Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Magnoliopsida
Ordo: Gentianales
Familia: Apocynaceae
Subfamilia: Apocynoideae
Tribus: Nerieae
Genus: Strophanthus
Species: S. amboensis - S. arnoldianus - S. barteri - S. boivinii - S. bullenianus - S. caudatus - S. congoensis - S. courmontii - S. divaricatus - S. eminii - S. gardeniiflorus - S. gerrardii - S. glabriflorus - S. gossweileri - S. gracilis - S. gratus - S. hirsutus - S. hispidus - S. hypoleucus - S. intermedius - S. kombe - S. longicalyx - S. luteolus - S. mirabilis - S. nicholsonii - S. paxii - S. petersianus - S. preussii - S. sarmentosus - S. schuchardtii - S. speciosus - S. thollonii - S. vanderijstii - S. wallichii - S. welwitschii - S. wightianus


Strophanthus DC., Bull. Sci. Soc. Philom. Paris 3: 122. 1802.


Strophanthus is a genus of 35-40 species of flowering plants in the family Apocynaceae, native mainly to tropical Africa, extending to South Africa, with a few species in Asia, from southern India to the Philippines and southern China. The name (strophos anthos, "twisted cord flower") derives from the long twisted threadlike segments of the corolla, which in one species (S. preussii) attain a length of 30–35 cm.

The genus includes vines, shrubs and small trees. The leaves are opposite or whorled, simple broad lanceolate, 2–20 cm long, with an entire margin.

Several of the African tribes used Strophanthus as the principal ingredient in arrow poison.


* Strophanthus aambe
* Strophanthus alterniflorus
* Strophanthus amboensis
* Strophanthus annamensis
* Strophanthus arboreus
* Strophanthus arnoldianus
* Strophanthus aurantiacus
* Strophanthus barteri
* Strophanthus bequaertii
* Strophanthus boivinni
* Strophanthus brevicaudatus
* Strophanthus bullenianus
* Strophanthus capensis
* Strophanthus caudatus (tropical Asia)
* Strophanthus chinensis (southern China, Vietnam)
* Strophanthus congoensis
* Strophanthus courmontii
* Strophanthus cumingii
* Strophanthus dichotomus
* Strophanthus divaricatus (southern China; { Vietnam)
* Strophanthus eminii (east Africa; poison: e-strophanthin)
* Strophanthus glabra
* Strophanthus gratus (tropical west Africa; poison: ouabain, g-strophanthin)
* Strophanthus hispidus (Togo, Cameroon)
* Strophanthus laurifolinus
* Strophanthus kombe (east Africa; poison: k-strophanthin)
* Strophanthus nicholsoni
* Strophanthus petersianus (tropical Africa)
* Strophanthus preussii (tropical west Africa)
* Strophanthus sarmentosus (tropical Africa)
* Strophanthus scandens (Mallacca)
* Strophanthus speciosus (South Africa)
* Strophanthus thallone
* Strophanthus vanderijstii
* Strophanthus welwitschii


Plants from this genus produce toxic alkaloids and cardiac glycosides g-strophanthin (syn. ouabain), k-strophanthin and e-strophanthin. As ordinarily administered, the drug acts on the heart before influencing any other organ or tissue. Often indeed no other action can be observed. It is used to produce the drug Ouabain which was taken as a cardiac stimulant to treat heart failure, and is similar to the drug Digoxin produced from Digitalis purpurea.

Notes and references

* This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

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