Cinchona officinalis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Quinine bark
Curtis's botanical magazine (8272601122).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Cinchona
C. officinalis
Binomial name
Cinchona officinalis
    • Cascarilla officinalis (L.) Ruiz
    • Cinchona academica Guibourt
    • Cinchona chahuarguera Pav.
    • Cinchona coccinea Pav. ex DC.
    • Cinchona colorata Lamb.
    • Cinchona condaminea Bonpl.
    • Cinchona condaminea var. chahuarguera Pav. ex DC.
    • Cinchona condaminea var. lanceolata Wedd.
    • Cinchona condaminea var. vera Wedd.
    • Cinchona crispa Tafalla ex Howard.
    • Cinchona lanceolata Ruiz & Pav.
    • Cinchona lancifolia var. lanceolata Roem. & Schult.
    • Cinchona legitima Ruiz ex Lamb.
    • Cinchona lucumifolia var. stupea Wedd.
    • Cinchona macrocalyx var. obtusifolia Pavón ex DC.
    • Cinchona macrocalyx var. uritusinga Pav. ex DC.
    • Cinchona obtusifolia Pav. ex DC.
    • Cinchona officinalis var. bonplandiana-colorata Howard
    • Cinchona officinalis var. bonplandiana-lutea Howard
    • Cinchona officinalis var. condaminea (Bonpl.) Howard
    • Cinchona officinalis var. crispa (Tafalla ex Howard) Howard
    • Cinchona officinalis var. uritusinga (Pav. ex DC.) Howard
    • Cinchona palton Pav.
    • Cinchona peruviana Mutis
    • Cinchona suberosa Pav. ex Howard.
    • Cinchona uritusinga Pav. ex Howard
    • Cinchona violacea Pav. ex Howard
    • Cinchona weddelliana Kuntze
    • Hindsia subandina Krause
    • Quinquina officinalis (L.) Kuntze
    • Quinquina palton (Pav.) Kuntze

Cinchona officinalis is a South American tree in the family Rubiaceae. It is native to wet montane forests in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, between 1600–2700 meters above sea level.[1]


Cinchona officinalis is a shrub or tree with rugose bark and branchlets covered in minute hairs. Stipules lanceolate or oblong, acute or obtuse, glabrous. Leaves lanceolate to elliptic or ovate, usually about 10 centimetres (3.9 in). long and 3.5–4 centimetres (1.4–1.6 in). wide; acute, acuminate, or obtuse tip; base rounded to attenuate; coriaceous, glabrous above and often lustrous; glabrous beneath or puberulent or short-pilose, especially on the veins. Inflorescences in terminal panicles, many-flowered; hypanthium with short coarse hairs; reddish calyx, glabrous or nearly so, with triangular lobes; pink or red corolla, sericeous, the lobes ovate, acute, the corolla tube being about 1 cm. long. Fruit and oblong capsule, 1.5–2 cm. long, almost glabrous.[1][2]

Vernacular names[edit]

English: quinine, red cinchona, cinchona bark, Jesuit’s bark, loxa bark, Jesuit’s powder, countess powder, Peruvian bark.[3][4]

Spanish: quina, cascarilla, cargua cargua, corteza coja.[3][5]

French: quinquina, écorce du Pérou.[6]


Cinchona officinalis is a medicinal plant, one of several Cinchona species used for the production of quinine, which is an anti-fever agent. It is especially useful in the prevention and treatment of malaria. Other alkaloids that are extracted from this tree include cinchonine, cinchonidine and quinidine.[3]


  1. ^ a b Standley, Paul C. (1936). "Rubiaceae". In Macbride, J.F. (ed.). Flora of Peru. Vol. 13. Field Museum of Natural History. pp. 30–31.
  2. ^ Standley, Paul C. (1931). "The Rubiaceae of Ecuador". Botanical Series. Field Museum of Natural History. VII (2): 197–198.
  3. ^ a b c Duke, J.A. (2009). Duke's handbook of medicinal plants of Latin America. CRC Press. pp. 212–214. ISBN 978-1-42-004317-4.
  4. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (2012). CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants. CRC Press. pp. 951–952. ISBN 978-1-42-008044-5.
  5. ^ Grandtner, M.M.; Chevrette, Julien (2013). Dictionary of Trees, Volume 2: South America: Nomenclature, Taxonomy and Ecology. Academic Press. p. 133. ISBN 9780123969545.
  6. ^ Honnorat, Simon-Jude (1847). Dictionnaire Provençal-Français, ou Dictionnaire de la Langue d'Oc (in French). Vol. 2. Digne: Repos éditeur. p. 990.

External links[edit]

Media related to Cinchona officinalis at Wikimedia Commons