
Tabernaemontana salomonensis - Solomon Islands
Tabernaemontana salzmannii - E Brazil
Tabernaemontana sambiranensis - N Madagascar
Tabernaemontana sananho - N South America
Tabernaemontana sessilifolia - Madagascar
Tabernaemontana simulans - Panama, Costa Rica
Tabernaemontana siphilitica - N South America.
Tabernaemontana solanifolia - Brazil
Tabernaemontana sphaerocarpa - Java to Maluku
Tabernaemontana stapfiana - Burundi to Zimbabwe
Tabernaemontana stellata - Madagascar
Tabernaemontana stenoptera - Mexico (Colima)
Tabernaemontana stenosiphon - São Tomé and Príncipe
Tabernaemontana ternifolia - Philippines (Palawan)
Tabernaemontana thurstonii - Fiji
Tabernaemontana tomentosa - Mexico
Tabernaemontana undulata - Costa Rica to Fr Guiana + Bolivia
Tabernaemontana vanheurckii - NW South America
Tabernaemontana ventricosa - Nigeria to South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal)
Tabernaemontana venusta - Mexico (Oaxaca)
Tabernaemontana wullschlaegelii - Jamaica

See also

Psychedelic plants
Compounds found in Tabernaemontana


"WCSP (2013). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families". Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
Flora of China Vol. 16 Page 152 狗牙花属 gou ya hua shu Tabernaemontana Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 210. 1753.
Ott (1995)
Kam T.S., Pang H.S., Choo Y.M., Komiyama K. ,"Biologically active ibogan and vallesamine derivatives from Tabernaemontana divaricata."Chemistry & biodiversity 2004 1:4 (646-656)
Krengel F, Herrera Santoyo J, Olivera Flores TJ, Chávez Ávila VM, Pérez Flores FJ, Reyes Chilpa R (December 2016). "Quantification of Anti-Addictive Alkaloids Ibogaine and Voacangine in In Vivo- and In Vitro-Grown Plants of Two Mexican Tabernaemontana Species". Chemistry & Biodiversity. 13 (12): 1730–1737. doi:10.1002/cbdv.201600146. PMID 27448833.
Krengel F, Chevalier Q, Dickinson J, Herrera Santoyo J, Reyes Chilpa R (April 2019). "Metabolite Profiling of Anti-Addictive Alkaloids from Four Mexican Tabernaemontana Species and the Entheogenic African Shrub Tabernanthe iboga (Apocynaceae)". Chemistry & Biodiversity. 16 (4): e1800506. doi:10.1002/cbdv.201800506. PMID 30618175.
Rodrigues & Carlini (2006)

"Scientists create new type of painkiller". 23 May 2011.

Ott, Jonathan (1995): In: Ayahuasca Analogues: Pangaean Entheogens.
Rodrigues, Eliana & Carlini, E.A. (2006): Plants with possible psychoactive effects used by the Krahô Indians, Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria 28(4): 277-282. PDF fulltext

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