Rauvolfia sumatrana (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Rauvolfia sumatrana Jack

Protologue: Mal. Misc. 1(5): 22 (1820).


Cyrtosiphonia madurensis Teijsm. & Binnend. (1823), Cyrtosiphona sumatrana (Jack) Miq. (1856), Rauvolfia madurensis (Teijsm. & Binnend.) Boerl. (1899).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: lame lalaki (Sundanese), polay lakek (Madurese), tampa badak (Sumatra)
  • Malaysia: pulai pipit, pelir kambing (Peninsular)
  • Thailand: teenpet lek (Surat Thani), ra yom teenpet (Bangkok).


The Andaman Islands, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, the Lesser Sunda Islands, Borneo, Sulawesi, the Moluccas, the Aru Islands and the Philippines.


The bark is used to treat dysentery. In the Philippines, the dried bark is reported as an antimalarial. The lightweight wood is sometimes used for planks and small objects such as knife handles.


A small to medium-sized tree up to 20 m tall; leaves 3-5-verticillate, elliptical-obovate to elliptical, 7-26 cm × 3-5 cm, petiole thin, up to 3 cm long; flowers with campanulate-infundibuliform corolla tube 2-3 times the length of the calyx; fruit subglobose with a broad obtuse base. R. sumatrana is closely related to R. javanica and R. reflexa . It occurs in lowland dipterocarp forest and teak forest, sometimes also in forest edges and secondary vegetation, up to 1400 m altitude.

Selected sources

97, 118, 202, 580, 905, 1564.


Tran Dinh Ly & Pham Duy Mai