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Tabernaemontana pachysiphon

Family Name: Apocynaceae
Synonyms: Tabernaemontana holstii
Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Moderate Water Butterfly Food Plant Fragrant Ornamental Flowers Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Tropical Africa (Ghana, Togo, southern Sudan and Kenya, southern Malawi, Zambia, Angola)
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Evergreen tree with a dense canopy, able to grow up to about 15 m tall.
Foliage Large dark green leaves, simple and opposite arrangement, margins entire, broadly to narrowly elliptical, measuring about 10 - 50 cm long and 5 - 26 cm wide, petiole measuring about 0.6 - 2 cm long, underneath of leaf surface scattered with black dots.
Stems Dichotomously branched, bark is pale-brown to greyish brown.
Flowers White fragrant 5-petaled flowers borne on a corymb inflorescence about 8 - 26 cm long.
Fruits Fruit is green (consisting of 2 globose follicles) and measures about 15 cm wide.
Others - Plant Morphology Plant exudes a milky white latex when parts of it are broken. 
Etymology Genus Tabernaemontana is named after Jakob Theodor von Bergzaben (1520 - 1590) (Latinised surname Tabernaemontanus meaning "tavern in the mountain"), who was a German herbalist.
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal ( Latex is used as a styptic and applied to fresh wounds to prevent infection. Dried powdered leaves are used in the treatment of sores and ulcers. )
Timber & Products ( Wood is used to make knife sheaths, handles and combs. Also used for firewood and to make charcoal. The bark is used to make cloth in southern Nigeria. )

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Butterfly Food Plant

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Cuneate

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Green
Mature Seed Colour(s) Brown

Image Repository



Master ID 1879
Species ID 3172
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.