Rauvolfia tetraphylla

Rauvolfia tetraphylla L.      

Family     : Apocynaceae

Common Name : പാമ്പുകൊല്ലി(Mal)

बडा चन्द्रिका (Hin)

                                Wild Snake Root(Eng)

     IUCN status         : Least concern (LC) -

ative 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.

A small, much-branched woody shrub, 0.6-1.2 m high; young shoots pubescent or tomentose. Leaves whorled, 3-5 at each node, ovate-elliptic, base cuneate to rounded, apex acute or obtuse; lateral veins 5-10 pairs. Flowers greenish-white or creamy-white in umbellate cymes; peduncle to 2 cm long. Calyx lobes orbicular, ciliate. Corolla white, urceolate, ca. 4 mm long, lobes ovate, throat villous. Stamens 5, attached at corolla throat. Fruits 6-8 mm across, globose, deep red or purple when ripe; seeds oblong, rugose.


The roots yield the drug deserpidine, which is an antihypertensive and tranquilizer.


Introduced from West Indies; now naturalised in Western Peninsular India

Flowering & Fruiting :  

 Throughout the year