Voacanga foetida (Blume) Rolfe


Location in our garden



Orchipeda foetida Blume

Vinca foetida Noronha


Shrubs. Shrub or tree, perennial, growing up to 25 m high.

Part Used

  • Leaves
  • Bark
  • Latex

Growing Requirements

  • Need Shade


  • Forest
  • Mountains


Voacanga foetida is native to Indonesia and Philippines. This non edible plant is mainly distributed in Sumatra, Java, and Lombok Island. The plant extract has been used as traditional medicines to treat various skin diseases. The most utilized part of the plant are the leaves and the barks. It is used as firewood and the bark is used in making rope.

Vernacular Names

Simbar badak hitam (Malaysia).


It grows in open forest and often found in secondary forests at elevation of 400-1,100 m above sea level.


  • Stem - brown woody, grey bark, and has white sap.
  • Leaves - single, opposite.
  • Flower - inflorescence few-flowered, 12−22 cm long, glabrous, with an unpleasant smell. Stamens inserted near the base of the corolla tube, at 7-10 mm from base; Ovaries glabrous, 2 mm high, style and style head 10 mm long.
  • Fruit - fleshy, free from each other, subglobose, 6−11 cm diameter. 
  • Seeds - with an orange aril, furrowed, 10-12 by 5-7 by 4-6.5 mm.


Generatively propagated by seed.

Chemical Constituents

Alkaloids (voacristine, voacangine, coronaridine, lombine, quinine, vobtusine, ibogamine), sterols, phenols, fatty acids (palmitic acid and oleic acid).

Traditional Medicinal Uses

  • Studies had shown antimalarial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, cytotoxic, and analgesic activities, and potential as anticancer.
  • The aqueous extract of leaves or bark is commonly used to treat a wide range of skin conditions such as wounds, itches, swellings.
  • The leaves warmed over a fire and then placed on chronic leg sores; this is a common practice in many parts of Indonesia In Sumatra, the plant’s latex has been used externally to treat skin disorders.

Part Used

Reference Sources

  1. Flora Malesiana. (No date). Voacanga foetida. https://portal.cybertaxonomy.org/flora-malesiana/cdm_dataportal/taxon/4748601d-1005-4fb7-a134-b98c964d83f1. 03-04-2022.
  2. Hadi, S., Asnawati, D., and Febrianti, N. (2010). STRUCTURE ELUCIDATION OF ALKALOIDS FROM LEAVES OF Voacanga foetida (Bl.) Rolfe OF LOMBOK ISLAND. Indonesian Journal of Chemistry, Vol.10(2):202-207. Also available: https://jurnal.ugm.ac.id/ijc/article/view/21460/14165.
  3. Hadi, S., et al. (2020). A Study of Antioxidant and Antimalarial Activity from the Bark of Voacanga Foetida BI. Rolfe, A Medicinal Plant from Lombok Island. Oriental Journal of Chemistry, Vol.36(3).DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.13005/ojc/360324. also available:  http://www.orientjchem.org/vol36no3/a-study-of-antioxidant-and-antimalarial-activity-from-the-bark-of-voacanga-foetida-bi-rolfe-a-medicinal-plant-from-lombok-island/
  4. Hadi, S., et al.(2015). Chemical Constituent of DCM Extract and Neutral-Acid Fraction ofVoacanga foetida (Bl.) Rolfe Leaves from Three Locations of Lombok Island on The Basis of GC-MS Analysis. Proceedings of The 9 th Joint Conference on Chemistry. Also available: https://jcc.undip.ac.id/assets/attachments/JCC9%20-%20content/Proceeding%20content%20rev_Part73.pdf.
  5. Kew Royal Botanic Gardens. (No date). Plants of the World Online: Voacanga foetida (Blume) Rolfe. https://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:82734-1. 03-04-2022.
  6. Susanti, A., et all. (2020). The Anti-proliferation Effect of an Isolated Butanol Fraction of Tampa Badak (Voacanga foetida (Bl.) K. Schum) Leaves on Leukemia, Lung, and Cervical Cancer. Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research (PSR), 7(3): 171-177. Also available: https://scholarhub.ui.ac.id/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1196&context=psr.
  7. Trees of Tropical Asia. (2022). Voacanga foetida. http://www.plantsofasia.com/index/english/0-294. 03-04-2022.
  8. USDA. (2021). Voacanga foetida (Apocynaceae). https://phytochem.nal.usda.gov/phytochem/ethnoPlants/show/7829. 03-04-2022.