Tabernaemontana divaricata (L.) R.Br. ex Roem. & Schult.

Last updated: 21 Apr 2016

Scientific Name

Tabernaemontana divaricata (L.) R.Br. ex Roem. & Schult.


Ervatamia coronaria (Jacq.) Stapf, Ervatamia divaricata (L.) Burkill, Ervatamia flabelliformis Tsiang, Ervatamia recurve (Roxb. ex Lindl.) Lace, Ervatamia siamensis (Warb. ex Pit.) Kerr, Jasminum zeylanicum Burm.f.,  Kopsia cochinchinensis Kuntze, Nerium coronarium Jacq., Nerium divaricatum L., Nyctanthes acuminate Burm.f., Reichardia grandiflora Dennst., Reichardia jasminoides Dennst., Taberna discolor (Sw.) Miers, Tabernaemontana citrifolia Lunan, Tabernaemontana coronaria (Jacq.) Willd., Tabernaemontana discolor Sw., Tabernaemontana flabelliformis (Tsiang) P.T.Li, Tabernaemontana gratissima Lindl., Tabernaemontana indica Willd. ex Roem. & Schult. [Illegitimate], Tabernaemontana lurida Van Heurck & Müll.Arg., Tabernaemontana recurva Roxb. ex Lindl., Tabernaemontana siamensis Warb. ex Pit.,Testudipes recurva (Roxb. ex Lindl.) Markgr., Vinca alba Noronha. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Bunga China, bunga China puteh, bunga susu, susoh ayam, susun kelapa, susok ayam (Peninsular); kembang polong (Sarawak) [2]; manda kaki [3]
English Adam’s apple, broad-leaved rosebay, cape jasmine, Ceylon jasmine, coffee rose, crape gardenia, crepe gardenia, crape Jasmine, crepe jasmine, East India Rosebay, moon beam, Nero's crown, paper gardenia, pinwheel flower [2], wax flower plant [4]
China Gou ya hua [2], cong ban ghou ya hua [4]
India Candni, tagar (Hindi); nandivrksah (Sanskrit) [5]; kottubale, nandibatly (Kannada); nantyarvattam (Malayalam); nantiyavattam, atukkunantiyarvattai (Tamil); gandhitafarapu, nandicardhanamu (Telagu) [6]
Indonesia Kembang mantega, kembang susu [3], mondokaki, bunga wari (Java); kembang mantega, kembang susu, bunga Manila, bunga susong (Sumatra); bunga nyingin (Nusa Tenggara) [6]
Thailand Mai phoot, pud [5], phut sa, phut suan [2]
Philippines Pandakaking-tsina [2][4]
Vietnam B[as]nh h[or]I, ng[oj]c b[us]t [2]
Japan Indo-sôkei [2]
Portugal Maca de adao [5].

Geographical Distributions

No documentation.

Botanical Description

Tabernaemontana coronaria is a member of the Apocynaceae family. It is a glabrous, evergreen shrub that reaches up to 3m high. The bark is silvery grey and has milky latex. [6]

The leaves are simple, opposite, elliptic or elliptic-lanceolatye, sweetly fragrant in 1-8 flowered cymes at the bifurcations of the branches. [6]

The fruit is a follicle types measures 2.5-7.5cm long, ribbed and curved, orange or bright red within, narrowed into a slender curved beak. [6]

The seeds are dull brown, minutely pitted, irregular, and enclosed in a red pulpy aril. [6]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

T. coronaria  has been reported to contain 3-oxo-coronaridine, 3-oxo-voacangine, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, 19,20-dihydroervahanine A, 19S-heyneanine hydroxyindolenine, (20 S)-19,20-dihydrocondylocarpine, apparicine, coronaridine, descarbomethoxyvoacamine, dregamine, ervatinine, gentisic acid, heyneanine, isovoacristic hydrochloride, lahoricine, mehracine, salicylic acid,  stafinine, tabernaemontanine, tabersonine, vanillic acid, voacamine, voacangine, voacangine hydroxyindolenine, voacristine, voacristine hydroxyindolenine, vobasine, ervatamin A-C. [7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

Plant Part Used

Roots, flowers and latex. [6][7]

Traditional Use

Traditionally the roots of T. divaricata is considered acrid, bitter, thermogenic, anodyne, astringent, vermifuge and tonic. The flowers and latex are cooling with fragrant and anti-inflammatory respectively [6][7]. The latex being anti-inflammatory in nature is often applied on wounds to promote healing. It is also used in treating the stye [4].

The plant had been used effectively to treat various forms of ophthalmia like acute and chronic conjunctivitis where the juice, squeezed out from the leaves, is dropped into the affected eye. A poultice made from the leaves is applied over mastitis and pyoderma and the decoction can be used in high blood pressure treatment. [4][6]

The bitter roots are used to treat diarrhoea, sore throat, bone fracture and relieve toothache. It also used in combination with other herbs to treat  intestinal worm infestation, kidney problems, urinary stones and tumour. [4]

Preclinical Data



The indole alkaloid, vVaocristine, isolated from T. divaricata exhibited cytostatic and cytotoxic activities detected in the culture of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and occurs exclusively in growing cells. The lesions induced are probably of the adducts type which is reparable in the wild-type. [14][15]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Tabernaemontana divaricata (L.) R.Br. ex Roem. & Schult. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; 2015 Jun 15]. Available from:
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume V R-Z. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 485-486.
  3. Burkill IH. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Volume 1. London: Published on behalf of the governments of the Straits settlements and Federated Malay states by the Crown agents for the colonies, 1935; p. 941.
  4. Hembing. Ensiklopedia milenium tumbuhan berkhasiat obat Indonesia. Jakarta: Prestasi Insan Indonesia, 2000; p. 125-128.
  5. Hanelf P, Buttner R. Mansfeld’s encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2001; p. 1740.
  6. Warrier PK, Nambiar VPK, Ramakutty C. Indian medicinal plants: A compendium of 500 species. Volume 5. Madras: Orient Blackswan; 1966. p. 232.
  7. Khare CP. Indian medicinal plants: An illustrated dictionary. Berlin: Springer, 2007; p. 641.
  8. Nellis DW. Poisonous plants and animals of Florida and the Caribbean. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, 1997; p. 114-115
  9. Atta-ur-Rahman, Alvi KA, Muzaffar A. Isolation and 1H/13C-NMR studies on 19,20-dihydrocondylocarpine: An alkaloid from the leaves of Ervatamia coronaria and Alstonia scholaris. Planta Med. 1986;(4):325-326.
  10. Sharma P, Cordell GA. Heyneanine hydroxyindolenine, a new indole alkaloid from Ervatamia coronaria var. plena. J Nat Prod. 1988;51(3):528-531.
  11. Henriques AT, Melo AA, Moreno PR, Ene LL, Henriques JA, Schapoval EE. Ervatamia coronaria: chemical constituents and some pharmacological activities. J Ethnopharmacol. 1996;50(1):19-25.
  12. Chakrabarti C, Biswas S, Kundu S, Sundd M, Jagannadham MV, Dattagupta JK. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of ervatamin B and C, two thiol proteases from Ervatamia coronaria. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 1999;55(Pt 5):1074-1075.
  13. Nallamsetty S, Kundu S, Jagannadham MV. Purification and biochemical characterization of a highly active cysteine protease ervatamin A from the latex of Ervatamia coronaria. J Protein Chem. 2003;22(1):1-13.
  14. Melo AA, Querol CB, Henriques AT, Henriques JA. Cytostatic, cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of voacristine, an indole alkaloid in wild-type and repair-deficient yeasts. Mutat Res. 1986;171(1):17-24.
  15. Henriques JA, Moreno PR, Von Poser GL, Querol CC, Henriques AT. Genotoxic effect of alkaloids. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 1991;86 Suppl 2:717-4.