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Alstonia constricta facts for kids

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Alstonia constricta
Alstonia constricta flowers.jpg
Alstonia constricta foliage and flowers
Scientific classification
Genus:
Alstonia
Species:
constricta

Alstonia constricta, commonly known as quinine bush or bitterbark, is an endemic Australian endemic shrub or small tree of the family Apocynaceae.

Growth

Alstonia constricta has an erect growth form. Growing to 12 m in height. The species is capable of producing adventitious shoots or ‘suckers’ from the root system and in this manner often forms thickets. Leaves are pubescent, narrow and lanceolate, from 5–20 cm in length. Flowers are white to cream, 2– 4 cm across. The bark has a corky textured and develops a grooved appearance in older plants. Alstonia constricta produces a white latex, and contains several alkaloids, several of which have medicinal potential, including reserpine.

Distribution and habitat

Alstonia constricta bark
Alstonia constricta bark.

Alstonia constricta is the only subtropical member of the genus, and occurs in Eastern Australia from the Tropic of Capricorn southward to northern New South Wales. The species occurs in Eucalypt and Acacia woodlands, vine scrubs and gallery forests from humid coastal regions through to the semi-arid and arid inland. The field botanist Anders Bofeldt discovered an isolated population in the Shoalhaven River Gorge in southern New South Wales.

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