Rauvolfia caffra Sond.
  • Linnaea


Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2020): Rauvolfia caffra Sond. Published on the Internet;http://www.worldfloraonline.org/taxon/wfo-0000295012. Accessed on: 29 Oct 2020'

Morphology

Small tubular flowers in ample inflorescences.

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    Verticillate leaves

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    Small to large tree up to 70 ft. high

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    Tree up to 40 m. high.

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    Branches and branchlets brown, often 4–5-angular or -winged, with conspicuous leaf scars, lenticellate.

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    Bark smooth, lenticellate or rough and corky, longitudinally fissured, grey to brown; inner bark pale buff, granular; wood soft.

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    Trunk 5–100 cm. in diam.

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    Inflorescences many-flowered, congested in ultimate branchings; peduncle 1·5–13·5 cm. long, glabrous.

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    Leaves usually confined to the apices of the branchlets; petiole 0–60 mm. long, glabrous; lamina 1·8–50(70) x 0·8–15(19) cm., narrowly obovate to narrowly elliptic, subacute to acute at the apex, cuneate at the base, subcoriaceous to coriaceous, glossy glabrous, with 12–35(45) secondary veins on each side of the midrib.

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    Sepals 0·3–1·3 mm. long, triangular, glabrous.

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    Pedicels 0·1–2 mm. long, glabrous.

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    Stamens inserted 1·9–4·2 mm. above the base of the corolla tube; filaments 0·3–0·7 mm. long; anthers 0·6–1·2 mm. long.

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    Corolla hypocrateriform; tube white, greenish- or yellowish-white, 3–5·5 mm. long, inside pubescent from 1·5–4·5 mm. from the base to the lobes; lobes sometimes different from the tube in colour, white, greenish- or yellowish-white, 0·6–1·6 mm. long, ovate to obovate, inside pubescent at the base.

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    Fruits dark red, often lenticellate; when apocarpous only one carpel developing (sub-globose and 5–20 mm. in diam.); when syncarpous bilobed, 10–30 x 7–23 x 7–24 mm.

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    Pistil 1·2–3·8 mm. long; carpels 0·8–1·2 mm. long, glabrous; disk ring-shaped, 0·3–0·7 mm. high, glabrous; style 0·6–3·2 mm. long, glabrous; clavuncula 0·3–0·6 mm. long, often sparsely pubescent; stigma 0·1–0·2 mm. long, glabrous.

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    Seeds 7–13 x 4–10 x 2–4 mm.

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    Leaves in whorls of 3–6, confined to the apices of branches, petiolate; blade narrowly obovate to elliptic, 1.8–60(–70) cm long, 0.8–15(–19) cm wide, subacute to acute at the apex, cuneate or attenuate at the base, sometimes decurrent into the petiole, glossy, glabrous; 12–35(–45) pairs of secondary veins; petiole 0–60 mm long, glabrous.

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    Shrub or tree 2–40 m high; trunk 5–100 cm in diameter; bark smooth and lenticellate or rough and corky, longitudinally fissured, grey to brown; wood soft; branches and branchlets brown, lenticellate, often 4–5-angled or -winged, with conspicuous leaf scars.

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    Flowers fragrant; sepals ovate, 0.5–1.3 mm long, 0.3–1.5 mm wide, obtuse at the apex, glabrous, sometimes slightly ciliate; corolla hypocrateriform, (greenish) white; tube broadly cylindrical, 3.2–5.5 mm long, densely setose in the mouth and at base of lobes; lobes ovate or obovate, 0.6–1.6 mm long, 0.8–1.6 mm wide; stamens inserted 1.9–4.2 mm above the corolla base; disk 0.2–0.7 mm high, annular or cupular; pistil 1.2–3.8 mm long; ovary of 2 free or partly fused carpels, globose to obovoid, glabrous; style 0.6–3.2 mm longr.

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    Inflorescence congested, on ultimate branches only, up to 450-flowered; peduncle 5.8–13.5 cm long, glabrous; pedicels 0.1–2 mm long, glabrous.

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    Fig. 21 (p. 62).

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    Fruit dark red or black, often lenticellate, syncarpous when both carpels develop, obcordate, bilobed, 10–30 mm long, 7–23 mm in diameter; when only one carpel developes, subglobose to ellipsoid and 5–20 mm in diameter; seeds 7–13 mm long.

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    Tree 7-16 m high and up to 1.5 m in diameter, with all parts glabrous; bark smooth; sap watery, bitter. Leaves in whorls of 3-5, often unequal, lanceolate, long oblong or oblanceolate, acute to acuminate, long cuneate at the base, 12-28 cm long and 2.5-6 cm broad, dark green and shiny above, paler below, thinly coriaceous; secondary nerves 20-30 on each side, spreading at a wide angle; petiole 1-3.5 cm long; axillary glands forming a dense fringe. Stipules 0. Inflorescence much branched with dense cymes at the ends of secondary or tertiary branchlets of large umbels: peduncle 2-6 cm long; bracts minute. Flowers white, small, waxy; pedicels 1 mm long. Calyx cup-shaped, 1 mm long, 5-toothed or lobed. Corolla salver-shaped: tube cylindric to subcampanulate, thickened towards the apex, 3-4.5 mm long, mouth densely filled with whitish hairs; lobes ovate, 1 mm long. Stamens 5, inserted above the middle; anthers ovate, cordate, 0.5-1 mm long; filaments very short, terete. Disc cup-shaped, sinuate. Ovary of 2 carpels, connate in flowering stage, more or less fused in fruit or often only one developing; style terete, 1.5-2 mm long; stigma papillose, capitate, consisting of a thickened annular ring with a basal ±9 rim and a short, truncate, bilobed apex; ovules 51 mm each cell, collateral. Fruit drupaceous, subglobose to obovoid, at first green and smooth, becoming black and wrinkled when ripe. Seeds 1 or 2, ovoid, compressed, bony; cotyledons flat; endosperm thin, fleshy.

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    Tree, 7-16 m high. Leaves in whorls of 3-5, 120-280 mm long. Fruit drupaceous, subglobose to obovoid. Flowers white.

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    Habitat

    A tree of forests and wooded stream banks, usually near water.

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    Forest and wooded streambanks, usually near water.

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    Distribution

    Found in northern, eastern and central Transvaal, the coastal belt from Natal to the Transkei and in tropical east Africa as far north as the Congo, Kenya and Tanganyika.

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     Information From

    Apocynaceae
    World Flora Online Data. 2017.
    • A CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    e-Flora of South Africa
    e-Flora of South Africa. v1.21. 2018. South African National Biodiversity Institute. http://ipt.sanbi.org.za/iptsanbi/resource?r=flora_descriptions&v=1.21
    • B All Rights Reserved
    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • C
    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • D The Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • E
    World Flora Online consortium
    http://www.worldfloraonline.org/organisation/WFO
    World Flora Online Data. 2018.
    • F CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    Global Tree Search
    https://tools.bgci.org/global_tree_search.php
    BGCI. 2018. GlobalTreeSearch online database. Botanic Gardens Conservation International. Richmond, U.K. Available at www.bgci.org. Accessed on 30/11/2018.
    • G Botanic Gardens Conservation International