Botanical name: Rauvolfia tetraphylla Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)
Synonyms: Rauvolfia canescens, Rauvolfia heterophylla, Rauvolfia hirsuta
Native to tropical America, Wild Snake Root is a small tree or shrub that will reach 6 ft in height. Leaves are whorled, medium to dark green in color, and occur in groups of 4 unequally-sized leaves at each node. In late summer to early fall the very small, white flowers appear. Flowers to 5 mm long, tube 3.7 mm long. Bright red berries form that turn black as they ripen, and look like large pepper corns.Identification credit: Arvind Kadus
Medicinal uses: The roots yield the drug deserpidine, which is an antihypertensive and tranquilizer.
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