Rauvolfia

Rauvolfia nitida
Common Names: Smooth Rauvolfia, Bitter Bush, Milk Bush

Family: Apocynaceae

Habit: Rauvolifa nitida grows as a medium to large size tree up to 15 meters in height. The truck, which can be up to 1 meter in diameter, is gray, and produces white latex. The leaves are arranged oppositely or in whorls of up to 7 leaves. The leaves are to 20 cm long and 7 cm wide, with an acuminate leaf apex and entire margin.

The actinomorphic flowers are arranged in panicles that occur in the axils of leaves. The calyx has 5 fused greenish sepals. The corolla has 5 white fused petals forming a tube. At the mouth of the corolla tube is a ring of hairs. Below the ring of hairs inside the tube are 5 stamens fused to the corolla. The superior ovary, which has 2 locules, is a drupe or a few- seeded berry, and turns dark red to black at maturity.

Habitat: Rauvolifa nitida grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations – Forest (Coppice) on a limestone substrate.

Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Rauvolifa nitida occurs on the northern pine island groupings as well as in the Greater Antilles.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Rauvolifa nitida has no known medicinal use in the Bahamas.