Rauvolfia serpentina (L.) Benth. ex Kurz, Forest Fl. Burma 2: 171 1877. (Syn. Ophioxylon album Gaertn.; Ophioxylon obversum Miq.; Ophioxylon salutiferum Salisb.; Ophioxylon serpentinum L.; Ophioxylon trifoliatum Gaertn.; Rauvolfia obversa (Miq.) Baill.; Rauvolfia serpentina var. obversa (Miq.) Bakh. f.; Rauvolfia trifoliata (Gaertn.) Baill.);
Indian snakeroot, java devil pepper, ichneumon-plant, insanity herb, rauvolfia root, rauwolfia, serpentine wood, snakeroot, snakewood • Assamese: arachoritita • Bengali: চন্দ্র chandra • Gujarati: સર્પગંધા sarpagandha • Hindi: chandrabhaga, छोटा चांद chota-chand, नाकुली nakuli, सर्पगंधा sarpagandha • Kannada: ಸರ್ಪಗನ್ಧ sarpangandha, ಸರ್ಪಗನ್ಧೀ sarpagandhi, ಶಿವನಾಭಿಬಳ್ಳಿ shivanabhiballi, sutranavi, ಪತಾಳಗನ್ಧೀ patalagandhi • Malayalam: അമല്പൊരി amalpori, chuvannavilpori, സര്പ്പഗന്ധി sarppagandhi, suvapavalporiyam • Marathi: harkaya, harki, नाकुली nakuli • Oriya: patalagarar, sanochado • Sanskrit: चन्द्रिका chandrika, नाकुली nakuli, पातालगरुड patalgaruda, सर्पगंधा sarpagandha • Tamil: chevanamalpodi • Telugu: patalaguni, patalagaruda, sarpagandha • Urdu: چاند چهوٿا chota chand, ناکلي nakuli;
These are shiny bright green on the upper surface & pale green on the lower surface. Flowers are white / violet ting.
Folks will use these roots rubbed on stone with water & light yellow paste is obtained & applied for wounds, fever, nervous disorders, giddiness, abdominal pain etc.;
Besides its medicinal value, people believes that it deters snakes;
This Critically Endangered species is also in the Negative List of Exports of Govt. of India, as well as in the Appendix II of CITES. The collection of this species from wild and its trade is banned.
As per efi thread : Sarpagandha and Chasalia comes under the same family Rubiaceae. The inflorescence looks alike when in flower (except the size; flowers are smaller and straight in Sarpagandha). Sarpagandha plants are always smaller than Chasalia. Fruiting inflorescence of Sarpagandha is red whereas in Chasalia it is white.


25032011 pj3 sharing:
Please find attached rauvolfia serpentina photographed during monsoon. These are shiny bright green on the upper surface & pale green on the lower surface. Flowers are white / violet ting. Folks will use these roots rubbed on stone with water & light yellow paste is obtained & applied for wounds, fever, nervous disorders, giddiness, abdominal pain etc. We have good population of this herb.

Please take necessary steps to conserve its population in your area, and protect it from the illegal traders.
As you may know, this Critically Endangered species is also in the Negative List of Exports of Govt. of India, as well as in the Appendix II of CITES. The collection of this species from wild and its trade is banned.

Rauwolfia serpentina from Herbal garden Samalkha Panipat:
Rauwolfia serpentina
From Herbal Garden Samalkha Panipat
Family: Apocynaceae (oleander family)


Rauvolfia serpentina = Rauwolfia serpentina !:  An elaborate search in the net tells me that the accepted scientific name of this species would be Rauvolfia serpentina.
I wonder where from the name Rauwolfia serpentina came, as can be seen in many old edition of text books, and also in – http://kbd.kew.org/kbd/detailedresult.do?id=152609 , yet didn’t find any mention in http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/kew-176968 ?
Habit & Habitat : herb, plant height 2 feet avg., wild & cultivated
Date : 25-07-2009 & 27-07-2009
Place : Garalgacha (Hooghly)
ID help : http://www.flowersofindia.Sarpagandha.html

Beautiful shots of Sarpgandha

Thank you …, we also call it SARPAGANDHA in Bengali. We planted those sarpagandha in our school premises and in some of our students’ home-yard in 2009. Moreover, those saplings were collected from the wild.

dont know about this one
but old english 2-3 hundred yeas ago used to have different use of w, u yu, s, f, etc… they could not /would not differentiate between these….
like present day bengalis cant differentiate va, ba, bha of modern devnagari and if v is written to denote va they pronounce it bha…. did you see the latest movie kahaani… devi…debi…vidya bidya confusion?
so w or u in sarpagandha….

Yes & No! Yes, we too have one or two of these confusion. Our school is Vidyamandir, while on the other hand we do not say vidya as in normal practice. There is li and la-e-hraswi ! No, i didn’t see kahani yet!

We had a discussion earlier on this issue. Dear … had answered this query.
I am copy pasting what he had written in the post.
….. Just for correction. I realized that the accepted spelling is Rauvolfia L. and not Rauwolfia L.
Because it was named by Linnaeus like that although the name of person on which the name of taxa was based was Leonhard Rauwolf (also spelled Rauwolff) [(Augsburg, June 21 in either 1535 or 1540 – September 15,
1596, Waitzen, Hungary) was a German physician, botanist and traveller].

Rauvolfia Plum. ex L. Sp. Pl. 1: 208. 1753

resolved? not really…
or yes, may be ha ha …
but there is NO V in this spelling or two of Dr Leonhard Rauwolf (also spelled Rauwolff name…
that was the original question, was not it?

Long time ago i read a a few lines about Alfred Nobel stating that he was afraid of mathematics in his childhood and that’s why he didn’t have any Nobel prize in Mathematics! There was another explanation too!
Don’t know if Linnaeus had same experience with the ‘W’ or not!

poor mr Linnaeus,
i am not talking about him, neither the mistake/problem of ENGLISH spelling of proper names his problem, nor could he have started them…
its old English lexicon and use of alphabets…
lets not reduce every problem to him
or any one person its a widespread, widely used, widely re-created spelling thing…
or may be another european language usage has problem using w for v or vice versa as we see in calcutta…
mr. Linnaeus, he was a swede living in the 1700s, Dr Leonard Rauwolf was a german (( Leonard Rouwolf is this spelling is in english alphabet as we write it in modern times… Leonard was alive during 1500s and on frontipiece of his own diaries during herbal explorations he writes his own name as Leonarti Rauwol…..with last ff seems to have disappeared.. and french botanist Mr Plumier in 1600s named a genus Rauvolfia (written now a days as :: genus Rauvolfia Plum. ex L . and MR Plumier published it in 1700s or the 18th century ( I remember Mr Plumier because of Plumeria or the Kath champa that we all love so much, notice the plumeria named after PLUMIER is spelled differently… to correctly name it it should be PLUMIERIA with 2 i s )
so there is no rhyme or reason so far in the language as we see it three centuries later… usage of alphabets and transliteration across continents and countries and between latin, german, french and swedish customary usage of those times and since it was often written by hand and copied by different hands… spelling errors crept in often…
ask any teacher in Linguistics and Palaeogrphy or paleography and they will give long explanation…. very interesting stuff.
just like I find a or ka written in palm leaf manuscripts many different ways over the centuries… they are by different persons with their own vagaries of good // bad handwriting habits…
have fun deciphering these…
better yet lets worry about the herbal potential and not the spelling


Rauvolfia serpentina: This plant is growing in our garden at Tala Bandhavgarh Umariya M.P.

Images by Surajit Koley


Hooghly Today : Rauvolfia serpentina (L.) Benth. ex Kurz :  Attachments (5). 3 posts by 2 authors.
I have an earlier upload of this plant, an excellent learning session from …

It is very surprising that this plant is now known as SARPOGANDHA (সর্পগন্ধা) in Bengali. But, in earlier literature it is CHANDRAA (চন্দ্রা).
Besides its medicinal value, people believes that it deters snakes. Let us see what Roxburgh noted.
Please, see the text on the top of the page of the above link.

06072013 ASP 84 : Attachments (1). 2 posts by 2 authors.
Please ID this medicinal plant with purple/white flowers. Photo was taken in Sri Lanka in Dec 2012.

This is Rauvolfia serpentina

06072013 ASP 83 :  Attachments (1). 2 posts by 2 authors.
Please ID this medicinal herb with red flowers. Photo was taken in Sri Lanka in Dec 2012.

Rauvolfia serpentina (Early fruiting stage)

Plant for ID (ii) : 3 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (7).

Found in Bangalore
3rd May

Rauvolfia serpentina (L.) Benth. ex Kurz [Apocynaceae].

Rauvolfia serpentina, Rare in Bangladesh


Rauvolfia serpentina (L.) Benth. ex Kurz from Assam: 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (6).

Attached images are Rauvolfia serpentina (L.) Benth. ex Kurz collected in wild state. 
Date :04.06.2014
Location: Assam
Family : Apocynaceae
Genus & species : Rauvolfia serpentina (L.) Benth. ex Kurz 
Habitat: Grows wild on hill slopes
Distribution : rare

Well, okay. Please carry on

Plant For ID : Jim Corbett,Uttarakhand : 070614 : AK-16 : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2).
A small plant seen growing wild near the waterfalls on 18/5/14.
Is this Rauvolfia serpentina?

Yes it is. It is found in the area as wild.


HAL 6 2014/12/18 : 3 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1).
Please ID this small shrub. Photo was taken in Sri Lanka in Mar 2013.

Rauvolfia serpentina.

Instinctively looks like Rauvolfia serpentina. Closer look in the field will confirm ID.

Identification : 3 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1)
Please identify the above one

Seems Rauvolfia serpentina…!!

Rauvolfia serpentina (L.) Benth. ex Kurz (accepted name) ??? : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)
Location: Kurintar, Chitwan, Nepal
Altitude: 900 ft.
Date: 13 April 2012

Accepted name. Is it frequent there?

This was my first sight but I believe it is abundant in moist forest from msl to 1200 m.

Rauvolfia serpentina :: TMC Biodiversity Park :: 15 APR 18 : 2 images.
TMC Biodiversity Park  Thane
Date: April 15, 2018 … Altitude: about 15 m (50 feet) asl
Rauvolfia serpentina  (L.) Benth. ex Kurz

Kindly confirm Rauvolfia serpentina, photographed in July 2018 at the Amarkantak forest department nursery, Madhya Pradesh.

nice to see active nursery stock but did not the botanists at the forest dept or the nursery itself verify the seed source and identify them ??? as consumers we rely on such horticultural expertise? is that reliance correct?

Shrub for identification! : 18 posts by 8 authors. Attachments (1)- 3 mb.
Could you please help identifying this species?
Photographed in August 26, 2018,
Observed in floor of Sal forest.
Elevation 700m, midhills, central Nepal.

Thanks, …, Do you have any image showing full plant?

yes full plant would help

Here is the one I have. I focussed only on fruiting part. Did not take full plant. Its lesson for future. It was only 40-60 cm tall.
Attachments (1)- 3 mb.

Rutaceae. ??

Can this be Rauvolfia serpentina?

Thanks, …, I feel may be some Rubiaceae member.

I was a bit too slow. I see that Rauvolfia serpentina has already been suggested

No doubt…. Rauwolfia serpentina only

Thank you. It could be some species close to Rauwolfia serpentina.
Or it could be some plant from rubiaceae.

Had it been Rubiaceae, the calyx lobed would have been seen over the top of the fruit… so it is Apocynaceae

Good observation …; I endorse with you.

so my first impression was ok. yet in the pictures, the fruits berries seem “jointed”. does that bother anyone or is it just the angle of photo

In Apocynaceae family there is a tendency for ovaries to be apocarpous though style and stigma are fused

thanks for the scientific reason. did you look at the fruits i have question about
do you see what i see? but do take a look. just for my sake.

I guess it is Rauvolfia serpentina (L.) Benth. ex Kurz only. url


at Bhadreshwar, Hooghly ( West Bengal)- 16/7/07; in Gachibowli, Hyderabad; Jaigad fort near Ganapatipule: 29-03-2010; 25 April 2010- Kulgi WLS, Karnataka; Tala, Distt Umariya, M.P.; Panipat District; from Delhi Herbal Garden; Kakoijana RF, Assam. on June 2007;
RAUVOLFIA SERPENTINA : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (4)
Attaching four collages of Rauvolfia serpentina (SARPAGANDHA).

RAUVOLFIA SERPENTINA : 6 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (1)
Attaching a collage of Rauvolfia serpentina with flowers and fruits.


Rauvolfia serpentina AT/JUNE2020/13 : 2 posts by 2 authors.
Details on Sarpagandha



Plant for ID : Nasik : 30OCT20 : AK-54 : 3 posts by 2 authors.
A small, cultivated plant seen in Nasik.

Rauvolfia serpentina


179 ID wild plant Rauvolfia: 16 images.

Please ID wild plant,
Location: near Reserve Forest, Chathamattom, Ernakulam District, (Kochi) Kerala PIN:686671
Altitude: 1400fsl
Flower date: 30.10.2021, 01.00pm
Habitat: wild moisture
Plant habit: small shrub, erect, branches, hard stem 07mm base diameter, perennial, strange smelled latex
Height: 03 feet
Leaves: opposite but quadrant petiole, ovate, oblong, apex, wavy margins, strange smell when crushed, bitter taste, size:18×7cm or less
Flower: racemose, clustered, diameter:12mm, white, non fragrant
Fruit: globular, single/twins, green into deep blue, diameter:01cm, edible but haven’t taste
Seed: brown, single/twins, irregular pear shaped size:6×4x3mm
Camera: mobile Samsung Galaxy A21s

Rauvolfia serpentina (L.) Benth. ex Kurz

Yes, it is dear …, thank you very much for ID my plant,


Apocynaceae: Rauvolfia serpentina Benth. ex Kurz: 2 high res. images.

synonyms: Ophioxylon serpentinum L., Rauvolfia serpentina Benth.
location/date (both): Kolkas, Melghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Amravati Distr., Maharashtra, November 1994



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