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Medicinal, culinary and unusual botanicals from Australia and around the world

Alstonia constricta – Bitterbark (seed)

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A member of the Apocynaceae family, Alstonia constricta is native to the central and southern areas of Queensland, and also the far north coast, northwest slopes and northwest plains of NSW. A shrub or tree 10-12 metres tall, the outer bark is fissured and corky, the inner bark is yellow and intensely bitter to the taste.

Stem bark has been used as a tonic and has been said to be useful during flu and early stages of typhoid fever, although it has little antimalarial activity (Lassak & McCarthy, 1983). The milky sap which exudes from cut stems and leaves has been used for infectious sores but can be severe to the skin.

Reported in the literature to contain: several alkaloids in the stem bark including alstonine, alstonidine, etc, whilst the root bark contains reserpine, vincamajine, alstonidine, etc. (Lassak & McCarthy, 1983)

Care and Cultivation of Alstonia constricta

Sow Alstonia constricta seeds just under the surface (barely covered) in a well drained seed raising mix in full sun. Keep moist until germination. Drought tolerant and hardy species once established.

20+ seeds per packet


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