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Colubrina is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants in the buckthorn family, Rhamnaceae, native to warm temperate to tropical regions of Africa, the Americas, southern Asia, northern Australia, and the Indian Ocean islands. Common names include nakedwood, snakewood, greenheart and hogplum. The generic name is derived from the Latin word coluber, meaning "snake", and refers to the snake-like stems or stamens.[3]

Starr 061222-2598 Colubrina asiatica.jpg
Colubrina asiatica
Scientific classification

Rich. ex Brongn., 1826[1]
Type species
Colubrina ferruginosa

See text


Barcena Dugès
Cormonema Reissek ex Endl.
Hybosperma Urb.
Macrorhamnus Baill.

The species are shrubs and small trees growing 1–10 metres (3.3–32.8 ft) tall, with simple ovate leaves. The flowers are small, greenish-white or yellowish; the fruit is a capsule containing three seeds.

The genus is at least in part a wastebasket taxon, and revision will likely result in the renaming of a number of species to different genera.[4]

Colubrina asiatica, native to tropical Asia, eastern Africa and northern Australia, has become an invasive species in Florida.


Selected speciesEdit

Formerly placed hereEdit


Colubrina species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Bucculatrix kendalli which feeds exclusively on C. texensis.


In the Caribbean, the leaves and/or fruit and in some cases the bark of some species are used to produce a soft drink called mauby.


  1. ^ "Genus: Colubrina Rich. ex Brongn". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
  2. ^ "Colubrina Rich. ex Brongn". TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2009-10-01.
  3. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. I: A-C. CRC Press. p. 588. ISBN 978-0-8493-2675-2.
  4. ^ Phillipson, P.B. (2007-07-22). "Colubrina Rich. ex Brongn". A Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Madagascar. Retrieved 2009-10-01.
  5. ^ a b Nesom, Guy L. (2013). "Taxonomic Notes on Colubrina (Rhamnaceae)" (PDF). Phytoneuron. 4: 1–21.
  6. ^ Bornhorst, Heidi Leianuenue (2005). Growing Native Hawaiian Plants: A How-to Guide for the Gardener (2 ed.). Bess Press. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-57306-207-7.
  7. ^ "Protected Trees" (PDF). Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Republic of South Africa. 3 May 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-07-05.
  8. ^ "Colubrina Rich. ex Brongn. Subordinate Taxa". TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2009-10-01.
  9. ^ a b "GRIN Species Records of Colubrina". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2010-10-16.
  10. ^ "Colubrina". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2010-01-25.

External linksEdit