Fifty-five organic and aqueous extracts of 11 plants used in malaria therapy in Kisii District, Kenya were tested in vitro against chloroquine (CQ)-sensitive and resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum. Of the plants tested, 73% were active (IC(50) < 100 microg/ml). Three plants, Vernonia lasiopus, Rhamnus prinoides and Ficus sur afforded extracts with IC(50) values ranging less than 30 microg/ml against both CQ-sensitive and resistant strains. Combination of some extracts with CQ against the multi-drug resistant P. falciparum isolate V1/S revealed some synergistic effect. The plant extracts with low IC(50) values may be used as sources for novel antimalarial compounds to be used alone or in combination with CQ.