Rauvolfia verticillata (Loureiro) Baillon, Hist. Pl. 10: 170 (1889)

(Latin for 'whorled, referring to the leaves?')

Cerbera chinensis Sprengel
Dissolena verticillata Lour.
Ervatamia ophiorhizoides (Kurz) Lace
Ervatamia ventii
Hunteria sundana Miq.
Hunteria sundana var. minor Miq.
Ophioxylon belgaumense Wight
Ophioxylon chinense Hance
Ophioxylon densiflorum (Wall.) Thwaites
Ophioxylon macrocarpum Wight
Ophioxylon majus Hassk.
Ophioxylon neilgheerense Wight
Ophioxylon zeylanicum Wight
Rauvolfia altodiscifera R.H.Miao
Rauvolfia brevistyla Tsiang
Rauvolfia cambodiana Pierre ex Pitard
Rauvolfia chinensis (Hance) Hemsley
Rauvolfia densiflora (Wall.) Benth. ex Hook.f.
Rauvolfia latifrons Tsiang
Rauvolfia loheri Merr.
Rauvolfia major (Hassk.) G.Nicholson
Rauvolfia membranacea Merr.
Rauvolfia obversa Koord. [Illegitimate]
Rauvolfia ophiorrhizoides (Kurz) Kerr
Rauvolfia perakensis King & Gamble
Rauvolfia serpentina var. gracilis Stapf
Rauvolfia superaxillaris P. T. Li & S. Z. Huang
Rauvolfia taiwanensis Tsiang
Rauvolfia verticillata var. hainanensis Tsiang
Rauvolfia verticillata var. oblanceolata Tsiang
Rauvolfia verticillata var. officinalis Tsiang
Rauvolfia yunnanensis Tsiang. Tabernaemontana cylindrica Steud. [Invalid]
Tabernaemontana densiflora Wall.
Tabernaemontana microcarpa Wall.
Tabernaemontana ophiorrhizoides Kurz
Tabernaemontana subcapitata Hook.f. & Thomson
Tabernaemontana wallichiana Steud.

Shrubs to 3 m tall, erect, glabrous. Branchlets pale gray, lenticellate. Lower leaves opposite, terminal leaves in whorls of 3 or 4; petiole 0.5-1.5 cm; leaf blade narrowly to broadly ovate or oblong, 3.5-25 X 5-13 cm, nearly papery to membranous; lateral veins 6 or 7 pairs. Cymes rather lax, 3-9 together; peduncle 2-15 cm. Pedicel 3-6 mm. Corolla white, tube cylindric, 1-1.8 cm, inflated and villous from middle to throat; lobes broadly elliptic or ovate, 1-4.5 mm. Stamens inserted at middle of corolla tube. Ovaries distinct. Drupes ellipsoid or ovoid, bright red, distinct, ca. 10 X 5 mm. Seed 1. [info from Flora of China]

Lowland to montane rain forests, monsoon forests, brush fields, river banks, rice fields, seashores. Up to 1700 m elevation.

India and Sri Lanka to Southern China, Hainan, Taiwan, Southeast Asian mainland, Malaysia, Indonesia Philippines.

Used in China to treat snake poisoning, malaria, and typhus. The roots are used to treat hypertension and as a sedative.

Local names
China: Luo fu mu.