T. elliptica

Brett Calabrese bcalabrese at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 15 09:19:47 EST 2003

Anyone have info on T. elliptica - a very closely
related species to T. Iboga? Alkaloid profile, source
of seeds??? Seems it would be just as legal as my Star
Jasmine since it is not listed in the schedules of
controlled substances. I might entertain growing one
for FUN, not for the ibogaine contained in it - much
as I have a few other "interesting" but quite legal
plants (ie a San Pedro I rescued from Lowe's for 4
bucks <g>)



For nearly one hundred years, T. iboga remained the
only species in the genus Tabernanthe. However, in
1987, A.J.M. Leeuwenberg at the University of
Wageningen declared that the single-species genus
Daturicarpa elliptica Stapf. (Originally designated in
1921 from a specimen from Zaire) was in fact a synonym
of Tabernanthe (Leeuwenberg 1987). He based his
argument on the fact that the same key characters
differentiated both Tabernanthe and Daturicarpa from
Tabernaemontana, such that one was indistinguishable
from the other. In addition to its original
assignation of Daturicarpa elliptica, T. elliptica has
been described elsewhere in the literature under two
heterotrophic synonyms: D. lanceolata and D. firmula
(Vonk 1989).

T. iboga and T. elliptica are very readily confused.
They can be distinguished from each by their fruits.
T. elliptica is the only species of the tribe
Tabernaemontaneae in Africa with prickly fruit. T.
iboga’s smooth, slightly smaller fruits have a
distinctive orange color, edible pulp and rounded
seeds. When it is in flower, T. iboga may be
differentiated from T. elliptica by sepals that are
fully adnate to the corolla, as opposed to sepals that
are distinct or only partly adnate to the corolla
(Leeuwenberg 1987). The carpels of T. iboga are
connate while the capels of T. elliptica are nearly
(but not fully) distinct, united at the style and
basal disk. Finally, T. elliptica has between four and
seven pairs of secondary leaf veins, while T. iboga
has between seven and twenty pairs of secondary leaf 


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