Tabernaemontana elegans

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Tabernaemontana elegans
warty fruit, holding numerous seeds
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Tabernaemontana
Species: T. elegans
Binomial name
Tabernaemontana elegans
  • Conopharyngia elegans (Stapf) Stapf
  • Leptopharyngia elegans (Stapf) Boiteau

Tabernaemontana elegans is a shrub or small tree that is native to eastern Africa. Vernacular names for the plant include "Toad tree".


It grows up to 15 metres (49 ft) tall, with a trunk diameter of up to 30 centimetres (12 in). Its fragrant flowers feature white, creamy or pale yellow corolla lobes. Fruit consists of 2 separate ovoid or ellipsoid pods, up to 8 centimetres (3.1 in) each.


Habitat is in forests or bushland from sea-level to 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) altitude. The plant is native to Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and South Africa.[2][3][4]


Its numerous local medicinal uses include the treatment of heart disease, cancer, tuberculosis and venereal diseases. T. elegans is also used as an aphrodisiac.[2] The Zulu name for this genus, iNomfi, refers to the use of their sticky, milky latex as bird-lime.[5]

opposite, entire leaves 
symmetrical fruit pods 


  1. ^ "Tabernaemontana elegans". The Plant List. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Medicinal Plants. PROTA. 2008. pp. 592–593. ISBN 978-9-05782-204-9. 
  3. ^ "Tabernaemontana elegans". Flora of Zimbabwe. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Tabernaemontana elegans". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Palmer, Eve (1977). A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa. London, Johannesburg: Collins. pp. 303–304. ISBN 0-620-05468-9.