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Classification of Voacanga Africana



The Voacanga Africana is a plant in the family Apocynaceae. It produces white flowers with purple markings on them and is also known as African Devil’s Apple or Yellow Devil’s Apple for its yellow fruit. 

It grows in western Africa, where it can be found in rainforests and semi-deciduous forests at elevations between 200 and 300 meters above sea level.


Table of Contents

Kingdom: Plantae

Plantae is the plant kingdom, a taxonomic domain within the bilaterally symmetrical Eumetazoa (animals), which includes plants, fungi, and protists. 

Plants have been considered in various ways, for example, as “plants” in general or as “vegetables”. 

They have been viewed both as immobile, incapable of moving spontaneously or autonomously; or as mobile, living organisms capable of some sort of locomotion (e.g., while growing).

Historically speaking, plants were treated by Aristotle’s biology as part of his studies on them but it was not until the 17th century that they were given their classification: Vegetables

In Linnaeus’ original scheme, there were two kingdoms: Plantae and Animalia. Still, he later divided his Plantae into classes based on whether their reproductive organs were compact or dispersed within flowers.


Order: Apocynales

Voacanga Africana is a member of the family Apocynaceae and the Order Apocynales. 

The family includes many other plants such as Periwinkle, Nerium oleander, and Mandrake.

The genus Voacanga contains about 30 species but only two species are used medicinally. V. Africana is native to West Africa but has spread throughout tropical regions worldwide as an ornamental plant or weed since its introduction in 1729 by Hans Sloane (1660 – 1753) who brought back seedlings from his travels in Sierra Leone and Jamaica.


Family: Apocynaceae

The dogbane or milkweed family (Apocynaceae) is a large family of flowering plants with about 800 genera and 5,000 species. 

It is distributed throughout the world except for Australia and Antarctica. The members of this family are also known as milkweeds, which refers to their milky sap.

The flowers have five petals and are usually white, although some species have yellow or purple petals. They can be found in nearly every kind of habitat—from marshes to deserts, from ponds to grasslands.


Genus: Voacanga

The genus Voacanga is a large and diverse group of flowering plants in the dogbane family, Apocynaceae.

The majority of species are evergreen shrubs or small trees that grow naturally in tropical Africa and Madagascar. They have been introduced elsewhere, such as in India, where some are invasive weeds.

The species may grow as tall as 4 m (13 ft) or more with trunks 30 cm (12 in) wide at their base. 

The leaves are spirally arranged on the stem with a leaflet at each node; the petioles vary from 2 to 8 cm long but those on the lower part of each branch tend to be longer than those above. 

Each leaflet has an elliptic shape measuring 1–6 cm long by 0.5–3 cm wide; its tip ends in a short point while its base is rounded.


Binomial name

The scientific name is the binomial name, which is made up of two parts: genus and species. 

The Latin binomial convention uses a capital letter for the first part, as in Voacanga Africana, while lowercase letters are used for all other parts. 

The author of the binomial name is also included in parentheses after the second part of the binomial (in this case G. Ekeberg).


Voacanga Africana Aubl

Voacanga Africana Aubl is a plant of the family Apocynaceae, genus Voacanga and species Africana. It’s commonly called the African dream herb or African thorn apple. 

The genus name Voacanga was given to this plant by Carl Linnaeus in 1782, who named it after his friend Johan Gadolin (1760-1852), a Finnish chemist and mineralogist living in Sweden at that time.

The common names for this plant reflect its hallucinogenic properties

—the Latin American term “hongos” refers to mushrooms; “Erowid,” an online drug information resource based in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and “dream herb” refer to its effects when ingested or smoked along with tobacco or cannabis leaves (i.e., as part of an ayahuasca brew). 

In South Africa, it may also be known as sangoma bush because traditional healers use it for divination purposes during their spiritual ceremonies known as muti.


Voacanga Africana is a plant in the family Apocynaceae

You are probably wondering what a Voacanga Africana is. It’s a plant in the family Apocynaceae, which means it belongs to the same family as oleander and dogbane. 

The species name, Africana, refers to the fact that this tree grows in tropical Africa; it also grows in South America and Madagascar.

This plant has been used as a medicinal plant for centuries by African tribespeople who use its bark as an ingredient in their traditional medicines. 

The leaves of this tree contain scopolamine, hyoscyamine, and other alkaloids that can cause vomiting or diarrhea if ingested orally by humans.



Voacanga Africana is a tropical plant that belongs to the Apocynaceae family. 

The name “Voacanga” comes from one of its local names in Africa and it means, “woolly berry.” 

This plant is mostly found in West Africa, especially in Ghana and Nigeria.


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