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Species Identification (contd.)


Gnetum gnemonGnetaceae

Synonyms: Gnetum acutatum, G. vinosum

Common names: G. gnemon var. gnemon: Melinjo, Spanish joint fir (En); voë khlaèt (Cam); melinjo, belinjo, bagoe (Ins); meninjau, belinjau (Mal); hyinbyin, tanyin-ywe (Mya); bago, banago (Phi); peesae (Tha); gam cay, bét (Vie). G. gnemon var tenerum: phak miang, phak kariang, liang (Tha).

Key characteristics: Shrub or small tree; branches in whorls down to base of trunk; leaves opposite, with bent and joining secondary nerves; flowers in whorls at nodes. Fruit nut-like, yellow to red or purple, with one seed.

Description: A slender evergreen tree, 5–10 m tall, branching in whorls from the base. Trunk straight, with conspicuous, raised rings and grey bark. Branches thickened at base. Leaves opposite, elliptical, 7.5–20 cm long and 2.5–10 cm wide with secondary nerves bent and joining. The 3–6 cm long flowerstands are axillary, also from the older wood with flowers in whorls at the nodes. Female flowers 5–8 at each node, globose and tipped. The nut-like, ellipsoid fruit is 1–3.5 cm long, shortly apiculate first yellow then red to purple when ripe, containing one seed. Cultivated trees, belonging to G. gnemon var. gnemon, are larger in tree size and fruits. Other varieties, including G. gnemon var. tenerum, are shrub-like with much smaller fruits.

Use: The young leaves, inflorescence and fruits are cooked in vegetable dishes. The seed can be eaten raw, but is usually cooked or preserved as pounded flat cakes from which crispy snacks can be made. The bark provides a high quality fibre used for fishing lines and nets (it is durable in sea water).

Ecology: Found in rain forests up to 1,200 m altitude, commonly on riverbanks. For cultivation areas with a distinct dry season is preferable in order to synchronize fruiting. Apparently no specific requirements to soil, although moisture must be available during the dry season.

Distribution: Found and cultivated throughout Southeast Asia.

References: Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Grevillea robustaProteaceae

Common names: Silky oak, grevillea (En); khadaw hmi (Mya); son india (Tha); cây trài-bàn (Vie).

Key characteristics: Evergreen; straight bole; cone shaped crown; new twigs and branchlets with grey or rust colored hairs; leaves fernlike, silky white haired below; flowers 4-merous yellow.

Description: A small to medium sized evergreen tree up to 20 m tall (sometimes higher) with a straight bole up to 90 cm in diameter and cone-shaped crown. Bark on young trees grey and smooth, on older trees deeply fissured, grey-black with oblong scales. New twigs and branchlets covered with grey or rust colored hairs. Leaves are alternate, fernlike, 15–30 cm long divided into (9–21) pairs of leaflets, each 4–9 cm long, with deep narrow lobes, dark shiny green and hairless above, silky white haired below. The inflorescence is 7.5 to 18 cm long racemes borne on the trunk, leafless parts of twigs and at leaf bases with showy yellowish flowers with 4 narrow sepals 12 mm long, crowded on one side of inflorescence axis. The podlike flattened fruits are 2 cm long, black with long slender stalks and 1–2 seeds inside.

Use: Used for timber and fuelwood and planted as an ornamental and shade tree. A gum can be extracted from the trunk. The flower provides a basis for honey production.

Ecology: Grows naturally in subtropical areas.

Distribution: From its origin in eastern Australia, it has been widely introduced to tropical and subtropical areas worldwide, including Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

References: F/FRED (1992), Little (Undated).

Hevea brasiliensisEuphorbiaceae

Common names: Para rubber, natural rubber (En); kausuu (Cam); karet (Ins); jaang (Lao); getah asli (Mal); kyetpaung kaw bat (Mya); yang phara (Tha); cây cao su (Vie).

Key characteristics: Medium sized tree; straight stem; trifoliate leaves of variable size, leaflets elliptic or obovate; fruits 3-lobed capsules, 3–5 cm in diameter; white latex in all parts.

Description: A quick-growing tree up to 25m tall (wild trees may reach 40 m) with copious white to yellow latex in all parts. Leaves spirally arranged, trifoliate with nectaries at junction of leaflet and the 2–70cm long leaf stalk (normally about 15 cm). Leaflets are short stalked, elliptic or obovate, entire, 4–50 × 1.5–15cm, with acute base and pointed tip, dark green and smooth above, paler below. About 20 pairs of veins are pinnate. Leaves may be shed completely or partly during dry periods. Numerous small flowers are borne in soft-haired panicles with few female and numerous male flowers separated. Female flowers are 8mm long with yellow, bell-shaped calyx, with 5 triangular lobes and no petals. Male flowers 5 mm long with 10 anthers in two circles.

Use: The main use is the latex (rubber) from which directly or indirectly about 50,000 different products are produced. Its importance receded somewhat after the emergence of synthetic rubber. The wood has become popular for furniture making. Traditionally seeds were eaten after boiling to remove their poisonous contents.

Ecology: Wild rubber grows in evergreen tropical rain forest, often in periodically flooded areas, where climate is hot, humid and shows little seasonal variation. Some drought is tolerated, though. Although the tolerate pH range is quite wide (pH 4–8), it prefers deep well drained loams of pH 5–6. Lime is not tolerated.

Distribution: Originates in tropical South America. Now also grown in Myanmar, Thailand, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and southern Philippines.

References: Purseglove (1974), Westphal & Jansen (1993).

Intsia bijugaLeguminosae (Caesalpinioideae)

Synonyms: Macrolobium bijugum, Eperua decandra, Afzelia bijuga, Albizia bijuga

Common names: Borneo teak, moluccan ironwood (En); merbau (Mal); tat-talum (Mya); praduu thale, lumpho thale (Tha).

Key characteristics: Large; sometimes buttressed; bark grey with orange tinge; leaves with 2 pairs of leaflets; flowers white and pink with only one petal; freshly cut wood smells like beans.

Description: A broadly crowned large tree up to 45 m tall and 200 cm in diameter, sometimes buttressed. Deciduous in areas with dry season. Bark is grey tinged with orange. The leaves are alternate, compound with two (rarely three) pairs of opposite, papery leaflets, 8–12 cm × 5–8.5 cm, asymmetric ovate-obovate with round base and emarginate tip. Flowers are white and pink, clustered on terminal panicles (corymbs) and have only one white petal. Pods are 10–25 cm long and 4–6.5 cm wide and contains 1–8 dark brown seeds. Freshly cut wood smells like raw beans.

Use: A premium wood for posts, flooring, furniture, panelling, stairs, window and door frames. Dye can be extracted from wood and bark. Seeds and bark are used in traditional medicine.

Ecology: Tropical lowland tree growing scattered along seashores and swamps and some-times stream banks in areas receiving 2,000 mm annual rain or more. Prefers sandy soils but tolerates a wide range of types. Nitrogen fixing.

Distribution: Native to Southeast Asia and Southwestern Pacific islands and found in Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.

References: Guzman et al (1986), Hensleigh & Holaway (1988).

Lagerstroemia speciosaLythraceae

Synonym: Lagerstroemia flos-reginae

Common names: Queens flower (En); pyinma (Mya); banaba (Phi); chuangmuu, tabaek-dam, baa-ngo ba saa, inthanin (Tha); bàng-lǎng nuoc (Vie).

Key characteristics: Medium sized tree; bark with thin yellowish lines; leaves mostly opposite, large, entire; large, purplish, showy flowers; seeds winged.

Description: Up to 30 m tall and 40 cm in diameter. Bark gray with thin yellowish lines. Leaves simple, opposite or slightly alternate, entire, usually smooth and rather large, becoming reddish or yellow before falling. Young leaves dull reddish brown and very shiny. The flowers are usually purplish, 2.5–3 cm long, grouped at tip of branches. The fruit is a small ovoid or ellipsoid capsule, 2–3.5 cm in diameter with small, pale brown seeds inside with 12–18 mm long wings.

Use: The wood is used for agricultural implements and the leaves have medicinal value. Often planted as an ornamental along city streets.

Ecology: Grows naturally in secondary forests at low to medium altitudes.

Distribution: Outside India common in Myanmar, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.

References: Guzman et al (1986).

Lansium domesticumMeliaceae

Synonyms: Aglaia dookoo, A. domestica, A. aquea

Common names: Langsat (En); langsat, duku, kokosan (Ins, Mal); langsat, duku (Mya); lansones, buahan (Phi); langsat, duku, longkong (Tha); bòn-bon (Vie).

Key characteristics: Bole irregularly fluted; steep buttresses; furrowed bark mottled grey and orange and with milky, sticky sap; twigs and leaves sometimes hairy; leaves odd-pinnate with 6– 9 leaflets; fruit up to 5 cm in diameter, yellowish hairy.

Description: Tree, up to 30 m high and 75 cm in diameter (in cultivation 5–10 m tall). Bole irregularly fluted, with steep buttresses and furrowed bark, mottled grey and orange and containing milky, sticky sap. Twigs sometimes hairy. Leaves alternate, odd-pinnate, 30–50 cm long with 6–9 leaflets, smooth to densely haired with leaf stalk up to 7 cm long. Leaflets alternate, elliptical to oblong, 9–21 cm long and 5–10 cm wide, glossy, paper-like to leathery with asymmetrical base, shortly pointed tip and 10–14 pairs of lateral veins. Stalks of leaflets 5–12 mm long, thickened at base. Inflorescence many-flowered 10–30 cm long raceme, single or in groups of 2–10 on trunk or large branches. Flowers small with fleshy, cup-shaped, greenish-yellow calyx with 5 lobes. Petals fleshy, white to pale yellow, 2–3 × 4–5 mm. Fruit an ellipsoid or globose berry, 2–4 × 1.5–5 cm (or larger), yellowish hairy with persistent calyx, thin skin and white translucent flesh.

Use: Fruit eaten fresh. Tough and durable wood for house posts, tool handles and similar. Dried fruit peels are burnt as a mosquito repellant. Fruit peel, seeds and barks have various traditional medicinal uses.

Ecology: Grows in sheltered, shaded and humid environments up to 800m altitude, with well distributed rainfall and preferably well drained, humus rich and slightly acid soil.

Distribution: Native to western South-east Asia from Thailand through Malaysia and Indonesia to the Philippines. Small scale cultivation in Myanmar and Vietnam.

References: Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Leucaena leucocephalaLeguminosae (Mimosoideae)

Synonyms: Leucaena glauca, L. latisiliqua

Common names: Leucaena (En), kânthum theet, kratin (Cam); lomtoro (Ins, Mal); kan thin (Lao); ipil-ipil (Phi); kra thin (Tha); bo chét, schemu (Vie).

Key characteristics: Bipinnately compound leaves with 10–20 pairs of leaflets on each pinnae; flowers white, in round heads 2–2.5 cm in diameter; “giant” forms are distinguished from L. diversifolia by two, 1–2 mm wide round glands on the leaf stalk at the first and last pair of pinnae of most leaves.

Description: Several types exists from shrubs to small or medium sized trees. “Giant” types may reach 20 m in height. Bark is smooth, grey to brown with small tan spots. Leaves alternate, evenly bipinnate and 10–20 cm long with 4–10 cm long pinnae. Each pinnae has 10–20 pairs of oblong or lanceolate leaflets, 8–15 mm long and 3 mm wide, that folds up in the night. Leaf base is sub-equal or oblique. The yellowish-white flowers are grouped in round flower heads 2– 2.5 cm in diameter. Pods are 10–20 cm long and 1.5 to 2 cm wide, flat and pointed in both ends, brown when ripe.

Use: Reforestation, erosion control and soil improvement. Wood used for light construction, poles, pit props, pulp, furniture, flooring and fuelwood. Green parts are used as fodder and green manure.

Ecology: As a tropical lowland pioneer species it is fast growing, competitive and thrives in full sunlight and survives with little water. However, it grows best with 1,000–3,000 mm evenly distributed annual rain, neutral to alkaline soils and temperatures between 22–30°C. Although some provenances are adapted to higher elevations, most forms thrive better below 500 m elevation. A major setback for the use of this species has been the widespread infestation by psyllids.

Distribution: Native to South Mexico and the northern part of Central America. It has been introduced throughout the tropics and has become naturalized in many places, including most countries in Southeast Asia, but not from Laos.

References: F/FRED (1992), Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), MacDicken (1994), Westphal & Jansen (93).

Litchi chinensisSapindaceae

Synonyms: ssp. chinensis: Dimocarpus litchi, Litchi sinense, Nephelium litchi; ssp. philippinensis: Euphoria didyma, Lichi philippinensis; ssp. javanensis: L. chinensis f. glomeriflora

Common names: ssp. chinensis: Lychee, litchi (En); kuléén (Cam); litsi, klèngkeng, kalèngkeng (Ins); ngèèw (Lao); laici, kelengkang (Mal); kyet-mouk, lin chi, lam yai (Mya); linchee, litchi, see raaman (Tha); vai, cay vai, tu hú (Vie).

Key characteristics: Short stocky trunk; often broad crown; compound leaves with 2–5 pairs of oblong-lanceolate leaflets; yellow-white flowers, red to purple, round fruits, about 3 cm in diameter, with flat warts.

Description: A medium sized, long lived tree, up to 30 m high with a short stocky trunk, and often crooked and twisted branches forming a crown broader than height. Leaves are alternate, pinnately compound of 2–5 pairs of leaflets with 3–8 mm long petiolules. Leaflets are oblong-lanceolate, 3–16 cm long and 1.8–4 cm wide, paper like to leathery, deep green and glossy above, glaucous below. Inflorescences are well branched panicles, 5–30 cm long with many small, yellowish-white flowers with 4-merous calyx with 6–10 stamens. The fruits are round, 3–3.5 cm in diameter with thin leathery skin, bright red to purplish, usually with dense flat warts.

Use: Cultivated primarily for its fruit. Also provide the basis for excellent quality honey. The timber is very durable.

Ecology: Native to tropical and warm subtropical areas with short, dry and cool but frost free winters and long hot summers with annual rainfall above 1,200 mm and protection from wind. Quite exacting in these climatic requirements and usually do not flower elsewhere.

Distribution: Originates somewhere in the area between southern China, northern Vietnam and Malaysia. Now also found in cool highlands in Thailand and Bali, Indonesia.

References: Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Macadamia integrifoliaProteaceae

Synonym: Macadamia ternifolia var. integrifolia

Common name: Macademia nut (En).

Key characteristics: Spreading crown; leaves in whorls of 3, leathery, long and narrow with irregularly spiny-toothed, undulating margin when young; flowers creamy white; fruit is a nut.

Description: A tree up to 18 m tall with a largely spreading crown up to 15 m in diameter. The oblong to lanceolate, leathery leaves, occurring in whorls of 3, are 10–30 cm long and 2–4 cm wide, irregularly spiny-dentate when young, later with entire margin. Leaf stalks 5– 15 mm long. The inflorescence is raceme borne in leaf corners (axillary), 10–30 cm long, bearing 100–500 creamy white flowers in groups of 2–4, each about 12 mm long, with 4 sepals. Fruit globose, 2.5–4 cm in diameter with one seed (nut) inside.

Use: The nut is of very high quality and is the primary product of this tree. The decomposed husk is used in potting soils.

Ecology: The macadamia nut grows naturally in the fringe of subtropical rain forests and tolerates quite harsh conditions

Distribution: Native to rainforests of Queensland and New South Wales in Australia. After its successful introduction into Hawaii, trees have been planted in several Southeast Asian countries, particularly in Thailand.

References: Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Mangifera altissimaAnacardiaceae

Synonyms: Mangifera rumphii, M. merrilli, Buchanania reticulata

Common names: Medang kok, membacang (Ins); paho, pahutan, pangamangaen (Phi).

Key characteristics: Prominent leaf scars, midrib & nerves; panicles 10–25 cm long; 4-merous flowers; fruit 8 × 6 cm, yellow when ripe.

Description: Erect, 12–35m tall and 35–80cm in diameter. Branchlets angular. Leaves elliptic to oblong-lanceolate, 15–43cm long, 2–11cm wide, smooth, papery, dark green above, cuneate base, entire margin, pointed tip. Midrib and nerves prominent, veins reticulate, leaf stalk 1.5–9cm long. Prominent leaf scars. Flowers at tip of twigs or from leaf corners, crowded towards the tip, panicles 10–25cm long, smooth, with small white or creamy-white flowers. Calyx 4-lobed. 4 petals and 5 stamens. Fruit ellipsoid to ovoid, 5–8 × 3–6cm and about 40g, yellowish when ripe. Flesh white, slightly fibrous, acid to slightly sweet.

Use: The immature fruit can be eaten fresh, pickled or mixed with vegetables.

Ecology: Growing in lowland primary forest, up to 400 m altitude.

Distribution: Native to the Pacific, eastern Indonesia and the Philippines.

Mangifera foetida

Key characteristics: Straight trunk; irritant whitish sap in bark; leaf stalk very swollen; flowers reddish-pink, 5-merous; fruit to 14 × 12 cm, thick skin.

Synonym: Mangifera horsfeldii.

Common names: Horse mango (En); svaay sââ (Cam); bachang, limus, asem hambawang (Ins); bachang, machang, pahu (Mal); thayet-poh, lamut (Mya); xoài hôi (Vie).

Description: To 35m high. Straight trunk. Bark light-brown to dark grey-brown, shallowly fissured with broad, flat ridges. Irritant whitish sap becoming black on exposure. Crown dense, branches massive. Leaves elliptic-oblong to broadly elliptic or oblanceolate, 15–40cm × 9–15cm, stiff leathery, dark-green above, clear green below. Leaf stalk 1.5–8cm, stout and very swollen at base. Flowers in 10–40cm long, upright panicles near branch tips, small, reddish-pink, 5-merous, scentless. Fruit obliquely ovoid-oblong to globose, 9–14cm × 7–12cm, dirty dark olive-green to yellowish green with brown lenticels. Skin about 5 mm thick. Flesh pale orange to yellow, fibrous, juicy, strong turpentine smell. Stone fibrous, about 6 × 5 × 3cm.

Use: Not highly valued, but mature fruit eaten fresh,. Younger fruits contains irritant juice and must be washed in salted water before used in fruit salads or pickle. Wood used for light indoor construction. Leaves and seeds are used in traditional medicine.

Ecology: Mainly in lowland rainforest areas with abundant and evenly distributed rainfall.

Distribution: Native to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia and introduced to southern Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam. In other S.E. Asian countries rarely cultivated.

References: Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Mangifera indicaAnacardiaceae

Common names: Mango (En); svaay (Cam); mangga, mempelam, ampelam (Ins, Mal); mwàngx (Lao); tharyetthi (Mya); mangga, paho, mango (Phi); xoài (Vie).

Key characteristics: Medium to large tree; short trunk; big crown; leaves spirally arranged, narrow elliptic to lanceolate, to 40 cm long, undulate margin; leaf stalk swollen; flowers green-yellow, 5-merous; fruit to 30 × 10 cm.

Description: An evergreen tree, 10–45 m high and 60–120 cm in diameter. Bark grey-brown with longitudinal fissures. Leaves produced in flushes, spirally arranged, simple, reddish when young, turning dark shiny green. Leaf stalk up to 10 cm long, swollen at base. Adult leaves from 8–40 cm long and 2– 10 cm wide, usually narrowly elliptic to lanceolate, somewhat leathery with tapering base, pointed tip, often undulating margin and 12–30 pairs of nerves. Inflorescences widely branched panicles up to 60 cm long, at tip of branches, soft haired with yellow-green male and hermaphrodite flowers, 5–8 mm in diameter with 5-lobed calyx and 5 petals. Fruit a fleshy drupe, variable in size, shape and color, usually obovoid-oblongoid, unequal sided, up to 10cm × 30cm. Flesh yellow to orange, juicy and sweet to turpentine flavoured with a large flat seed inside.

Use: The fruit can, depending on the cultivar, be eaten unripe green, ripe or processed into pickles, chutney, dried slices, juice or canned in syrup. Seed kernels can be used as cattle and poultry feed. The wood is fairly strong and can be used for construction and other purposes and also makes excellent charcoal and is used as a substrate for mushroom growing.

Ecology: Grows in tropical and subtropical areas up to 1,200 m altitude if no frosts occur, but optimal temperature is 27°C. Rainfall between 350–2,500 mm is needed and a dry season facilitates fruit production.

Distribution: Probably originated in Indo-Burma region, but has been cultivated for several thousand years throughout Asia.

References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Manilkara kaukiiSapotaceae

Synonym: Minusops kaukii

Common names: Sawo kecik, kayu sawo, sabo (Ins); sawah, sawai, sawau (Mal); lamut-thai, lamut-sida (Tha); gang-néo (Vie).

Key characteristics: Bole often low branched and gnarled; inner bark pinkish or reddish; leaves silky white underneath.

Description: A medium sized tree up to 25 m high and 100 cm in diameter, often with a low-branched and gnarled bole. Bark greyish-brown to dark brown, cracked to deeply fissured with pinkish or reddish inner bark. Leaves spirally arranged, clustered towards tip of twigs, simple, entire, leathery, usually obovate with rounded tip, parallel secondary and tertiary veins, silky white underneath. Inflorescences in corners of leaves or leaf scars, l-many flowered, usually with hermaphroditic flowers. Flower buds are ovoid, flower stalks not thickened, calyx up to 7 mm long. The fruit is ovoid or obovoid and up to 3.7 cm long.

Use: Timber is used for construction and especially for furniture and carving. Fruits are edible. This species is also used as a rootstock for Manilkara zapota.

Ecology: Mostly growing in coastal, fairly dry areas, up to about 500 m altitude.

Distribution: Found in Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, throughout Indonesia (except Kalimantan), Papua New Guinea and northeast Australia.

References: Soerianegara & Lemmens (1994).

Manilkara zapotaSapotaceae

Synonyms: Achras zapota, Pouteria mammosa, Nispero achras, Manilkara achras

Common names: Sapodilla, noseberry (En); lomut (Cam); sawo manila, ciku, sawo londo (Ins); lamud (Lao); ciku (Mal); chico (Phi); lamut, lamut-farang (Tha); xabôchê, hông xiêm, tam lu'c (Vie).

Key characteristics: Rich in white latex; low branched; rough dark brown bark; oblong to lanceolate leaves with numerous parallel nerves; flowers brown hairy outside, fruit reddish to yellow-brown with brown scurf.

Description: An evergreen upright tree, usually up to 20 m tall but occasionally reaching 30 m. A low branched trunk with rough dark brown bark and pyramid-shaped to globose crown. Leaves are alternate, ovate-elliptic to oblong-lanceolate, 3.5–15 cm long and 1.5–7 cm wide, cuneate or obtusely pointed at both ends, often emarginate, entire, smooth, glossy dark green with prominent midrib below and numerous parallel, lateral nerves. Leaf stalk 1–3.5 cm long. White, 6-merous flowers single on 1–2 cm long flower stalk in upper leaf corners, up to 1.5 cm in diameter, brown hairy outside. The fruit is a globose, ovoid or ellipsoid berry, 3–8 × 3–6 cm with dull reddish to yellow-brown thin skin, covered with sandy brown scurf. Flesh juicy, soft, yellow to red-brown, sweet with 0–12 oblong, 2 cm long brown or black seeds inside. All plant parts rich in white latex.

Use: Fruit eaten fresh or used in sherbets, ice cream, butter, jam or syrup. Latex previously used as basis for chewing gum and many industrial applications. Wood excellent for furniture. Seeds, flowers and bark tannin have medicinal uses.

Ecology: Adaptable species, found up to 2,500 m altitude. Survives light frost, long drought, strong winds and salt spray. However, does best at lower altitudes on rich, well drained sandy loams. Tolerates most soils including very saline.

Distribution: Originates in Central America, Mexico and West Indies. Now widespread all over Southeast Asia.

References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Moringa oleiferaMoringaceae

Synonyms: Moringa pterygosperma, M. moringa

Common names: Horse raddish tree, drumstick tree, ben oil tree (En); dan-da-lun (Mya); malungai (Phi); ma-rum (Tha); chùm ngây (Vie).

Key characteristics: Shrub or small tree; umbrella-shaped crown; bark corky or gummy; deciduous; oddly bi- or tri-pinnate leaves 20–70 cm long; leaflets ovate, 1–2 cm long, whitish below; seed pods 15–45 cm long, with 9 ribs and 3 valves; white fragrant flowers.

Description: A fast growing deciduous shrub or small tree up to 12 m tall and 30 cm in diameter with an umbrella-shaped open crown (unless repeatedly coppiced). The bark is corky and gummy. Leaves are alternate, oddly bi- or tri-pinnately compound, triangular in outline and 20– 70 cm long. Each pinnae has 3–9 pairs of 1–2 cm long ovate leaflets, soft dark green above and whitish below. The white, fragrant flowers are in pendulous panicles 1.5–2 cm long from leaf corners. The fruit pods are 15–45 cm long, 9-ribbed capsules opening by three valves to release the 3-winged seeds.

Use: Although the wood is soft, it is often used for firewood. The leaves are commonly eaten as a vegetable or used as livestock fodder. Flowers are cooked in soups. Pods are edible when young and oil is extracted from the seeds. The root can be eaten as a substitute for horse raddish. Also produces good quality honey. Roots, bark, leaves and oil are used in traditional medicine.

Ecology: Tropical pioneer species along watercourses, ponds and lakes, up to 750 m altitude, in areas with annual rainfall of 750–2,250 mm. Adaptable to soil conditions but does not tolerate waterlogging.

Distribution: Originates in India and Arabia but is now naturalized throughout the tropics. Not reported from Cambodia.

References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1992).

Morus albaMoraceae

Common names: Mulberry (En); posa (Mya); mon (Tha); dâu-tàm (Vie).

Key characteristics: Small; branching from base; leaves ovate, serrate, sometimes lobed; flowers small, white; fruits red, white or purple; heavily pruned in cultivation.

Description: A shrub or small tree up to 12 m tall, branching from the base. Bark smooth and light in color when young, becoming darker and fissured by age. Leaves ovate, serrate, occasionally deeply lobed, 5–7 cm long. Flowers are small and white, male and female flowers on seperate stalks. Fruit 2.5–5 cm long, consisting of many small drupes, red, white or purple in color, sweet and juicy. In cultivation the mulberry tree is usually heavily pruned and remains small, shrubby or hedge-like.

Use: Leaves provides the main source of food for silk worms and can also be fed to rabbits, swine and cattle. The berries can be eaten fresh or made into jellies and jams. Bark has traditionally been used for paper production in China and Nepal. Wood is used for fuel and sports goods like tennis rackets and hockey sticks.

Ecology: Prefers slightly acid, deep soils, in areas where annual mean temperatures are within the range of 12 to 29°C and annual rainfall from 600 to 1,400 mm. in the Himalayas found up to 2,000 m altitude.

Distribution: Originates in China and is now found in many Southeast Asian countries including Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

References: F/FRED (1992), Purse-glove (1974).

Muntingia calaburaFlacourtiaceae

Common names: Capulin, Jamaica cherry (En); krakhôb barang (Cam); cerri, kersen, talok (Ins); kerukup siam (Mal); hnget-thagya (Mya); datiles (Phi); takhop farang, krop farang (Tha); trúng ca, mat sam (Vie).

Key characteristics: Small, evergreen tree; soft haired branches spreading like a fan; leaves simple, serrate, grey haired below; 5-merous white flowers; fruit a red berry, 15 mm in diameter.

Description: A small evergreen tree up to 12 m high, growing and flowering continuously with soft haired, hanging branches spreading horizontally like a fan. Leaves alternate, simple, ovate-lanceolate, 4–14 cm long and 1–4 cm wide with serrated margin and grey hairy lower leaf surface. The 5-merous, white flowers borne in 1–5-flowered groups. Fruit a dull red berry, 15 mm in diameter with thousands of tiny seeds in soft flesh.

Use: The sweet berries can be eaten fresh or made into jam. The bark can be made into ropes and the flowers are used in traditional medicine.

Ecology: Typical pioneer species on disturbed sites in tropical lowlands up to 1,000 m altitude, preferably on slightly acid soil.

Distribution: Although not native to Southeast Asia and usually not actually cultivated, it has become one of the most common roadside trees in the region after its initial introduction to the Philippines.

References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Myristica fragransMyristicaceae

Common names: Nutmeg (En); pala banda, bunga pala (Ins); chan theed (Lao); buah pala, bunga pala (Mal); zadeik-po (Mya); chan thet (Tha); dâu khâu (Vie).

Key characteristics: Small; branchlets slender; leaves elliptic or oblong-lanceolate, 8–11 pairs of lateral veins, aromatic; Male and female flowers mostly on seperate trees, pale yellow; fruit broad pyriform drupe splitting into two halves, seed dark brown, aril red.

Description: An evergreen tree up to 5–13 m tall, reaching sometimes 20 m, with slender branches and superficial roots. Crown conical if free standing. Alternate leaves on about 1 cm long leaf stalks, elliptic or oblong-lanceolate, acute base and pointed tip, dark shiny green above and paler beneath, 5–15 cm long and 2–7 cm wide with 8–11 pairs of lateral veins and aromatic smell when crushed. Male and female flowers mostly on separate trees in similar looking umbels arising from leaf corners, 1–10 flowers, about 5–7 mm long, in male cymes and 1–3, about 1 cm long flowers in female, on 1–1.5 cm long stalks. Waxy, fleshy flowers fragrant, pale yellow and glabrous with bell-shaped calyx and no petals. Fruit a smooth, fleshy, yellow drupe, 6–9 cm long with longitudinal ridge, splitting in two when ripe, exposing purplish-brown shiny seed in a red aril.

Use: Two spices can be produced from M. fragrans: nutmeg from the dried seed and mace from the dried aril. Essential oils can be extracted from the seeds.

Ecology: In its native Molucca nutmegs are grown on rich volcanic soils up to 500 m altitude in a non-seasonal climate of 2,200–3,600 mm annual rain and temperatures from 24 to 33°C. Prefers some shade when young and does not tolerate waterlogging or excessive soil drying. Very rarely found growing wild.

Distribution: Originates in the Molucca Islands from where it has, more or less successfully, been introduced into Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, elsewhere in Indonesia and outside the region.

References: Purseglove (1974), Westphal & Jansen (1993).

Nephelium lappaceumSapindaceae

Synonyms: Nephelium glabrum, N.chryseum, N. sufferugineum

Common names: Rambutan (En); saaw maaw, ser mon (Cam); rambutan (Ins, Mal,Phi); usan (Phi); ngoh, phruan (Tha); chôm chôm, vai thiêù (Vie).

Key characteristics: Alternate, jugate leaves, hairy below; flowers white, yellowish greenish, no petals; fruit reddish with dense curved hair-like appendages.

Description: A fairly large tree in natural vegetation, but cultivated trees are about 4–7 m high with spreading crown. Leaves are alternate, jugate with up to 6 pairs of, ovate to obovate leaflets, 5–28 cm long and 2–10.5cm wide, smooth above, sometimes hairy on midrib, below variably hairy, nerves slightly to strongly curving. Inflorescence axillary, superficially appearing to be at branch tips. Flowers white, yellowish or greenish with 4–5 (sometimes 7) sepals, about 1–2 mm long and no petals. Trees with male or hermaphroditic flowers, the latter being functionally either male or female. The fruit ellipsoid or sub-globular, up to 5 × 7 cm or 20–95 g, yellow to purplish-red with dense, filiform, curved, 0.5–2 cm long appendages.

Use: Sweet fruits are eaten fresh, sour ones can be stewed first. Can also be canned or made into jam although losing some of its taste. Leaves, bark, fruit, roots all have various traditional medicinal uses. Young shoots are used for silk dye and a solid fat can be produced from the seed kernel.

Ecology: Low or middle-storey tree in primary and secondary forest types in humid tropical lowlands up to 600 m altitude, on dry to swampy weakly acid soils, with annual rainfall of 2,500 mm or more and low wind exposure.

Distribution: The origin is not known, but rambutan is now found from southern China through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia to the Philippines.

References: Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Paraserianthes falcatariaLeguminosae

Synonyms: Albizia falcataria, A. falcata, A. moluccana, Adenanthera falcata, Adenanthera falcataria

Common names: Molucca albizia, Indonesia albizia, white albizia (En); djeungdjing, sengon, sengon laut (Ins); batai, kayu macis (Mal); thinbaw-magyi (Mya).

Key characteristics: Spreading flat crown; smooth bark with corky warts; bipinnate leaves, leaflets asymmetrical, 6–12 mm long, 3–5 mm wide; flowers white, fragrant; pods thin walled, 10–13 cm long.

Description: A fast growing medium sized deciduous tree up to 30 m tall and 80 cm in diameter with a spreading, flat crown (narrow in dense planting). Bark grayish white and smooth with corky warts. Leaves alternate, bipinnately compound, 22– 30cm long with 10–12 pairs of pinnae. Each pinnae is 5–10 cm long with 15– 20 pairs of 6–12 mm long and 3–5 mm wide asymmetrical pointed leaflets. The 10–12 mm long creamy white and fragrant flowers are borne in 20–25 cm long inflorescence. The flat, thin walled pods are 10–13 cm long and 2 cm wide, first green, then brown.

Use: The soft, light wood is used for pulp, particle board, packing cases, boxes, matches, chopsticks, veneer and light furniture and sometimes as fuelwood. It can be pruned for mulch for soil improvement. Also used as a shade tree in plantations of coffee, tea, cacao and banana.

Ecology: Grows in the warm, humid tropical zone where the dry season is short and rainfall evenly distributed, mostly on well drained soils; nitrogen fixing.

Distribution: Originates in Papua New Guinea, eastern Indonesia and the Solomon Islands, from where it has been introduced to Malaysia, western Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar and other southeast Asian countries.

References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Little (Undated), MacDicken (1994).

Parkia speciosaLeguminosae

Synonyms: Parkia roxburghii, P. javanica

Common names: Petai (Ins); sato, to dan, to khao (Tha).

Key characteristics: Hairy branchlets; leaves bipinnately compound; leaflets 5–9 mm, rounded tips, with pointed lobe at base; flowers in pear-shaped hanging heads; large, strongly twisted pods.

Description: A 15–35 m high tree up to 50–100 cm in diameter. Branchlets hairy. Bipinnate leaves on 2–6 cm long stalks with gland 0.7–1.5 cm above stalk base. 14–18 pairs of pinnae, 5–9 cm long, each with 31–38 pairs of opposite linear leaflets, 5–9 mm long and about 2 mm wide, with rounded tip and small pointed lobe or ear at base. The inflorescence is hanging, pear-shaped heads. Pods 35–45 cm long and 3–5 cm wide, usually strongly twisted.

Use: (Young) seeds eaten raw or cooked or may be pickled. The pods may also be fed to swine. Branches are used for fuelwood and main trunk provides good furniture wood.

Ecology: Tropical lowland tree growing in areas with 1,000–2,000 mm annual rainfall, mean annual temperature about 24°C and well drained loamy or clay-loam soils. Requires some shade when young. Nitrogen fixing.

Distribution: Myanmar, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia.

References: F/FRED (1992), Smitinand & Larsen (1985).

Persea americanaLauraceae

Synonym: Persea gratissima

Common names: Avocado, alligator pear (En); ‘avôkaa (Cam); adpukat, avokad (Ins); avokado, apukado (Mal); htaw bat (Mya); awokado (Thai); bo’, lê daù (Vie).

Key characteristics: Small to medium sized dome-shaped tree; spirally arranged leaves, simple, entire, with pleasant smell, reddish when young; flowers small, greenish, 3-merous; fruit large round or pyriform berry with green flesh.

Description: A spreading dome-shaped tree up to 20 m tall, although normally about 8– 10 m, with brittle twigs and often with drooping branches when older. Leaves alternate, simple and crowded at the shoot tips, with pleasant smell when crushed. The leaf blade is ovate, oblong, dark green and somewhat shiny above, dull below, 10–20 cm long and 3–10 cm wide. Flowers grouped in compound, soft haired panicles in the leaf corners and crowded towards the shoot tips. The small flowers are hermaphroditic, greenish cream colored and very fragrant. The large round, oblong, pear- or bottle-shaped fruits are 7–20 cm long and 7–10 cm wide, yellowish green to dark green, sometimes tinged with purple. Skin very variable: Shiny or dull, smooth or rough, thin and papery or thick and brittle or thick and leathery. One large seed, variable in shape, constituting about half the weight of the fruit. Avocado is divided into 3 races: Mexican, Guatemalan and West Indian.

Use: Grown primarily for its nutritious fruits, mainly eaten fresh. Oil extracts is used in cosmetic products. The fruit and leaves are used medicinally. Wood not durable but can provide lower quality firewood.

Ecology: A tropical and subtropical rain forest species. Mexican and Guatemalan races tolerate light frost. Tolerate a wide variety of well drained soils but not saline or waterlogged ones.

Distribution: Originates in Central America. Now growing in many tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia.

References: Hensleigh & Haloway (1988), Purseglove (1974), Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Phyllanthus acidusEuphorbiaceae

Synonym: Cicca acida

Key characteristics: Leaves ovate, 2–7cm long, pinnate; rosy, 4-merous flowers; yellow-white lobed fruit 1–2.5cm in diameter.

Common names: Otaheite/malay gooseberry (En); ceremoi, cereme (Ins); chermai (Mal); thinbozihpyoo (Mya); iba, bangkiling, karmay (Phi); ma-yom (Tha); chùm ruôt (Vie).

Description: A shrub or small tree, 2–9m high. Leaves ovate, 2–7cm long, pinnately arranged along branches. Up to 12cm long panicles of rosy male, female or hermaphroditic, 4-merous flowers. Fruit roundish drupe, 1–1.3cm in diameter, yellow-white with 6–8 lobes and 4–6 seeds.

Use: Fresh acid fruits eaten raw with sugar, made into refreshing drink or cooked. Young leaves eaten as vegetable. Root bark used for tanning and the root has medicinal properties.

Ecology: Grows in tropical to subtropical moist areas, up to 1,000 m altitude.

Distribution: Probably from Madagascar. Now found all over Southeast Asia.

Phyllanthus emblica

Key characteristics: Trunk often fluted/ twisted; foliage feathery; bark peeling off exposing orange-brown layer; leaves pinnately arranged, 7–25 mm long.

Synonym: Emblica officinalis

Common names: Emblic, Malacca-tree, Indian gooseberry (En); melakka (Mal); makhaam pom (Tha).

Description: A small to medium sized, semi-deciduous tree up to 30m tall and 60cm in diameter. Trunk often fluted and twisted. Crown irregular with feathery pale green foliage. Bark thin, pale grey-brown, peeling off in oblong papery scales, exposing orange-brown layer. Twigs slender, reddish brown and fine haired. Leaves alternate in two rows, resembling pinnately compound leaf, 0.7– 2.5cm long, 2–4mm wide with rounded base, pointed tip and slightly curved edges. Flowers tiny, short stalked, pale green to greenish yellow with 6 sepals and no petals. Male and female flowers usually on the same tree. Fruits rounded, smooth, almost stalkless, greenish yellow drupes, usually single near end of twig, 2–3cm (-5cm) in diameter, juicy and very sour.

Use: Fruits very rich in vitamin C. Eaten fresh, dried or pickled. Wood for excellent charcoal and firewood, and also used for posts, agricultural implements, furniture, low grade construction. Bark used for dyeing and tanning. Foliage used for livestock fodder and green manure.

Ecology: Grows on various soil types in dry and moist deciduous forests in tropical and subtropical areas with mild winters.

Distribution: Native to tropical Asia and found wild or cultivated in Myanmar, Thailand, southern China and Malaysia.

References: Little (Undated), National Research Council (1980), Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Pithecellobium dulceLeguminosae (Mimosoideae)

Synonyms: Mimosa dulcis, Inga dulcis; also spelled Pithecollobium or Pithecolobium

Common names: Guayamochil, Manila tamarind, sweet inga (En); am'pül tük (Cam); asam belanda, asem londo, asam koranji (Ins); khaam th'ééd (Lao); asam kranji, asam tjina (Mal); kway-tanyeng (Mya); makham-thet, makham-khong (Tha); me keo, keo tay (Vie).

Key characteristics: Short trunk; crooked branches; bark grey and smooth; 4–10 mm long spines at leaf bases; leaves bipinnate with only one pair of leaflets; fruit pods curled up.

Description: A semi-evergreen shrub or small tree up to 20 m high and 80– 100 cm in diameter with short trunk, crooked branches and round glabrescent branchlets with 4–10 mm long spines at base of most leaves. Bark smooth, grey, becoming slightly rough and furrowed by age. Crown broad, up to 30 m in diameter. Leaves bipinnate with only one pair of pinnae, each with two ovate asymmetrical glabrous leaflets, 1.5–3.5 cm long and 1–2 cm wide. The up to 10 cm long inflorescence at end of branches, hairy with 15–20 whitish flowers in round heads each about 3–5 mm long. Fruit pods about 1 cm wide, somewhat flattened and curled up, reddish-brown. Seeds flat, black, surrounded by thick, spongy, dry “flesh”.

Use: Fruit flesh is eaten fresh and the seed oil is also edible. Seeds can be used for animal feed. Tannin for softening leather is extracted from bark, seeds and leaves. The bark is used for dyeing fish nets. Leaves and root bark are used in traditional medicine. Although not the best quality the wood is used as fuel. The tree is also a good hedge plant and used as an avenue tree.

Ecology: Very tolerant tree that grow on a variety of soils at low to medium altitudes, at annual rainfall between 450 to 3,000 mm.

Distribution: Originating in Central America but now found in most southeast Asian countries including Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

References: F/FRED (1992), Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Little (Undated), Verheij & Coronel (1988).

Psidium guajavaMyrtaceae

Synonym: Psidium aromaticum

Common names: Guava (En); jambu batu, biyabas (Bru); trapaek sruk (Cam); jambu biji, jambu klotok (Ins); sida (Lao); jambu biji, jambu kampuchia, jambu berase (Mal); Guava, bayabas, (Phi); malakapen (Mya); ma kuai, ma-man, farang (Tha); Oi (Vie).

Key characteristics: Low branching; green and red-brown bark, peeling off in flakes; young twigs hairy and quadrangular; leaves opposite, glandular.

Description: A shallow rooted shrub or small tree up to 10 m high, branching from the base. Bark green to red-brown, smooth and peeling off in flakes. Young twigs 4-angled and hairy. Leaves opposite, glandular, elliptical to oblong, 5–15 cm × 3–7 cm. Glabrous above and fine haired below. The white flowers are alone or a few together, about 3 cm in diameter with 4–5 petals. Fruit a globose berry, ovoid or pyriform, 4–12 cm long, very variable in size and flavour.

Use: The fruit is eaten fresh or used for preserves, jam, jelly or juice. Leaves can be used for dyeing and tanning and in traditional medicine (against diarrhea).

Ecology: Grows in tropical climates from sea level to about 1,600 m and adapts to a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. Seeds are easily spread naturally by birds.

Distribution: Indigenous to the American tropics, from where it was initially brought to the Philippines and India. Now common throughout most of the tropics, including all of Southeast Asia.

References: Purseglove (1974), Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Pterocarpus indicusLeguminosae (Papilionoideae)

Synonyms: Pterocarpus pallidus, P. blancoi, P. pubescens, P. wallichi, P. zollingen, P. papuanus

Common names: Sono kembang (Ins); chan dêng (Lao); angsana (Mal); pashu-padauk (Mya); narra (Phi); duu baan, praduu baan (Tha).

Key characteristics: Medium sized, to 2 m in diameter, more or less buttressed; bark with red sap; wood smell like camphor or cedar; wide spreading crown; lower branches drooping to ground; leaves oddly pinnate, 15–30 cm long; leaflets ovate, 5–10 cm; flowers yellow, 1.5 cm long, fragrant; seed pods circular with transparent wing around, 4–5.5 cm in diameter.

Description: A medium sized deciduous tree up to 35 m tall and 2 m in diameter with fluted trunk and more or less pronounced buttresses, wide spreading crown with lower branches drooping and touching the ground. Bark smooth, light yellow-brown, 0.5 cm thick, exuding red sap when cut. The wood smell like camphor or cedar. Leaves oddly pinnate, 15–30 cm long with 7–11 alternate leaflets, each 5–10 cm, ovate to oblong ovate, blunt pointed and shiny, largest leaflets towards tip of leaf. The numerous yellow showy and fragrant flowers are 1.5 cm long, arranged in branched panicles. Seed pods are soft haired when young, becoming (almost) smooth when mature. Pods, including the 1–1.5 cm wide surrounding wing, are circular, flat, 4–5.5 cm in diameter and about 0.5 cm thick.

Use: The wood is used for furniture making, cabinets, decorative veneers and other specialty items and can also produce a red dye. The tree is also used as a shade tree for other crops and as an ornamental.

Ecology: Native habitat flat coastal plains behind mangrove swamps or along inland streams in primary and secondary forest where the dry season is not pronounced. Tolerates longer dry season but timber quality is reduced due to forking.

Distribution: Widely distributed in Southeast Asia.

References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Soerianegara & Lemmens (1994).

Punica granatumPunicaceae

Common names: Pomegranate (En); totum (Cam); delima (Ins, Mal); phiilaa (Lao); salebin, talebin, thale (Mya); granada (Phi); thapthim (C.Tha); phila (N.E. Tha); bakoh (N.Tha); lu'u, thap lu'u (Vie).

Key characteristics: Shrub or small tree; branching from base; each branch ends in a spine; sometimes spines on twigs; leaves mostly opposite.

Description: A deciduous shrub or small tree up to 6, sometimes 10 m in height. Often richly branching from the base, each branch ending in a spine. Often also spines from leaf corners. Leaves mostly opposite, sometimes sub-opposite or clustered, oblong-lanceolate, 1–9 cm long and 0.5–2.5 cm wide with acute or obtuse base, entire margin and obtuse or emarginate tip. Flowers 1–5 together at top of twigs, waxy, 4–5 cm long and wide with red to white petals. Fruits 6–12 cm in diameter, very variable in color, with leathery skin. The interior of the fruit is separated by membranous walls and white spongy tissue into compartments packed with numerous small transparent sacs filled with juicy pulp and seed.

Use: Fruit eaten fresh or made into juice or syrup. Almost every part of the plant have long traditions of medicinal use and ink can be prepared from the fruit rind.

Ecology: Hardy subtropical species tolerating low winter temperatures, drought and a wide range of soil conditions. In Southeast Asia found up to 1,600 m altitude. In areas with high rainfall evergreen with prolonged fruiting season but lower quality fruit.

Distribution: From its origin in central Asia, it has now spread to most subtropical and tropical countries, including all the countries covered by this field guide.

References: Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Sandoricum koetjapeMeliaceae

Synonyms: Melia koetjape, Sandoricum indicum, S. nervosum

Common names: Santol, kechapi, sentol (En); kôm piing riëch (Cam); kecapi, ketuat, sentul (Ins, Mal); toongz (Lao); thitto (Mya); kra thon, sa thon (Tha); sâú (Vie).

Key characteristics: Semi-deciduous, medium sized tree with milky latex; trifoliate leaves, red-yellow before falling off, hairy below; yellow-green 1cm long 5-merous flowers; globose golden-yellow hairy fruit, 5–8 cm in diameter with white flesh.

Description: A medium sized, semi-deciduous tree up to 30 m high and 90 cm in diameter with milky latex. Leaves alternate, trifoliate with a leaf stalk up to 18.5cm. Leaflets are elliptic to oblong-ovate, pointed at tip, shiny green above, pale green and fine haired below, top leaflet 6–26 cm × 3–16 cm, side leaflets 4–20×2–15cm, turning red-yellow before leaf fall. Flowers numerous, fragrant, yellowish-green, about 1 cm long with cup-shaped, 5 lobed calyx and 5 petals in 1 cm long. The fruit is a depressed globose, fine haired, golden yellow berry, most varieties 5–6 cm in diameter and 60–100 g, some cultivars from Thailand up to 7–9 cm and 300 g. Fruit flesh soft, white, sour to sweet with 2–5 glossy brown seeds.

Use: Fruits are eaten fresh or made into jams, jelly, marmalade, chutney or candy. Wood is used for construction, carpentry, household utensils and implements. Leaves, bark and roots have numerous medicinal uses.

Ecology: A hardy tree growing from lowland up to 1,000 m altitude, preferring well drained, clay loams or sandy clay loams with plenty of organic matter. Tolerates prolonged dry season but prefers more evenly distributed rainfall.

Distribution: Native to Indo-China and western Malesia and now cultivated or naturalized throughout tropical Asia, particularly in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Sesbania grandifloraLeguminosae (Papilionoideae)

Synonyms: Agati grandiflora, Sesbania formosa

Common names: Sesban (En); ture (Ins, Mal); paukpan-byu (Mya); katurai (Phi); khae, khae baan, khae daeng (Tha); so-dùa (Vie).

Key characteristics: Small tree; cylindrical trunk; bark grey, rough and furrowed; leaves smooth, pale green, evenly pinnate, 20–40 pairs of leaflets; flowers pink, cream or white; fruit pods 20–60 cm long, slightly curved.

Description: A tree up to 12 m high with a cylindrical trunk up to 30 cm in diameter. Bark grey, rough and furrowed. The smooth leaves are alternate, evenly pinnate, 20–30 cm long with 20–40 pairs of oblong, obtuse, pale green leaflets, each 2.5– 3.5 cm long. The 7–10 cm long and 3 cm wide flowers are cream colored or white. The fruits are 20–60 cm long pendula pods, 7–8 mm wide, slightly curved with 10–25 bean shaped seeds inside.

Use: Wood is used for low quality fuel and for paper pulp. Young leaves and green pods are eaten as a vegetable or used for livestock feed or green manure. Fresh flowers are used in stews and salads. The bark contains tanning agent, gum and fibers. Gum can also be produced from the seeds.

Ecology: Hardy lowland species adapted to difficult sites up to 800 m altitude on a wide range of soils, including waterlogged. Although it tolerates 6–7 months dry season, a shorter dry period and annual rain above 1,000 mm is preferable.

Distribution: Native to southern Asia and now found in most southeast Asian countries, including Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988).

Spondias cythereaAnacardiaceae

Synonym: Spondias dulcis

Common names: Ambarella, otaheite apple, great hog plum (En); mokak (Cam); kedondong manis (Ins); kook hvaan (Lao); kedondong (Mal); gway (Mya); hevi (Phi); makok-farang (Tha); cóc (Vie).

Key characteristics: Medium to large sized; sometimes buttresses; bark fissured, grey to reddish-brown; leaves with 4–10 pairs of papery leaflets; flowers small, cream to white; fruit bright orange, 4–10 × 3–8 cm.

Description: A quick growing large tree up to 45 m high and 90 cm in diameter, sometimes with buttresses. Bark shallowly fissured and greyish to reddish-brown. Leaves on 9–15 cm long stalks with 4–10 pairs of ovate-oblong to lanceolate, papery leaflets, each 5–25 cm long and 1.5–5 cm wide, with entire, serrate or crenate margin and pointed tip. Inflorescence, panicle at tips of branches up to 35 cm long, with small cream to white flowers, petals about 2.5 × 1 cm. The bright orange, ellipsoid or globose fruit is 4–10 cm long and 3–8 cm in diameter. Similar species: Spondias purpurea largely replaces this species in the Philippines. S. purpurea is distinguished by smaller leaflets (up to 5.5 cm long), smaller fruits (<4 cm) and red to purplish flowers.

Use: Fruit is eaten raw or stewed and used for jams, jellies and juice. The green fruit is used in salads, curries or in pickles. The fruits can be fed to pigs and the leaves to cattle. Steamed young leaves are also eaten as a vegetable. The wood is not of much use but leaves, bark and fruits are used in traditional medicine.

Ecology: Grows in the warm subtropics and the tropics up to about 700 m altitude and requires much light to fruit. Tolerates acid as well as limestone soils but the soil must be well drained. Tolerates drought and will primarily flower during the dry season when most leaves are shed. Where there is no pronounced dry season, flowering is continuous.

Distribution: Common in most of Southeast Asia except the Philippines where S. purpurea is more common.

References: Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Swietenia macrophyllaMeliaceae

Synonyms: Swietenia krukovii, S. belizensis

Common names: Big-, broad- or large-leaved mahogany, Honduras mahogany (En); mahokkaanee bai yai (Tha); dái-ngua (Vie).

Key characteristics: Medium to large; high buttresses; inner bark red or pinkish-brown; 3–6 pairs of leaflets; flowers 5-merous; seed capsule brown, 10–22 cm long with 5 valves.

Description: A large tree up to 40–60 m high, branchless up to 18–25 m, and up to 200 cm in diameter, with buttresses up to 5 m high. Bark on older trees scaly, shaggy, deeply furrowed, brownish grey to reddish brown. Inner bark red-brown or pinkish red. Leaves alternate, even pinnate, with 2–8 pairs of leaflets, each about 9–13 × 3–4 cm. Flowerstands 10–20 cm long, flowers with 5-lobed calyx, ciliate sepals and 5 (or 4) petals. Light brown seed capsule, 10–22 cm long, opening by 5 valves, seeds 7.5–12 cm long, with wings.

Use: One of the finest timbers for high quality furniture and cabinet work, interior panelling, doors and decorative borders, boat building, musical instruments, carving and other uses. The bark is used for dying and tanning leather and oil can be extracted from the seed kernels. In India gum is tapped from cuts in the bark.

Ecology: Growing naturally in tropical rain forests up to 1,500 m altitude.

Distribution: From Central and South America. Planted throughout the tropics, including Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Swietenia mahagoniMeliaceae

Common names: Small- or narrow-leaved mahogany, West Indian mahogany, Spanish or Cuban mahogany (En); mahokkaanee bai lek (Tha).

Key characteristics: Smaller tree; short, blunt buttresses; 2– 5 pairs of leaflets; fruit capsule 4.5–10 cm long.

Description: To 30 m high, often with a short trunk and many branches. Buttresses short and blunt. Leaves alternate, 2–5 pairs of opposite leaflets, each 4–8 cm long and 1.5–3.3 cm wide. Inflorescence 5–18 cm long, flowers smooth. Fruit capsule 4.5– 10 cm. Seeds 2–6 cm long.

Use and ecology: As S. macrophylla.

The map shows the distribution of both species.

Distribution: As S. macrophylla, except not reported from Vietnam.

References: Soerianegara & Lemmens (1994).

Syzygium aqueum & S. samarangenseMyrtaceae

Synonyms: Sysygium aqueum: Eugenia aquea, E. javanica, E. mindanaensis. S. samarangense: E. javanica, E. mananquil, Myrtus samarangensis, Jambosa alba

Common names: Aqueum: Water apple, bell fruit (En); jambu air, jambu air mawar (Ins, Mal); tambis (Phi); machomphu-pa (Tha). Samarangense: Wax jambu, java apple (En); jambu semarang, jambu klampok (Ins); jambu air mawar (Mal); makopa (Phi); chomphu-kaemmaem, chomphu-khieo, chomphu-nak (Tha); man, roi (Vie).

Key characteristics: Trunk short, crooked, often branching from base; crown irregular; leaves opposite; flowers yellow-white; aqueum: 5–15 mm long leafstalk and 5–7mm long calyx, small fruits; samarangense: 3– 5mm long leaf stalk, 15mm long calyx and larger fruit; aromatic.

Description: S. aqueum: 3–10m high with short crooked trunk, 30–50cm in diameter, often branching near base. Irregular crown. Leaves opposite, elliptic-cordate to obovate-oblong, 7– 25cm long, 2.5–16cm wide, with 0.5– 1.5cm long leafstalk, sometimes with aromatic smell when crushed. Inflorescence at tip of twigs or from leaf axils with 3–7 yellow-white flowers, 2.5–3.5cm in diameter, calyx 5–7mm long, 4 petals about 7mm long. Fruit cone-shaped, glossy white to red, 1.5–2cm long and 2.5–3.5cm wide, watery with 1–2, sometimes 6 seeds. E. samarangense very similar but is somewhat larger, has thick, 3–5mm long leaf stalks, 15mm long calyx and larger pyriform fruits. Improved cultivars have green fruits. Leaves always aromatic smelling.

Use: Grown mainly for the fruit, which is eaten fresh, used in salads or sometimes pickled or stewed. The hard reddish wood can be used for construction, but the dimensions of S. aqueum are not very large. Various parts of S. samarangense are used in traditional medicine.

Ecology: Belongs to fairly moist tropical lowlands up to 1,200 m altitude, preferring heavy soils and easy access to water, also during the dry season, often planted along streams and ponds.

Distribution: Originates and widely distributed in Southeast Asia, including Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. In Vietnam listed as Eugenia javanica which is synonym for both species.

References: Guzman et al. (1986), Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Syzygium cuminiMyrtaceae

Synonyms: Myrtus cumini, Eugenia jambolanum, E. cumini

Common names: Jambolan (En); pring bai (Cam); jamblang, duwet (Ins); va (Lao); jambulana, jambulan (Mal); thabyang-hpyoo (Mya); duhat, lomboi (Phi); wa, hakhiphae (Tha); vôi rung, trâm môc (Vie).

Key characteristics: Low branching, irregular crown; bark rough, dark grey below, light and smooth above; leaves opposite, pinkish when young, faint turpentine smell if crushed; 4 grey-white to pink petals; violet fruit ovoid-oblong, 1–5 cm long.

Description: A stout evergreen tree 10– 20m (sometimes 30m) high, and 40– 90cm in diameter, branching low with irregular crown spreading to about 12 m wide. Rough, dark grey bark on lower part, lighter grey and smooth higher up. Leaves opposite, entire, broadly obovate-elliptic to elliptic-oblong, 5–25 cm long and 2–10 cm wide with 1–3.5 cm long leaf stalk, cuneate or rounded at base, tip blunt, edges thin transparent, pinkish when young, later dark green above, faint turpentine smell when crushed. Flowers in 5–12 cm long panicles, usually on leafless branches, flowers small, fragrant with four grey-white to pink petals. Fruit ovoid-oblong, 1–5 cm long, dark violet and juicy with 0–5 green to brown seeds, up to 3.5 cm long inside.

Use: The subacid and astringent ripe fruit is eaten fresh or made into juice, jelly or wine. The leaves can be used as fodder. The abundant nectar of the flowers is a good source for bees to produce honey. The bark can be used for dyeing and also, together with seeds, has medicinal value. The tree is grown as shade tree, i.e. for coffee and the wood provides fair fuelwood.

Ecology: Grows on riverbanks in the tropical lowlands, best up to 600 m altitude. Above this height it does not fruit but can still grow up to about 1,800 m altitude and provide timber. Prefers 1,000 mm annual rain or more and a distinct dry season, but can withstand prolonged flooding.

Distribution: Native to subtropical Himalayas, India, Sri Lanka, Malesian region and Australia and presently cultivated throughout the tropics and subtropics.

References: Guzman et al (1986), Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Syzygium jambosMyrtaceae

Synonym: Eugenia jambos

Common names: Roseapple, malabar plum (En); châm'puu (Cam); jambu air mawar, jambu mawar, jambu kraton (Ins); chièng, kièng (Lao); jambu kelampok, jambu mawar (Mal); thabyu-thabye (Mya); chomphu-namdokmai, manomhom, yamu-panawa (Tha); lý, bô dào, roi (Vie).

Key characteristics: Small; ever-green; branching low; dense wide-spread crown; stem mostly twisted at base; bark brown, smooth but furrowed; leaves oblong-lanceolate; flowers 5–10 cm wide, greenish-white; fruit round, to 5cm diameter, white-yellow, sometimes pink.

Description: An evergreen tree up to 10 m high and 50 cm in diameter, often branching from low on the trunk and with dense wide spreading crown, stem cylindrical, sometimes quadrangular when young, mostly twisted at base. Bark brown, smooth, but furrowed. Leaves opposite, oblong-lanceolate, 9–26 cm long and 1.5–6cm wide, thin leathery, cuneate at base, pointed at tip, shiny dark green above, lighter green and glandular punctate underneath with 5–6, rarely 13 mm long leaf stalk. Inflorescence 5– 10 cm long corymb, arising from tip of twigs or from leaf corners, 4–5(-10) flowered with large white to greenish-white, 5–10 cm wide 4-merous flowers with about 400 up to 4 cm long stamens. Fruit globose to ovoid, 2.5–5 cm in diameter, crowned by persistent 4-lobed calyx, whitish yellow, sometimes pink tainted, fragrant with yellow-pink flesh embedding 1–2(-4) sub-globose brown seeds, 1–1.5 cm in diameter.

Use: Fresh fruit is not so tasty and popular, but is cooked or preserved in various ways and can also be distilled to yield a high quality rose-water. Essential oil is extracted from the leaves for use in perfume production. The heavy and hard heartwood can be used for construction timber. The bark is used for dyeing and tanning. Several plant parts are used medicinally. Also used as ornamental tree.

Ecology: Tropical tree now being cultivated into the subtropics as well up to about 1,200 m altitude where climate is relatively wet. It grows on almost any slightly acid soil type including waterlogged.

Distribution: From its center of origin in Malesian region, it has spread throughout the tropics and has become widely naturalized.

References: Guzman et al (1986), Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Syzygium malaccenseMyrtaceae

Synonyms: Eugenia malaccensis, Jambosa malaccensis, E. domestica

Common names: Malay apple (En); jambu bol (Ins, Mal); jambu merah (Mal); thabyo-thabyang (Mya); yanba, tersana, makopang-kalabaw (Phi); chomphu mamieo, chomphu saraek, chomphu daeng (Tha); cay dao, cay roi, dièu-dò (Vie).

Key characteristics: Small to medium sized; straight stem, often low branching; leaves opposite and big up to 38 cm long × 20 cm wide, thick leathery; red flowers on branches, red; fruits ellipsoid, 5–8 cm in diameter, dark red to yellowish (looks like an apple).

Description: A tree in 5–20 m high with a straight stem and a broadly ovoid canopy, often branching near the base. Leaves opposite, elliptic-oblong, 15–38 cm long and 7–20 wide, thick leathery with 0.5–1.5 cm long thick leaf stalk, red when young. Inflorescence only on leafless twig parts, 1–12 flowered with 4-merous red flowers, 5–7 cm in diameter with numerous stamens. Fruit ellipsoid, 5– 8 cm in diameter, crowned by the incurved calyx segments, dark red or purplish yellow or yellow white with juicy, white and fragrant flesh and one big brown seed.

Use: Primarily grown for its fruit which is eaten fresh or cooked in various ways. Wood is used for construction. Bark, leaves and roots provide traditional medicine with antibiotic activity.

Ecology: Native to wet tropical lowlands up to 1,200 m altitude. Needs year round water supply and prefers heavy soils.

Distribution: Native to southeast Asia and primarily found in Malaysia and Indonesia, but also grown in Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

References: Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Tamarindus indicaLeguminosae (Caesalpinioideae)

Synonyms: Tamarindus occidentalis, T. officinalis

Common names: Tamarind, Indian tamarind (En); ‘âm’pül, ampil, khoua me (Cam); asam, asam jawa, tambaring (Ins); khaam, mak kham (Lao); assam jawa (Mal); magyee, majee-pen (Mya); sampalok, kalamagi, salomagi (Phi); makham, bakham somkham (Tha); me, trai me (Vie).

Key characteristics: Medium size; slow growing; evergreen; dense foliage; wide spreading round crown; bark grey brown, roughly fissured; leaves even-pinnate, 8–16 pairs of leaflets; flowers white and cream, with red-brown veins; pods light brown, curved, rounded, constricted between seeds.

Description: A medium sized slow growing but long lived evergreen tree, up to 30 m high. Trunk up to 2 m in diameter, branching low at 1–2 m from the base with greyish-brown rough fissured bark. Crown densely foliaged, widely spreading, rounded. Leaves alternate, even pinnately compound on leaf stalk up to 1.5 cm long, with 8–16 pairs of leaflets. Leaflets 1–3.5 cm long and 0.5–1 cm wide. Flowers with 4 sepals and 5 petals, white and cream with red-brown stains. Fruit pods straight or curved with rounded ends, up to 14 cm long, light greyish or brown, constricted between seeds. Fruit “flesh” thick blackish-brown, seeds dark brown, very hard.

Use: Flesh of immature fruit pods is used for flavoring soups. Mature pods are eaten fresh or used in drinks, jams, candies, chutney, curries, ice cream, syrup or meat sauces. Oil and gum can be extracted from the seeds for food and industrial use. Leaves are used as soup flavour and for cattle forage or green manure. Wood is strong and durable and used for furniture, turnery, tool handles, toys, mortars, chopping blocks and also provides excellent fuel and charcoal.

Ecology: The tamarind grows within a wide range of soil and climatic conditions, but usually on sandy or clay soils up to about 1,000 m altitude or sometimes higher. Drought and wind resistant. In very wet conditions it does not flower.

Distribution: Native to tropical Africa and now planted in all tropical countries

References: Smitinand & Larsen (1984), Verheij & Coronel (1992).

Tectona grandisVerbenaceae

Synonym: Tectona theka

Common names: Teak (En); jati, deleg, kulidawa (Ins); sak (Lao); kyun (Mya); sak, mai-sak (Tha); caay teech, gias tij (Vie).

Key characteristics: Straight trunk; low buttresses; deciduous large, simple leaves to 55 cm long, 37 cm wide; inflorescence at branch tips, to 40 cm long; many small yellowish white flowers.

Description: A medium to large sized tree, 25–50 m tall with a straight trunk, 1–2.5 m in diameter, with dark greyish-brown, ridged bark and often low buttresses. The deciduous leaves are simple, large, up to 55 cm long and 37 cm wide, short stalked, cuneate at base, ovate, round or obovately oblong with keeled midrib under-neath. The about 40 cm long inflorescence at tip of branches have numerous small yellowish-white flowers with pink stain, 3–6 mm long with 5–7 lobed calyx which eventually becomes inflated enclosing the fruit. Several forms have been distinguished primarily based on different leaf characters.

Use: An all-purpose timber tree used particularly for boat building, furniture, rails, docks, quays, piers and floodgates, house building, bridge construction, musical instruments and poles. Dye can be produced from young leaves and the bark of the root. Bark and wood also have various traditional medicinal uses.

Ecology: Found naturally in various types of tropical deciduous forests up to about 1,000 m on fertile, well drained soils, often associated with Afzelia xylocarpa, Xylia, Terminalia and Lagerstroemia spp. as well as bamboos.

Distribution: Native to southeast Asia, where it occurs naturally in Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and was introduced hundred years ago to Indonesia. Now cultivated in many countries both inside and outside the region, including China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Soerianegara & Lemmens (1994).

Terminalia catappaCombretaceae

Synonym: Terminalia procera

Common names: Indian almond, tropical almond (En); ketapang (Ins, Mal); badan (Mya); talisae (Phi); bàng bièn (Vie).

Key characteristics: Branches horizontal, in tiered whorls; leaves opposite, large, leathery, crowded towards branch tips; small flowers in small racemes from leaf base; fruit almond-like.

Description: A medium sized tree up to 25 m tall and 30 cm in diameter with tiered whorls of horizontal branches, a flattened crown and slight buttresses. Leaves are opposite or sub-opposite, deciduous in dry climates, often crowded at the end of branches, 25 cm long, obovate, tapering to a narrow cordate base, leathery, shiny green, turning red or yellow before falling off. The inflorescence is a 6–18 cm long, narrow raceme from the leaf axil, with small greenish white, 5–6 mm large 5-merous flowers. Fruit an elliptical, slightly flattened drupe, about 5 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, first greenish, then light brown when ripe. The large stone (nut) about 3 cm long and 1 cm wide and almond-like.

Use: The nut can be eaten raw or roasted and also contains extractable oils. The wood is used for light construction, boat building, furniture, veneer, posts, flooring and boxes and is also widely used for fuel. Leaves can be fed to livestock and some silkworms. Bark, roots, leaves and fruit rind contains tannins and also have several medicinal uses.

Ecology: Grows naturally in tropical beach forests and as a pioneer on denuded or disturbed lands up to 300 m altitude on sandy or limestone soils but is very adaptable.

Distribution: Native to East Indies and Oceania and now found throughout the tropics, including Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

References: Guzman et al (1986): Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), National Research Council (1980).

Theobroma cacaoSterculiaceae

Common names: Cacao (En); kakaaw (Cam); coklat (Ins); pokok coklat (Mal); kokoe (Mya); kho kho (Tha); cây ca cao (Vie).

Key characteristics: Small; branches in whorls of 5; leaves quite large with rounded 3-veined base; flowers and fruits on trunk and branches.

Description: A scrub or small evergreen tree, 5–8 m tall (wild specimens can be up to 20 m) with a canopy about 4–5 m in diameter at 10 years age. Branches in whorls of 3–6. Leaves are semi-deciduous, 15–50 cm long and 4–15 cm wide, oblong ovate, acuminate with rounded base which is shortly 3 veined. Leaf stalk 1–10 cm, thickened at both ends. Yellow to white 5-merous flowers single or grouped on trunk and branches, about 1–1.5 cm in diameter. Fruit variable in shape, mostly ovoid, oblong, 10–30 cm long, usually pointed, wrinkled with 10 furrows of which 5 are prominent, yellow, green, red or purplish in color.

Use: Almost exclusively grown for the fruit which yields the cacao beans.

Ecology: Grows in warm, humid tropical habitats up to 700–1,000 m altitude, with uniform rain distribution of 1,000–5,000 mm annually, deep, well drained, fertile soil, rich in organic matter and not to acid.

Distribution: Native to the upper Amazonian region. It has been cultivated for several thousand years in its home area but is now also growing in most Asian countries with suitable climate.

References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988) Purseglove (1974), Westphal & Jansen (1993).

Vitex parvifloraVerbenaceae

Common name: Molave (Phi).

Key characteristics: Crown open, widespread; sometimes buttresses; bark grey, fibrous, thinly flaked; leaves opposite, palmately compound; leaflets lance shaped; flowers bluish.

Description: A medium sized deciduous tree up to 30 m tall and 1.5 m in diameter with an open wide-spreading crown and sometimes buttresses. The greyish ochre fibrous bark is smooth or thinly flaked. Leaves opposite, palmately compound on 9–11 cm long leaf stalk, with 3–5 shiny and glabrous, lance-shaped, pointed leaflets, 4–15 cm long and 2.5–7 cm wide on 3–10 mm long stalks. Inflorescence is about 20 cm long pyramid-shaped panicle with many bluish flowers, 6–8 mm long. The fruits are small, round drupes, 5–10 mm in diameter, purple to black when ripe.

Use: The very strong and durable wood is used for house construction, ship building, railroad ties, plows and agricultural implements. Leaves can be fed to livestock.

Ecology: Grows naturally in open primary and secondary lowland tropical forests up to 700 m altitude, preferably on limestone or volcanic soils, in areas with a distinct dry season.

Distribution: Native to the Philippines. Also found in East Indonesia.

References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988).

Ziziphus mauritianaRhamnaceae

Synonyms: Rhamnus jujuba, Ziziphus jujuba

Common names: Indian jujube (En); putrea (Cam); widara, dara, bidara (Ins); than (Lao); bidara, jujub, epal siam (Mal); zee-pen, zizidaw (Mya); manzanitas (Phi); phutsaa, ma tan (Tha); tao, tao nhuc (Vie).

Key characteristics: Small; drooping branches; hairy zigzagging twigs with small spines; leaf hairy underneath, 3 prominent veins.

Description: A bushy shrub or small tree up to 15 m high with drooping branches and hairy zigzagging twigs with small paired spines at leave bases (occasionally absent). Leaves alternate, simple, elliptic-ovate to oblong-elliptic, 2–9 cm long and 1.5–5 cm wide, entire or slightly crenate, glossy above, densely white haired below with 3 conspicuous longitudinal veins and 8–15 mm long leaf stalks. Inflorescence from leaf corners, 1–2 cm long with 7–20 yellowish 5-merous flowers, 2–3 mm across, weakly fragrant. The yellowish to reddish or blackish fruit is globose to ovoid, up to 6 × 4 cm when cultivated, smaller on wild trees, with glossy smooth or rough skin and white, juicy, weakly acid to sweet flesh.

Use: The fruit is eaten fresh, used to make drinks, candy or syrup or preserved by drying. Young leaves are cooked as vegetables or used as fodder. The tree is also used as a host tree for rearing lac insects, harvested to prepare shellac. The reddish wood is used for turnery, household items and implements.

Ecology: A hardy species tolerating extreme temperatures and dry conditions. Growing from sea level to about 1,000 m altitude where annual rainfall ranges between 125 to 2,000 mm, preferably on fairly light and deep soils, but tolerate even occasional waterlogging.

Distribution: Cultivated on small scale throughout the tropics and subtropics including all countries in Southeast Asia.

References: Verheij & Coronel (1992).

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