5 RARE seeds of Rauvolfia vomitoria "poison devil's pepper" Rauwolfia

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5 RARE seeds of Rauvolfia vomitoria "poison devil's pepper" Rauwolfia



Rauvolfia vomitoria, also called poison devil's pepper or swizzle stick is a plant species belonging to Aposynaeceae family. The plant’s synonyms are Rauvolfia congolana, Rauvolfia stuhlmannii K.Schum, Rauvolfia pleiosiadica K.Schum and Rauvolfia senegambiae DC.


Rauvolfia vomitoria is a small shrub-like a tree that grows to a height of 8m long. The plant is native to most African countries. The tree is often attractive dues to its colourful bright flowers. The plant services well in normal temperature conditions and can moderately withstand the harsh weather conditions.


The bark of the Rauvolfia vomitoria plant is pale to dark grey or dark brown, often smooth or fissured. The leaves of the plant are in whorls of 4 crowded at the tip of the branches, simple and whole. The inflorescence has congested cyme in the terminal whorls 3 and shortly hairy. The flowers are bisexual, has a nice smell and regular. The sepal is fused at the base ovate, unequal and 2mm long. The corolla tube is cylindrical, confined beneath the insertion of the stamen with a slightly narrow opening and 3 hairy belts on the inside. Slightly above the base of the corolla are superior ovoid ovary made up of 2 partly fused carpels where only one dose develops into a fruit. The fruits are globose to ovoid with orange or red.


Poison devil's pepper plant is hermaphrodite. This means that it has both the male and the female organs. For this reason, the plant does have self-fertilisation through pollination enabled by insects or through wind pollination. The attractive flower of the plant produces nectar that attracts the insects as well as its nice smell, specifically the bees.


The roots of Rauvolfia vomitoria plant has for long been used for medicinal purposes. The remedy from the plant is said jaundice, snakebites, hypertension among others. The roots can also be used as sedatives to calm down the people with epilepsy and mental illness. Skin problems like pimples, rashes, wound, chicken pox and scabies, among others, can also be treated using the plant. The root decoration can be used as a mouth wash against thrush. Rauvolfia vomitoria plant is also widely used as an ornament mostly in West Africa. It can also be used as a shade tree for coffee and cacao and also as a support for vanilla. The plant is used by the gardeners as a live fence. The young leaves of the plant are used as drink mixers. The wood from the plant is fairly hard and is used to make small kitchen utensils.


 Growing from seeds:

sow about 1cm deep into well drained seeding compost mixed with some sand, keep moist and at temperatures of about 25-29°C. Germination takes about 5 weeks 


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