Acokanthera G.Don

Commemorating Genthius, ancient King of Illyria, who is said to have discovered the medicinal properties of Gentian roots.

Shrubs or small trees, evergreen; latex white. Stems woody, without spines. Leaves opposite, stalked; blade well developed; colleters absent at base. Inflorescence axillary, cymose. Flowers scented, subsessile. Corolla salver-shaped; tube cylindrical; lobes convolute in bud, overlapping to the left. Corolline corona absent. Stamens enclosed, attached near top of tube, not sticking to style head. Disk absent. Fruit a globose to ellipsoid berry. Seeds 1 or 2, elliptic, flattened, not winged, without hair tufts.

All parts of the plant are poisonous. One species is commonly cultivated. Frost-sensitive.


Stems without spines, fruit a berry.

5 species in Africa and the Arabian peninsula.

Codd (1963), Kupicha (1982).

Source: Forster, P. (2002). Apocynaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Gentianales
family       Apocynaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa