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Taxon: Acokanthera schimperi (A. DC.) Benth. & Hook. f. ex Schweinf.

Genus: Acokanthera
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Rauvolfioideae
Tribe: Carisseae
Nomen number: 411730
Place of publication: Boll. Soc. Afric. Ital. 10(11-12):242. 1891 (G. Bentham & J. D. Hooker, Gen. pl. 2:696. 1876; Oliver in J. Thomson, Through Masai Land (app.) 351. 1887; nom. inval.)
Link to protologue:
Comment: authorship and valid publication verified from original literature (with help of K. Gandhi, pers. comm. on 20 May 2008)
Name Verified on: 19-May-2008 by ARS Systematic Botanists.
Accessions: 0 (0 active, 0 available) in National Plant Germplasm System

Autonyms (not in current use), synonyms and invalid designations:

(≡ homotypic synonym, = heterotypic synonym, - autonym, I invalid designation)

Common names:

  • arrow-poison-tree  (Source: Zander Ency) - English
  • common-poisonbush  (Source: PROTA4U) - English
  • Pfeilspitzen-Schöngift  (Source: Zander Ency) - German
  • msungu  (Source: PROTA4U) - Swahili
  • msunguti  (Source: PROTA4U) - Swahili

Economic Importance:

  • Medicines: source of ouabain (used as an arrow poison)
  • Vertebrate poisons: mammals; mammals

Distributional Range:


    • NORTHEAST TROPICAL AFRICA: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia
    • EAST TROPICAL AFRICA: Kenya, Tanzania (n.), Uganda
    • WEST-CENTRAL TROPICAL AFRICA: Democratic Republic of the Congo (e.), Rwanda



    • Africa (tropical)


  1. Erhardt, W. et al. 2008. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen
  2. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). URL: http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/cropListDetails?code=&relation=beginsWith&name=Acokanthera+schimperi&quantity=1 target='_blank'
  3. Hanelt, P., ed. 2001. Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops. Volumes 1-6
  4. Hedberg, I. & S. Edwards. 1989-. Flora of Ethiopia Note: Eritrea added in 2000
  5. Lebrun, J.-P. et al. 1989. Catalogue des plantes vasculaires de la Republique de Djibouti.
  6. Neuwinger, H. D. 1996. African ethnobotany: poisons and drugs: chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology. 64-77.
  7. Thulin, M., ed. 1993-. Flora of Somalia.
  8. Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. 1952-. Flora of tropical East Africa.
  9. Wood, J. R. I. 1997. A handbook of the Yemen flora. Note: lists as Acokanthera schimperi (A. DC.) Oliv.
  10. PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource).

Check other web resources for Acokanthera schimperi (A. DC.) Benth. & Hook. f. ex Schweinf. :

  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.
  • PubAg: USDA's National Agricultural Library database of full-text journal articles and citations on the agricultural sciences.

Cite as: USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Plant Germplasm System. 2020. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN-Taxonomy).
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=411730. Accessed 4 June 2020.