[raw-woo l-fee-uh, rou-]
- any tropical tree or shrub of the genus Rauwolfia, as R. serpentina, of India.
- an extract from the roots of the rauwolfia, R. serpentina, containing alkaloids the most important of which is reserpine: used in medicine chiefly for the treatment of hypertension and as a sedative.
Origin of rauwolfia
1745–55; < New Latin, named after L. Rauwolf, 16th-century German botanist; see -ia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- any tropical tree or shrub of the apocynaceous genus Rauwolfia, esp R. serpentina of SE Asia
- the powdered root of R. serpentina : a source of various drugs, esp reserpine
C19: New Latin, named after Leonhard Rauwolf (died 1596), German botanist