Cinchona ledgeriana is a plant indigenous to the eastern slopes of the Andes, where they grow from 1,500–3,000 metres (4,900–9,800 ft) in elevation in Colombia and Bolivia.
Specimens grow 15–20 metres (49–66 ft) in height and have large glossy leaves.Twenty-three species: Central America (Costa Rica, Panama) and South America (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela) and cultivated as species and hybrids in tropical regions worldwide; two species (both introduced) in China.
It is named after Charles Ledger who discovered the plant as a source of quinine, which is used in the treatment of malaria. Seeds collected by Ledger were subsequently planted in India and Java.
Several species of Cinchona are the natural source of quinine, which has long been used worldwide as a treatment for malaria.