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Cinchona pubescens



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Tree . This widely cultivated tropical forest tree invades a variety of forest and non-forest habitats , spreading by wind-dispersed seeds and replacing and outshading native vegetation. One of the more well-know members of the family because of its efficacy in the treatment of malaria.

Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in Catalan, Valencian:

Quina roja

Common Names in English:

Cinchona, Peruvian Bark, Quina, Quinine, Quinine Bark, Quinine Tree, Quinquina, Red Cinchona, Red Peruvian-Bark, Red Quinine Tree, Redbark

Common Names in French:

Quinquina Rouge

Common Names in Portuguese:

Quina-Do-Amazonas, Quineira

Common Names in Spanish:

Cascarilla, Cinchona


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Family Rubiaceae

The Rubiaceae are trees , shrubs , or infrequently herbs comprising about 450 genera and 6,500 species, including some lianous forms. The leaves are simple and usually entire, and are opposite or sometimes whorled ; stipules are present and interpetiolar . The flowers are nearly always bisexual and actinomorphic , often heterostylous, and usually are in cymose inflorescences. The calyx is mostly somewhat reduced and 4-5-lobed or sometimes the lobes are obsolete or rarely one of them greatly expanded and brightly colored . The sympetalous corolla is mostly 4-5-lobed, occasionally with 3 or up to 10 lobes. The androecium consists of as many stamens as corolla lobes and is adnate to the corolla tube or epigynous zone, alternate with the lobes. The gynoecium consists of a single compound pistil of 2 or seldom more carpels, a single style, and a nearly always inferior ovary with the number of locules equaling the number of carpels, each with 1-many axile ovules. An epigynous nectary disk is usually present. The fruit is variable, sometimes forming multiples . -- Gerald Carr.

Physical Description

Species Cinchona pubescens

Small to rather large tree up to 10m high. Bark tends to turn reddish when cut . Leaves are shaped from broadly elliptic or oval to broadly oblong , are rather thin, conspicuously veined, somewhat pubescent beneath and turn red with age while persisting on the tree. Flowers are in large panicles, pink and fragrant; capsules ovoid fusiform , 2-3 cm long, walls firm (Source: Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk).

Habit: Tree


Size: 15-20' tall.


Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 4,936 meters (0 to 16,194 feet).[1]

Ecology: Rapid spread , fast growth and growth habit (tree with dense canopy ) result in fast invasion and replacement of native vegetation in naturally treeless environments. Shrub and herb layers experience dramatic loss of species diversity , with very few species able to grow below canopy.


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Spreads rapidly by wind-dispersed seeds, grows fast (1-2 m per year) and produces seed from the age of 4 years. Also produces suckers from roots , and re-sprouts readily from damaged stems. Produces enormous quantities of small seeds.

Duration: Perennial


Culture: Space 15-20' apart.


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Cinchona caloptera Miq. • Cinchona chomeliana Wedd. • Cinchona colorata Laubert Ex B. D. Jacks. • Cinchona cordifolia Mutis • Cinchona cordifolia var. macrocarpa Wedd. Ex Howard • Cinchona cordifolia var. microcarpa Howard • Cinchona cordifolia var. peruviana Howard • Cinchona cordifolia var. rotundifolia (Pav. Ex Lamb.) Wedd. • Cinchona cordifolia var. vera Wedd. • Cinchona coronulata Miq. • Cinchona decurrentifolia Pav. • Cinchona elliptica Wedd. • Cinchona goudotiana Klotzsch Ex Triana • Cinchona govana Miq. • Cinchona howardiana Kuntze • Cinchona lechleriana Schltdl. • Cinchona lutea Pav. • Cinchona morado Ruiz • Cinchona obovata Pav. Ex Howard • Cinchona ovata Ruiz & Pav. • Cinchona ovata var. rufinervis (Wedd.) Wedd. • Cinchona ovata var. vulgaris Wedd. • Cinchona palescens Vell. • Cinchona pallescens Ruiz Ex Vitman • Cinchona pallescens var. ovata (Ruiz & Pav.) Howard • Cinchona pelalba Pav. ex Dc. • Cinchona pelletieriana Wedd. • Cinchona platyphylla Wedd. • Cinchona pubescens var. cordata Dc. • Cinchona pubescens var. ovata (Ruiz & Pav.) Dc. • Cinchona pubescens var. pelletieriana (Wedd.) Wedd. • Cinchona pubescens var. purpurea (Ruiz & Pav.) Wedd. • Cinchona purpurascens Wedd. • Cinchona purpurea Ruiz & Pav. • Cinchona purpurea Vell. • Cinchona rosulenta Howard Ex Wedd. • Cinchona rotundifolia Pav. Ex Lamb. • Cinchona rubicunda Tafalla Ex Wedd. • Cinchona rufinervis Wedd. • Cinchona rugosa Pav. ex Dc. • Cinchona scrobiculata var. genuina Wedd. • Cinchona subsessilis Miq. • Cinchona succirubra Pav. Ex Klotzsch • Cinchona succirubra var. conglomerata Howard • Cinchona succirubra var. cuchicara Howard • Cinchona succirubra var. erythroderma Howard • Cinchona succirubra var. spruceana Howard • Cinchona succirubra var. vera Howard • Cinchona tucujensis H. Karst. • Quinquina obovata (Pav. Ex Howard) Kuntze • Quinquina ovata (Ruiz & Pav.) Kuntze • Quinquina pubescens (Vahl) Kuntze • Quinquina succirubra (Pav. Ex Klotzsch) Kuntze


Name Status: Accepted Name .

Last scrutiny: 11-Nov-2003

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Cinchona

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 4 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

C. calisaya (Quinine) · C. calysaya (Yellowbark) · C. officinalis (Quinine) · C. pubescens (Cinchona)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal December 01, 2007:



  1. Mean = 1,580.350 meters (5,184.875 feet), Standard Deviation = 1,376.030 based on 230 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
Last Revised: 2015-02-06