Cinchona pubescens

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Cinchona pubescens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Cinchona
Binomial name
Cinchona pubescens
Vahl, 1790

Cinchona pubescens, the Quinine Tree, is known for because its bark has a lot of quinine.[1] It has similar uses to Cinchona officinalis in making quinine, used for treatment of malaria. [1] It is native to Costa Rica, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. In Ecuador, C. pubescens is found at altitudes from 300 to 3900 m above sea level. It grows to about 10 metres in height.[2] It has the widest distribution of all Cinchona species [2]

Planted on other tropical islands it has become an invasive species.[2] It grows quickly, and spreads by both seeds and root suckers. Other plants are unable to grow in the shade that it creates.[2] In the Galapagos Islands the tree was planted by farmers as a crop for the quinine.[2] It has become a dominant species on Santa Cruz Island, taking over from the shrub Miconia and Fern-Sedges. It is also invasive in Hawaii on Maui and the Big Island.[3]

Attempts have been made to control the plant in the Galapagos National Park using a variety of methods.[2] It is not affected by many poisons, it will regrow from a stump or any piece of root left in the ground.[2] Controlling it over all of Santa Cruz island would cost several million US dollars according to research by the Charles Darwin Foundation.

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