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Acokanthera oblongifolia - poison arrow plant - from-DC1.jpg
Poison arrow plant, Acokanthera oblongifolia
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Rauvolfioideae
Tribe: Carisseae
Genus: Acokanthera
  • Toxicophlaea Harv.

Acokanthera is a genus of flowering plants in the family Apocynaceae. It comprises 5 species and is generally restricted to Africa, although Acokanthera schimperi also occurs in Yemen.[1] Its sap contains the deadly cardiotoxic glycoside ouabain. The sap is among the most commonly used in arrow poisons,[2][3] including those used for poaching elephant.[4]

Acokanthera schimperi
from Köhler's Medizinal Pflanzen 1897


  1. ^ a b c Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ Gould, George M. (1905). Dictionary of New Medical Terms. London: Bailliere Tindall & Cox. pp. 36. poison.
  3. ^ Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors), 2008. Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 11(1). Medicinal plants 1. PROTA Foundation, Wageningen, Netherlands / Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands / CTA, Wageningen, Netherlands. 791 pp.
  4. ^ Kinloch, Bruce (1988). The Shamba Raiders. Hampshire: Ashford. pp. 21. ISBN 1852530359.