AIM OF THE STUDY: In our study, methanol, dichloromethane and aqueous extracts of 13 Rwandan medicinal plants used in the treatment of malaria were tested for in vitro antiplasmodial activity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The growth inhibition of chloroquine-sensitive Plasmodium falciparum strain (3D7) was evaluated using the measurement of lactate dehydrogenase activity. The active extracts were also tested against the chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum strain (W2) and for cytotoxicity assay using human normal foetal lung fibroblasts (WI-38). RESULTS: The majority of the plants tested showed an antiplasmodial activity and the best results were observed with dichloromethane leaf and flower extracts of Tithonia diversifolia, leaf extract of Microglossa pyrifolia and root extract of Rumex abyssinicus, methanol leaf extract of Fuerstia africana, root bark extracts of Zanthoxylum chalybeum and methanol bark extract of Terminalia mollis. Those extracts were active (IC(50)<15mug/ml) on both chloroquine-sensitive and resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum. Zanthoxylum chalybeum, Solanecio mannii and Terminalia mollis presented the best selectivity index. CONCLUSIONS: The traditional use of most of the plant evaluated was confirmed by the antiplasmodial test. This study revealed for the first time the antiplasmodial activity of two plants: Terminalia mollis and Rumex abyssinicus.