|Acacia auriculiformis||Leguminosae (Mimosoideae)|
Synonyms: Acacia moniliformis, A. auriculaeformis
Common names: Japanese acacia, tan wattle, northern black wattle, earpod wattle, Darwin black wattle (Aus), kasia (Ins), auri (Phi).
Key characteristics: Small to medium sized; crooked stem; richly branched. “Leaves” are flattened leaf stalks with parallel nervation; small yellow flowers and coiled seed pods.
Description: A small to medium sized fast-growing tree, 8–25 m high, diameter reaching 60 cm. Often with crooked (and multiple) stem and low and heavy branching. Bark grey or brown, first smooth, then becoming rough and fissured. Flattened leaf stalks acting as leaves (phyllodes) are 10–18 cm long and 2–3 cm wide with parallel veins. Seedlings with small compound leaves. Minute yellow flowers in up to 8 cm long spikes. Fruits are 6–8 cm long coiled pods with brown seeds attached by orange filaments. Hybridizes with A. mangium.
Use: Erosion control, land reclamation and soil improvement. The wood is used for pulp, fuelwood and has limited use for construction, implements and furniture. The bark contains tannins.
Ecology: In its native habitat a colonizer of tropical coastal lowlands and found along streams, in open forests, savannas and adjacent to mangroves, often in sandy soils. Very tolerant to different soil conditions and water supply. Thrives best in seasonal climates receiving 2,000–2,500 mm annual rainfall but may here become quite competitive towards other species.
Distribution: Native to Papua New Guinea, islands in the Torres Straits and northern Australia, but has been introduced to Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
References: Awang & Taylor (1993), Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Little (undated), MacDicken (1994), National Research Council (1980).
|Acacia eatechu||Leguminosae (Mimosoideae)|
Synonyms: Acacia catechuoides, A. polyacantha, A. wallichiana, Mimosa catechu, M. catechuoides
Common names: Cutch (En); Tun-sa-se, Nya, Shaji, Mung-ting (Mya); seesiat (Tha).
Key characteristics: Small tree; sharp thorns; bark red on back; bipinnate leaves, 9–17 cm long, numerous small stalkless leaflets; 5-merous flowers yellow or pale yellow.
Description: A small deciduous or semi-deciduous tree that grows up to 10–15 m tall and 50 cm in diameter. Bark dark, greyish and rough, 1cm thick, red on the inside. Thorns on the trunk and branches. Leaves are bipinnate, 9–17 cm long with numerous small, stalkless leaflets. The small yellow or pale yellow 5-merous flowers are arranged in 5–10 cm long, cylindrical spikes arising from leaf corners (axils). The fruit is a long, straight, dark-brown flat pod, 5–10 cm long, smooth and pointed at both ends.
Use: The heartwood is used for the manufacturing of katha, an important ingredient in traditional chewing mixture (e.g. in Myanmar) and cutch which is used for tanning, dyeing and as viscosity adjuster in oil drilling. The wood in general is used as fuelwood and bark as well as seeds have medicinal properties.
Ecology: Grows in the open, drier areas mostly on well drained soil types, but can also be found on shallow, poor, rocky soils. In Thailand found in mixed deciduous forest.
Distribution: Occurs naturally in India, Myanmar and Thailand.
References: FAO (1992).
|Acacia mangium||Leguminosae (Mimosoideae)|
Synonyms: Acacia glaucescens, Mangium montanum.
Common names: Brown salwood, mangium, black wattle, hickory wattle (En), maber (Phi).
Key characteristics: Straight bole with rough bark. “Leaves” are actually flattened leaf stalks with characteristic parallel veins; flowers creamy-white; seed pods becomes twisted.
Description: Mature trees up to 30 m tall and 25–50 cm in diameter (-90 m). Often straight bole unbranched to about half height. Bark is pale grey-brown to brown, rough and furrowed. The young leaves are compound, but are replaced after a few weeks by flattened petioles (phyllodes), up to 25 cm long and 5–10 cm wide. Flowers are white or creamy white and arranged in loose spikes. Seed pods are initially straight but twists into spiralled clusters. A. mangium may hybridize with A. auriculiformis where these occur together. Hybrids show intermediate growth patterns but usually have lighter coloured bark than the parent species.
Use: Soil enrichment in agroforestry systems. Wood for timber, pulp, particle board, furniture and fuelwood. The “leaves” can be given to livestock as emergency food.
Ecology: In native habitats it is usually found at elevations below 300 m, but may occur up to 700 m and where annual rainfall is from 1,000 to 4,500 mm. Although it survives long dry seasons, growth is greatly reduced.
Distribution: Originates in northeastern Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia but is now widely planted in many countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
References: Awang & Taylor (1993), F/FRED (1992), Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), MacDicken (1994).
Common names: Bael (En); bnau (Cam); maja, maja batuh (Ins); toum (Lao): bilak, bila, bel (Mal); opesheet, ohshit (Mya); matum, tum, ma pin (Tha); trái mam (Vie).
Key characteristics: Small; deciduous; spines on branches; trunk base usually fluted; bark grey, cracking vertically into scales; leaves alternate, trifoliate; flowers greenish-white; fruits with woody shell.
Description: A small, deciduous tree up to 15 m high and 50 cm in diameter with 1–2 cm long spines on older branches. Trunk usually fluted at base. The bark is grey and rather corky and cracks vertically into long scales. Leaves alternate, trifoliate, on 2–4 cm long stalk. The two lower leaflets are ovate to elliptic, up to 7 cm long and 4 cm wide. The terminal leaflet is obovate and slightly larger (7.5 × 4.8 cm). The inflorescence is 4–5 cm long raceme from the leaf corners with greenish-white flowers, about 2 cm in diameter. Fruits smooth, irregular roundish, grey or yellowish, 5–12.5 cm in diameter, often with hard woody shell and 6–10 seeds in clear, sticky pulp.
Use: Fruits are eaten fresh or prepared as sherbet, syrup or marmalade. From the fruit household glue, dye, tanning agent and various medicines can be produced. Bark, leaves and roots have a number of medicinal uses and the bark can also be used as fish poison. The wood can be used for making small articles such as handles. The tree is very sacred in Hindu religion.
Ecology: Hardy subtropical species tolerating temperature extremes from -7 to 49°C and growing on swampy as well as dry soils. Only flowers and fruits well where there is a prominent dry season.
Distribution: From the Indian peninsula, bael has spread to Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
References: Storrs (1990), Verheij & Coronel (1992).
|Albizia lebbeck||Leguminosae (Mimosoideae)|
Synonyms: Mimosa lebbeck, M. sirissa, Acacia lebbeck. (also spelled lebbek)
Common names: Kokko (Mya); langil (Phi); kasuek, kampu, kasae, hop-hoan (Tha).
Key characteristics: Large spreading crown; smooth grey bark becoming rough and fissured by age; inner bark pink; leaves even bipinnate, leaflets 2–5 cm, flower heads puffball-like, 3–4 cm in diameter, white; pods yellow, 10–25 cm long, flat.
Description: A medium sized tree up to 30 m tall and 1 m in diameter (occasionally up to 3 m), with a large spreading crown and smooth grey bark, becoming fissured and rough by age; inner bark pink and bitter tasting. Leaves alternate, evenly bipinnate, 15–40 cm long, with a gland at the base on the upper side of the axes, 2–4 pairs of lateral axes, each with 4–12 pairs of leaflets. Leaflets 2–5 cm long and 1–2.5 cm wide, oblong and broadly rounded or emarginate. The puffball-like flower heads are 3–4 cm in diameter, with many tiny white flowers with greenish yellow corolla and borne on 6 cm long stalks. Fruit pods golden yellow, leathery, 10–25 cm long and 2.5–4 cm wide when mature, flat, but swollen around the seeds.
Use: Wood is used for fuel, carving, construction and furniture. Young leaves can be used as livestock feed or green fertilizer. Exudes a valuable gum. Bark is used for soap production and honey can be produced from the nectar.
Ecology: In its native habitat it grows in savanna areas and tolerates a wide range of soils except very eroded sites, but prefers moist well drained loams, neutral to slightly acidic. Fixes nitrogen.
Distribution: Originates in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar and now also cultivated in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
References: Guzman et al (1986), Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Mac-Dicken (1994), Smitinand & Larsen (1985).
|Albizia saman||Leguminosae (Mimosoideae)|
Synonyms: Samanea saman, Pithecellobium saman, Enterolobium saman, Mimosa saman, Inga saman, Inga salutaris
Common names: Raintree, monkey pod, saman, french tamarind (En); acacia (Phi); kam kram, cham cha (Tha); còng (Vie).
Key characteristics: Often large, with very wide, low crown; brown-black fissured bark; bipinnate leaves, leaflets 1.5–4 cm long, wider towards tip; crimson to pink flowers, pods 12–25 cm long, 2 cm wide.
Description: A large tree up to 45 (60) m high and 2 m in diameter, with a very wide and low crown up to 55– 60 m wide. The bark is brown to black, developing ridges with age. Leaves are evenly bipinnate, up to 15– 30 cm long with 8–12 pinnae. Leaflets are 1.5–6 cm long and 0.7–4 cm wide, blunt at base and tip, with a minute point at the tip and a short point at the base. Leaflets are larger at apical end of pinnae than at base and number 12– 16 in outer pinnae and 6–10 in lower. Flowers are numerous, pink, alone or in sub-globose heads from the leaf corners, 5–7 cm in diameter. Pods with fleshy pulp, 12–25 cm long and 2 cm wide with sweet, brown pulp.
Use: Mostly used as ornamental shade tree or shade tree on pasture land. Wood is used for carving and furniture, construction, boats, veneer and plywood. Fair fuelwood quality. Leaves can be used as forage and the pods are edible. The tree also contains gum and resin.
Ecology: Grows in tropical areas with mean annual temperatures of about 22°C at altitudes from sea level to 700 m, where annual rainfall ranges from 600 to 2,500 mm and the dry season is less than 6 months. Light demanding but tolerates a wide range of soil types.
Distribution: From the West Indies it has been introduced throughout the tropics and have naturalized in many areas, including all the countries covered by this guide.
References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988).
Synonyms: Echites scolaris, E. pala, Tabernaemontana alternifolia
Common names: White cheesewood, milkwood pine, blackboard tree (En); pulai lilin (Bru); pulai, pule, rite (Ins); tinpet (Lao); pulai (Mal); lettok (Mya); dita, dalipoen (Phi); sattaban, teenpethasaban (Tha); caay mof cua, caay suwxa (Vie).
Key characteristics: Medium to large sized; cylindrical bole; large buttresses when older; outer bark coming off in small papery flakes; leaves in whorls of 5–8; fruits 20– 40 cm long, slender follicles.
Description: A medium to large tree up to 40 m high and 125 cm in diameter with a cylindrical bole. Older trees with buttresses up to 6 m high and reaching 2 m out from a bole. Outer bark brown or yellowish white, smooth, coming off in small papery flakes; inner bark yellow to brown with white latex. Leaves 7–23 cm long, in whorls of 4–8 on 1.5–3 cm long petiole, oblong-lanceolate or elliptical with rounded tip and numerous secondary veins. Flowers greenish to yellow, fragrant, with soft haired calyx. The fruits are slender cylindrical follicles, 20–40 cm long and 4–5 mm in diameter.
Use: Most important source of pulai timber. Wood yields good pulp. Bark and latex is used medicinally for many purposes.
Ecology: Most abundant in monsoon areas. Tolerates a variety of soils and habitats and found up to 500 m, sometimes even to 1,000 m altitude.
Distribution: Widely distributed from Sri Lanka and India through mainland Southeast Asia, southern China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines to Australia, and also planted elsewhere.
References: Guzman et al (1986), Soerianegara & Lemmens (1994).
Synonyms: Cassurium reniforme
Common names: Cashew (En); svaay chantii (Cam); jambu monyet, jambu mede (Ins); Gajus, jambu monyet (Mal); thiho thayet si (Mya); kasoy, balubad, balogo (Phi); mamuang himmaphan, yaruang, mamuang letlor (Tha); dào lôn hôt, cay diêù (Vie).
Key characteristics: Small tree, wide dome-shaped crown, low crooked branches, smooth brown bark, large simple obovate, dark green shining leaves with prominent midribs and veins, very characteristic fruit.
Description: An evergreen tree up to 12 m high with a dome-shaped crown. Branching starts at 0.5–1.5 m above the ground. Bark is smooth and brown. Leaves alternate, on 1–2 cm long stalks, obovate to obovate-oblong, up to 20 × 15 cm, leathery, red-brown when young, later shining green, smooth, with prominent midrib and veins. Flower stands terminal, drooping panicles, up to 25 cm long with fragrant flowers with 5 petals, 7–13 mm long and 5 sepals, 4–15 mm long. Male flowers with 7–9 stamens, hermaphroditic flowers usually with 9 short and 1 long viable stamen. First whitish later turning pinkish-red. The “real” fruit is a kidney shaped nut about 3 × 1.2 cm sitting on the much enlarged and swollen flower stalk-the fruit-like cashew apple, which is pear shaped, 10–20 cm × 4–8 cm and red to yellow.
Use: Nuts are used as a main food or delicacy depending on availability. The cashew apple is eaten fresh, mixed in fruit salads or made into juice. Seed coats and shells are used as poultry feed. Valuable oil can be extracted from the shell. The wood is used as fuel or low quality timber. Cashew also contains tannins and gum. Young shoots and leaves are eaten raw or cooked. All tree parts are used in traditional medicine, especially for treating skin ailments.
Ecology: Requires high temperatures. Rainfall distribution more important than amount. Tolerates dry conditions if roots have access to soil moisture.
Distribution: From its native Brazil introduced throughout most of the tropics. In this region reported from all countries except Laos.
References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Verheij & Coronel (1992).
Common names: Guayabano, soursop (En); tiep barang (Cam); sirsak, nangka belanda (Ins); khan thalot, khièp thét (Lao); durian belanda (Mal); duyin-awza (Mya); guayabano (Phi); thurian thet, rian nam (Tha); mang câu xiêm (Vie).
Key characteristics: Leaves bad smelling when crushed; flowers large yellow-green, strong smell; fruit with soft spines.
Description: 5 to 9 m high tree, branching from near base. Leaves alternate, short stalked, oblong ovate, entire, 7–20 cm long and 2–5 cm wide, pointed in both ends, dark green and shiny above, yellowish green below, badly smelling when crushed. Flowers large, yellowish green, strong smelling, 1 or 2 together. Flower stalk with short dense hairs. Fruit tender with leathery skin and soft, curved spines. Flesh whitish, very juicy with hard, dark brown seeds.
Use: Immature fruits eaten as vegetable, mature fruits fresh or made into juice, preserve, jam or jelly. Leaves and roots used for traditional medicinal purposes.
Ecology: Grows in tropical climates below 1,000 m altitude with minimum 1,000 mm annual rain, but tolerates up to 6 month drought. Cannot tolerate water-logging and needs well drained not too acid soil.
Distribution: From tropical America it is now widely distributed in lowland tropics.
Common names: Sugar apple, sweetsop (En); tiep baay, tiep srok (Cam); Sirkaja, sarikaja, atis (Ins), khieb (Lao); nona sri kaya, buah nona, sri kaya (Mal), awza (Mya); atis (Phi); noina, makkhiap, lanang (Tha); na, mang câu ta (Vie).
Key characteristics: Leaves hairy; petals green; fruit greenish yellow, powdery surface, 5–10 cm in diameter.
Description: Shrub or small tree, 3–6m high. Leaves oblong to narrowly elliptic, 7– 17cm long and 3–5.5cm wide, slightly hairy or smooth beneath. Flowers in groups of 2–5 or sometimes alone, on slender stalks on young branchlets. Outer 3 petals oblong to 2.5cm long, green with purple base whereas inner 3 petals are reduced or absent. Fruit globose, 5–10cm in diameter, greenish-yellow with powdery surface. Commercial hybrids with A. cherimola called atemoya or custard apple.
Use: As fresh fruit or flavoring.
Ecology: Like A. muricata.
Distribution: As A. muricata. Grown commercially in Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.
References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Purseglove (1968), Verheij & Coronel (1991).
Synonyms: Artocarpus communis, A. camansi
Common names: Breadfruit (En); sakéé, khnaôr samloo (Cam); sukun (seedless), kelur, timbul (seeded) (Ins, Mal); paung-thi (Mya); rimas (seedless), kamansii (seeded) (Phi); sa-ke (seedless), khanun-sampalor (Tha); sakê (Vie).
Key characteristics: Medium sized; often buttresses; twigs very thick; leaves large, lobed, leathery dark green; male inflorescence club-shaped, yellowish, female stands round, green; fruit large, round, yellow green; all parts with white latex.
Description: An evergreen or semi-deciduous tree, up to 30 m tall and 1.8 m in diameter, often buttressed. Twigs very thick. Leaves alternate, ovate to elliptical in form, 20–60 cm × 20–40 cm, first undivided, later deeply pinnately cut into 5–11 lobes, thick, leathery, dark green and shiny above, pale green and rough below. Leaf stalk 3–5 cm long. Male and female inflorescences separate, but on same tree, axillary on 4–8 cm long flower stalks. Male stands drooping, club-shaped, 15–25 cm long and 3–4 cm wide, spongy and yellow. Female stands upright, globose or cylindrical, 8–10 cm × 5–7 cm with numerous green flowers embedded in receptacle. The fruit is formed from the entire female inflorescence, cylindrical to globose, 10–30 cm in diameter, yellow-green, sometimes with short spines. All tree parts with white latex.
Use: Immature and ripe fruit and seeds are eaten after boiling, baking, roasting or frying. Leaves and fallen fruit are good animal feed. Wood used for light construction, canoes and others. Different plant parts have various medicinal uses. Sometimes used as wind-break or shade tree for coffee.
Ecology: Wet tropic species, preferring 20–40°C, 2,000–3,000 mm annual rainfall, moist, deep, humus rich and well drained soils at altitudes below 600 m.
Distribution: Origin uncertain, now widely distributed throughout tropics, including all countries covered by this field guide.
References: Verheij & Coronel (1992).
Synonyms: Artocarpus philippensis, A. brasiliensis, A. maxima
Common names: Jackfruit (En); khnacr (Cam); nangka (Ins,Mal); miiz, miiz hnang (Lao); peignai (Mya); langka (Phi); khanon, makmi, banun (Tha); mit (Vie).
Key characteristics: Flowers and fruits from stem and major branches (cauliflory). Fruits very large, weighing from 10–50 kg. All living parts exude viscid, white latex when injured.
Description: A medium size, ever-green tree reaching 20 (-30) m in height and 80 (-200) cm in diameter. Bark rough to scaly, dark grey to grayish-brown. Leaves of young plants with 1–2 pair of lobes, whereas older leaves with entire margin (hence “heterophyllus”), obovate-elliptic to elliptic, thin leathery, 5–25 × 3–12 cm, broadest at the middle. Similar species: A. altilis fruits are smaller and more round, hanging from tip of branches. Leaves are much larger and deeply cut (see preceding page). A. integer has hairy leaves and twigs and the fruits are much smaller (next page).
Use: Young fruit as vegetable, ripe fruit eaten fresh or made in to various sweet dishes. Seeds eaten after boiling, roasting or drying. Young leaves used as livestock fodder. Tannin from bark. Dyes from wood particles. Latex used as glue and cement. Timber medium hardwood, termite resistant. Renowned for a number of medical properties.
Ecology: Originates from evergreen forest at 400–1,200 m altitude. Prefers annual rainfall above 1,500 mm and well drained alluvial, sandy or clay loam soils with pH 6–7.5.
Distribution: Probably originates in Western Ghats, India, but has been introduced throughout the tropics, particularly Southeast Asia.
References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Purseglove (1968), Verheij & Coronel (1991).
Synonyms: Artocapus integrifolia, A. polyphema, A. champeden
Common names: Cempedak (En); chempedak, campedak, baroh (Ins); chempedak [cultivated], bankong [wild] (Mal); sonekadat (Mya); champada (Tha); mit tó nù (Vie).
Key characteristics: Rarely buttresses; bark grey-brown, bumpy; twigs and leaves with brown hair; leaves obovate to elliptic; fruit cylindrical to round, yellowish to brownish to orange-green.
Description: An evergreen tree up to 20 m high, rarely with buttresses. Bark grey-brown and bumpy. Twigs and leaves with brown hairs. Leaves obovate to elliptic, 5–25 cm long and 2.5–12 cm wide with cuneate to rounded base, entire margin, pointed tip and 6–10 pairs of lateral veins curving forward. The leaf stalk is 1–3 cm long. Fruit cylindrical to almost globose, 20–35cm × 10–15cm, yellowish to brownish to orange-green.
Use: The fruit flesh surrounding the seeds are eaten fresh or cooked. The seeds can be eaten after roasting or boiling. Young fruits and sometimes young leaves can be cooked and eaten as a vegetable. The strong and durable wood are used for building construction, furniture and boats. The bark can be used for rope making and the latex for making lime.
Ecology: Understorey tree commonly growing in secondary and sometimes in primary forests in lowland tropical rainforest areas up to 500 m altitude or sometimes higher, where there is no distinct dry season. Prefers well drained soils but tolerates temporary water-logging.
Distribution: Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.
References: Verheij & Coronel (1992).
Common names: Billimbi, cucumber tree (En); tralong tong (Cam); belimbing asam, belimbing wuluh, belimbing buluk (Ins, Mal); tayok-zaungya (Mya); kamias, iba (Phi); taling pling (Tha); khe tau (Vie).
Key characteristics: Small tree; upright branches, pinnate leaves, 7– 19 pairs of ovate leaflets +one terminal leaflet; some of the flowers on stem (cauliflower); fruit yellow-green, slightly lobed.
Description: A small tree with few, upright, branches, 6–9 m high. Leaves pinnate usually with 7–19 pairs of 5–12 cm long ovate leaflets and a single terminal leaflet. Flowers auxiliary or cauliflorous, with 10–22 mm long, red-purple coloured, free petals. Fruit a yellowish-green berry, slightly lobed and up to 10 × 5 cm.
Use: Fruit used for pickles, curries, chutney and preserves in syrup and can also be used to clean metal and remove stains. Also used in traditional medicines.
Ecology: Prefer seasonal humid climates with a drier season, but not actual drought and slightly acid soils. Flooding and salinity is not tolerated.
Distribution: Origin S.E. Asia, now grown all over the humid tropics.
Common names: Carambola, star fruit (En); spo (Cam); fuand (Lao); belimbing manis (Mal, Ins); zaung-ya (Mya); Balimbing (Phi); ma fuang (Tha); khe (Vie).
Key characteristics: Bushy tree; drooping branches, 3–6 pairs of leaflets, purple-red flowers; shiny yellow fruit with 5 pronounced ribs.
Description: Small, usually much branched tree, to 15 m tall. Bushy growth, usually with drooping branches. 3–6 pairs of 4–10 cm long, ovate leaflets and a single terminal leaflet. Flowers normally in auxiliary panicles, with joined petals, up to 8 mm in length, light red with purple centre. Fruit 12 × 6 cm, shiny yellow-green when ripe, with 5 pronounced ribs. Many cultivars. Flower and fruit all the year round.
Use: As A. bilimbi. Fruit also used fresh in salads, drinks, jam and jelly.
Ecology & distribution: Like A. bilimbi but extends to frost free subtropical areas. More often commercially grown.
References: Purseglove (1974), Smitinand & Larsen (1981), Verheij & Coronel (1991).
Synonyms: Melia indica, Melia azadirachta
Common names: Neem, margosa-tree (En); mind (Ins); tamaka (Mya); mambu, sadu (Mal); kwinin, sadao India (Tha); sàu-dâu (Vie). var. siamensis: kadao, sadao, cha-tang (Tha).
Key characteristics: Low branches; inner bark pink and astringent; pinnately compound leaves; leaflet margin undulate; flowers small, white, fragrant.
Description: Up to 20 m high and 1 m in trunk diameter, with low branches and dense rounded crown. Bark brown when young, then grey with deep furrows and scaly plates. Inner bark pink, astringent and bitter tasting. Leaves pinnately compound (usually without single terminal leaflet) and may fall during severe drought. Each leaf has 9–17 pairs of 4– 8 cm long curved, lance shaped, saw-toothed and pointed leaflets. Flowers are abundant, small, white and fragrant, arising in the corner of leaf stalks. Fruits are small, smooth ellipsoidal drupes, yellow or greenish-yellow when ripe.
Use: Windbreak, shade and fodder tree for cattle, soil improvement and wasteland reclamation. Wood is insect repellant and used for construction, furniture, paper pulp, chipboard and fuelwood. Azadirachtin, an insecticidal compound can be extracted from the seeds and leaves.
Ecology: Thrives in a wide range of soils, temperatures and rainfall patterns and is found on poor soils from sea level to 1,500 m elevation surviving temperatures from below 0°C to over 40°C and annual rainfall down to 130 mm. Prefers acid soils, warm temperatures and from 450 to 1,500 mm of rainfall.
Distribution: Native to dry regions from the Indian subcontinent through Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia to Indonesia.
References: F/FRED (1992), Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), National Research Council (1980, 1992).
Synonyms: Baccaurea wallichii
Common names: Kapundung (En); mente, kepundung (Ins, Mal); bencoy (Ins); jinteh merah.(Mal).
Key characteristics: Small tree, leaves glandular, flowers & fruits on large branches or trunk.
Description: 15–25m tall, 25–70cm in diameter with dense, irregular crown. Leaves simple, entire, ovate-oblong to obovate, 7–18cm long and 3–7cm wide, glandular, on 0.5–4.5cm long leaf stalks. Inflorescence on old branches or trunk. Male racemes 5– 13cm long, with many 3-flowered densely haired cymes. Flowers small with 4–5 sepals and 4–8 stamens. Female racemes 10–20cm long, with larger flowers, 5 sepals and no petals. Fruits yellow-green or reddish, 2–2.4cm in diameter.
Use: Fruits eaten fresh, stewed, pickled or fermented. The excellent timber is used for house and boat construction and furniture making. Also used as support for rattan, as ornamental or as shade tree. Dyes is made from the bark.
Ecology: Native to tropical lowland forest up to 1,000 m altitude on a wide range of soils, from dry sandstone to peat swamps.
Distribution: Originates in western Malesia and widely cultivated in Java, Sumatra and Bali.
Synonyms: Baccaurea sapida, B. wrayi
Common names: Burmese grape (En); phnkiew (Cam); mafai setambun, tajam molek (Ins); fai (Lao); pupor, tampoi, tempui (Mal); kanazo (Mya); mafai, omfai, hamkang (Tha); giau gia dat, giau tien, dzau mien dzu‘ó’i (Vie).
Key characteristics: +/- buttresses; leaves ovate to ovate lance shaped; leaf stalk to 8 cm.
Description: Tree up to 25m high sometimes with buttresses. Leaves alternate, simple, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 10–20cm long and 4–9cm wide with 1–8cm long petioles. Inflorescence on branches and trunk, soft-hairy, male racemes 3–8 cm long, female racemes 14cm long. 4–5 sepals. Fruits 2.5–3cm in diameter, smooth, yellowish pink to bright red.
Ecology & Use: As B. racemosa. Bark is used in traditional medicine.
Distribution: Myanmar, Thailand, southern China, Indo-China and peninsular Malaysia.
References: Verheij & Coronel (1992).
Common names: Annato (En); thidin (Mya); achuete (Phi); kham ngoh (Tha); dièunhuôm, siêm phung (Vie).
Key characteristics: Small, bushy tree, green to red stem, young twigs rust colored, ovate to heart-shaped leaves, large pink-white flowers, rambutan-like fruit.
Description: A small bushy tree, 2–8 m tall and up to 30 cm in diameter. Bark color varying from green to red, young twigs with rust colored scales. Leaves alternate, ovate or heart-shaped, 8–20 cm long and 5–12 cm wide. Flowers pink or white, 5–8 cm in diameter with 5–7 obovate petals. Fruit green to dark red, 2–4 cm, fleshy and spined - resembling rambutan. Seed pods brown with 10–50 bright orange to yellowish-red seeds.
Use: Often used as an ornamental or as living fences. Stem and branches cen be used for firewood. Seeds are traded commercially as a dyeing agent for food, particularly cheese and butter, leather, floor polish and cloth. The bark and leaves have various medicinal uses.
Ecology: Lowland tropical species occurring up to 800 m altitude. Prefers moist deep, loamy soil but is adaptable. Tolerates mild droughts, shorter than 4 months.
Distribution: Originates in tropical America and now widely distributed in the tropics, including Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
References: Guzman et al (1986), Hensleigh & Holaway (1988).
Synonyms: Salmalia malabarica, Bombax malabaricum
Common names: Silk cotton tree, red cotton tree (En); letpan (Mya); ngiu baan (Tha); malabulak (Phi).
Key characteristics: Sometimes spines on stem; horizontal branches, palmately compound leaves, large red flowers, seed capsules with silky /hairy fill.
Description: A large deciduous tree up to 40 m tall and 80 cm in diameter, often with buttresses. Branches in regular whorls. Bark light brown or grayish and fairly smooth. Young stem and branches are covered with large conical thorns. Leaves palmately compound of 5–7 oblong-lanceolate, pointed leaflets, 10–20 cm long, leathery and smooth. Leaf stalks longer than leaflets. The flowers are 8–10 cm long, red, occurring at or near end of branches, appearing before the leaves. The fruit is a cylindrical pointed capsule, 12 to 17 cm long with numerous seeds inside embedded in silky material.
Use: Silky material around seeds is used as stuffing (kapok) but of lower quality than Ceiba pentandra. Bark is used for rope making. Wood can be used packing cases, toys, matches, canoes and others. Young flowers can be eaten as a vegetable. Flowers, pods, roots and gum are used in traditional medicine.
Ecology: Tropical humid lowland species, often found near stream banks.
Distribution: From India to the Philippines, including Myanmar and Thailand.
References: Guzman et al (1986), Storrs (1990).
Synonyms: Bouea gandaria
Common names: Gandaria (En); ramania, gandaria (Ins); kundang, rembunia, setar (Mal); ma praang, somprang (Tha).
Key characteristics: Angular or flattened, hanging branchlets; leaves often large, forming dense foliage; flowers small, 4-merous; fruits yellow-orange looking like small mangoes.
Description: Up to 27 m tall tree with light brown, fissured bark. Branchlets often smooth, hanging and angular or flattened. Leaves ovate-oblong to lance shaped or elliptic, simple, entire, papery and shining, up to 45 cm long and 13 cm wide, but usually smaller. Leaf base acute to cuneate and leafstalk 1–2.5 cm long. The leaves form a quite dense foliage. Inflorescences are 4–12 cm long panicles with mostly 4-merous, yellowish flowers turning brown. The yellow-orange fruits are mango-like, roundish, 2.5–5 cm in diameter, fleshy-juicy, sour to sweet in taste with faint turpentine smell.
Use: The ripe fruit is eaten fresh, cooked in syrup, or made into compote. The young fruit is used in chili based condiment (“sambal”) and in pickles, the young violet leaves sometimes being eaten along with the sambal.
Ecology: Thrives in light fertile soils in the humid tropics from lowland to 300 m altitude where it occurs naturally. Cultivated up to 850 m altitude.
Distribution: Occurs naturally in Malaysia and Indonesia and is also cultivated in Thailand.
References: Verheij & Coronel (1992).
|Cajanus cajan||Leguminosae (Papilionoideae)|
Synonyms: Cajanus indicus, Cajan cajan, Cajanus bicolor
Common names: Pigeon pea, cajan, red gram (En); pe-sinngon (mya); thua maetaai, thua rae, ma hae (Tha); kadios (Phi).
Key characteristics: Bush; leaves with 3 leaflets - gray beneath; finely haired; yellow flowers; pods 4–7 cm × 1 cm with 2–7 seeds.
Description: Erect woody shrub of varying shape, 1–5 m high, branched and fine-haired. Stem and branches smooth and green. Leaves trifoliate with oblanceolate, pointed, hairy, 3– 10 cm long leaflets, grayish beneath. Flowers are 1.5 cm long, yellow, sometimes with red stripe. The pods are 4 to 10 cm long and 1 cm wide, hairy, pointed and contains 2–7 seeds.
Use: Green pods and seeds used as vegetable and animal feed. Dried husks are also used for animal feed. Dried stalks and branches used for fuel and branches also for thatch and baskets. Leaves are fed to livestock, silkworms and lac insects or used as green manure. Also planted as windbreak and for erosion control. An enzyme called “urease” used medically, can be extracted from pigeon pea.
Ecology: Adapted to the arid and subhumid tropics. Grows in full sun on nearly any kind of soil, except waterlogged, but prefers neutral, light, deep loam or sandy soil, temperatures between 18 and 29°C, and rainfall between 600 and 1,000 mm. Tolerates as little as 400 mm annual rain and a dry season of 6 months.
Distribution: Grown all around the tropical world between 30°S and 30°N.
References: F/FRED (1992), Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Purseglove (1974).
|Calliandra calothyrsus||Leguminosae (Mimosoideae)|
Synonyms: Calliandra confusa, C. similis
Common names: Calliandra (En, Mya, Phi); kaliandra (Ins).
Key characteristics: Shrub or small tree; 3–5 crooked stems; black-brown bark; leaves bipinnate, dark green; flowers puff-ball like, reddish-purplish; fruit pods curving back as they split open.
Description: A small tree or shrub from 1.5–12 m tall, with 3–5 or more crooked stems up to 30 cm in diameter with black-brown bark. Leaves alternate, dark green, bipinnate and 10–17 cm long, with 15–20 pairs of lateral axes (pinnae), 4–7 cm long. Each axis has 25 to 60 pairs of linear leaflets, 5–8 mm long and 1 mm wide. The puffball-like flowers are in pyramid shaped, subterminal clusters and have long red or purple stamens. The fruit pods are 8–11 cm long and 1 cm wide, curving back as they split open.
Use: Mainly used for fuelwood and charcoal. Foliage is used as fodder and green manure and because it flowers year round it is popular as a honey tree.
Ecology: Thrives in tropical temperatures, from slightly elevated to 1,500 m altitude, with at least 1,000 mm annual rainfall, but prefers 2,000–4,000 mm. Tolerates 3–6 month dry season. Prefers light, well drained, slightly acidic soils and tolerates poor exhausted soils but not waterlogging. Nitrogen fixing.
Distribution: Native to central and southern America and widely cultivated in Indonesia. Also found in Myanmar, the Philippines, and other countries.
References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Little (undated); National Research Council (1983); Westphal & Jansen (1993).
Common names: Papaya, pawpaw, melon tree (En); ihong, doeum lahong (Cam); papaya, gedang, kates (Ins); houng (Lao); papaya, betek, ketalah (Mal); thimbaw (Mya); papaya, kapaya, lapaya (Phi); malakor, loko, ma kuai thet (Tha); du du (Vie).
Key characteristics: Normally unbranched straight stem with “umbrella” of large characteristic leaves at top, white to yellow flowers and large green to yellow fruits year round.
Description: A fast growing tree-like herb, 10–30 cm in diameter and 2 to 10 m high. Usually no branches, but if top is cut off, it will branch. Leaves spirally arranged, clustered towards top of stem, with up to 1 m long leaf stalks and palmate or deeply lobed leaf plates 25–75 cm in diameter, smooth, prominently veined and toothed. Flowers cream white to yellow, male, female or hermaphrodite on separate trees and looking somewhat different. The fruit is a fleshy berry 7–30 cm long and weighing up to 10 kg. Skin thin, smooth, turning from green to yellowish or orange when ripening. Flesh yellow to orange, soft, edible and sweet, with grey-black seeds along central cavity.
Use: The ripe fruit is eaten fresh or used in salads, drinks, jam, candies. The green fruit can be cooked as a vegetable. Young leaves and flowers are also eaten in some areas. Carpaine, an alkaloid and papaine, an enzyme, are extracted for use in pharmaceutical, beverage and food industries.
Ecology: Tolerates any kind of well drained and not too dry soil, but is very sensitive to waterlogging and flooding. Thrives in warm areas with sufficient rainfall and temperature range of 21–33°C and occurs up to about 1,600 m altitude above where frosts may occur.
Distribution: Originates in tropical America but is now distributed throughout the tropical and warm subtropical world.
References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Purseglove (1974), Verheij & Coronel (1991).
|Cassia fistula||Leguminosae (Caesalpinioideae)|
Common names: Golden shower (En); ngu, ngu sahwe, pwabet (Mya); khuun, rajaphruek (Tha); bò-cap nuóc (Vie).
Key characteristics: Bark greenish when young later reddish brown, peeling of in scales; compound leaves; flowers large, yellow and abundant; fruit pods cylindrical to 30 cm long or more.
Description: A small to moderate sized tree up to 15 m tall. Bark greenish grey when young later turning reddish brown and peeling of in scales. Compound leaves 30–60 cm long on 7–10 cm long stalk, with 3–8 pairs of leathery leaflets, each about 12 cm long and 6 cm wide. The attractive flowers are large and yellow and borne in hanging racemes. The fruit pods are 30 to 60 cm long, cylindrical, smooth and dark brown when ripe.
Use: The wood is used for buildings, carts, fence posts and agricultural implements as well as for charcoal. The bark is also used for dyeing and tanning and the pods are used in traditional medicine.
Ecology: Grows from sea level up to about 1,200 m altitude.
Distribution: From India and Nepal through Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, China, Vietnam and Indonesia.
References: Smitinand & Larsen (1984), Storrs (1990).
|Cassia siamea||Leguminosae (Caesalpinioideae)|
Synonyms: Cassia florida
Common names: Yellow cassia, kassod tree, kassaof tree, Bombay blackwood (En); mezali (Mya); minjri, moung, angkank (Phi); khi lek, pak chili (Tha); muòng xiêm (Vie).
Key characteristics: Medium sized tree with gray bark and pinnately compound leaves, usually 7–10 pairs of leaflets, each up to 8 cm long. Large clusters of bright yellow flowers and clusters of long flat seed pods.
Description: A medium-sized tree, rarely exceeding 20 m in height and 50 cm in diameter at breast height (1.3 m above the ground). Dense evergreen spreading crown and smooth greyish bark. Young branches finely haired. Leaves are pinnately compound with even leaf arrangement of 7 to 10 pairs. Leaflets ovate-oblong, 7–8 cm long and 1–2 cm wide. Flowers are yellow and arise in large clusters and the fruit is a long flat pod with numerous seeds.
Use: Erosion control, windbreaks, shade. Wood is used for furniture, poles and fuelwood. Leaves can be eaten by ruminants. Young leaves and flowers used in curry dishes.
Ecology: Occurs naturally in dry lowland forests with average temperatures between 20 and 28°C and is very light demanding. Grows best in light, deep, well-drained and rich soils but may tolerate lateritic or limestone soils if well-drained. Most common in areas with annual rainfall of 650 mm or more and a dry season of 4 to 6 months.
Distribution: Native in southeast Asia and found in most countries of the region.
References: F/FRED (1992), Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Smitinand & Larsen (1981).
Synonyms: Bombax pentandrum, Eriodendron anfractuosum
Common names: Kapok, white silk-cotton tree (En); koo (Cam); kapok, randu, kapu (Ins); nguiz baanz (Lao); kabuk-abu, kakabu, pohon kapok (Mal); nun (Tha); gòn, gau (Vie).
Key characteristics: Stem and branches with conical spines. Branches horizontal, leaves compound palmate, ripe fruits packed with whitish floss - kapok.
Description: A fast growing, deciduous tree with straight bole, sometimes buttresses, reaching 30 m (var. pentandra) in height. Bole and branches more or less with conical spines. Branches horizontal, whorled in groups of 3, giving a pagoda-shaped thin crown. Leaves alternate, with 8–25 cm long petioles, palmately compound of 5–11 smooth, oblong-lanceolate leaflets, 5–16 cm long. The numerous flowers dirty white, about 3 cm long, with foetid milky smell, appearing in groups at the beginning of the dry season when trees are leafless. Fruits are ellipsoidal capsules, 7.5–30 cm long that becomes brown when ripe and opens with 5 valves. Seeds are embedded in copious white, pale yellow or grey floss.
Use: Yields kapok, the floss in the fruits, which is used for stuffing and thermal and acoustic insulation. Very young, unripe pods are eaten in Java.
Ecology: Grows under a wide variety of conditions, but thrives better below 500 m elevation and with at least 1,000 mm annual rain, particular important during the vegetative growth period. Flowering and fruiting occurs during the dry season, but fruiting fails at night temperatures below 20°C.
Distribution: Wild varieties grow in tropical America and Africa. It was introduced in Asia centuries ago and is now reported cultivated in Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
References: Purseglove (1974), Westphal & Jansen (1993).
Common names: Cainito, starapple (En); sawo ijo, sawo hejo, sawo kadu (Ins); sawo duren, pepulut (Mal); hnin-thagya (Mya); caimito (Phi); chicle durian (Sin); sataa appoen (Tha); vú-sùe (Vie).
Key characteristics: Medium sized tree; white latex; leaves rust colored below; branchlets hairy; green yellow or purple fruits round, 5–10cm in diameter.
Description: An evergreen tree up to 35 m tall and 60 cm in diameter with white gummy latex. Branchlets numerous, with many brown hairs. Leaves alternate, oblong to obovate, 5–16 cm × 3–6 cm, leathery, rust red below and with almost parallel secondary nerves. Leaf margins thickened. Flowers arising from leaf corners on current season's shoots, in groups of 5–35 small yellow to purplish-white flowers with 5 sepals, 1–4 mm long. Fruit a berry, 5–10 cm in diameter, obovoid-globose, yellow-green or purplish brown with thin leathery skin and white or purple, soft juicy flesh.
Use: Fruit can be eaten fresh or used in ice cream. Bark, latex and fruit and seeds have medicinal value. Wood is suitable for construction and branches are used as an orchid growing medium. Also planted as an ornamental.
Ecology: Grows well in most soil types and within a wide climatic range in lowland areas. Performs best where soil is fertile and well drained.
Distribution: Originates in tropical West Indies. In Southeast Asia most common in the Philippines, but also found in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.
References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Verheij & Coronel (1992).
Synonyms: Limonia aurantifolia, Citrus javanica, C. notissima
Common names: Lime, sour lime (En); krôôch chmaa muul (Cam); jeruk nipis, jeruk pecel (Ins); naaw (Lao); limau ni-pis, limau asam (Mal); dayap (Phi); som manao, manao (Tha); chanh ta (Vie).
Key characteristics: Dense, irregularly branched; short stiff spines; narrowly winged leaf stalks; fruit juicy, 3–6cm in diameter thin skin, acid.
Description: Dense, irregularly branched, to 5m tall. Short stiff spines on twigs. Leaves alternate, elliptic to oblong-ovate, 4–8cm long, 2–5cm wide with narrowly winged leaf stalks, crenulate margin. 1–7 small white flowers in each stand from leaf corners, with 4–6 petals and 20–25 stamens. Fruit round, greenish-yellow, 3–6 cm in diameter with thin skin. Flesh yellow-green, juicy, fragrant, very acid. Seeds small, ovoid and pale.
Use: The fruit is extensively used to flavor food and drinks and for various medicinal purposes. Leaves are also used in traditional medicine.
Ecology: Lowland tropical species found up to about 1,000 m altitude. Sensitive to cold and waterlogging but tolerates some drought and poor soils.
Distribution: Cultivated in all Southeast Asian countries.
Synonyms: Citrus macroptera
Common names: Mauritius papeda, leech-lime (En); krauch soeuch (Cam); jeruk perut, limó purut (Ins); 'khi 'hout (Lao); limau purut (Mal); shouk-pote (Mya); kabuyau, kulubut, kolobot (Phi); ma kruut (Tha); trùc (Vie).
Key characteristics: Crooked trunk; short stiff spines; leaf stalk broadly winged; fruit with irregular bumpy skin.
Description: Up to 12m in height, with crooked trunk and short stiff spines. Leaves broadly ovate to ovate-oblong, 3–15cm long, 2–6cm wide with cuneate or rounded base and broadly winged stalk. Flowers small, fragrant and yellowish white. Fruits ovoid to elliptical, 5–7cm in diameter, green to yellow with irregular bumpy skin and very acid.
Use: Used like the common lime as well as for insecticides (juice) and a flavoring agent (leaves).
Ecology: Low to medium altitudes in the tropics.
Distribution: Origin not known. Has become naturalized in Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar and is also found in Thailand and the Philippines.
References: Guzman et al (1986), Verheij & Coronel (1992).
Synonyms: Citrus aurantium var grandis, C. grandis, C. decumana
Common names: Pummelo, shaddock, pomelo (En); krôoch thlông (Cam); jeruk besar, jeruk bali (Ins); kiéngz s'aangz, ph'uk, sômz 'ôô (Lao); jambua, limau betawi, limau bali (Mal); shouk-ton-oh, kywegaw (Mya); som-o, ma-o (Tha); bu'o'i (Vie).
Key characteristics: Small tree, low spreading branches, sometimes spines, young parts with fine soft hairs, leaves with glandular dots and broadly winged leaf stalks, large whitish fragrant flowers, very large round fruit.
Description: A 5–15 m tall tree with low, spreading branches, with up to 5 cm long spines if propagated by seed. Vegetatively propagated trees usually spineless. Young parts with soft short hairs. Leaves glandular dotted, ovate to elliptical, 5–10 (-2) m long and 2–5 (-12) cm wide, with entire to shallowly crenate margin, rounded to sub-cordate base, obtusely acute leaf tip and broadly winged leaf stalks, up to 7 cm wide. One or a few large creamy white flowers arising from corner of leaf stalks (axillary), 3–5 cm wide, 5-merous, 20–25 stamens. Fruits are round to pear-shaped, 10–30 cm in diameter, greenish-yellow with dense glandular dots and 1–3 cm thick peel. Fruit “flesh” pale yellow or pink, sweet, juicy and with a few large seeds.
Use: Mainly grown for the fruit, which is eaten fresh or in salads or made into juice. In Vietnam the flowers are used for perfume. The wood can be used for tool handles. Leaves, flowers, fruit and seeds are used for various medicinal purposes (including against coughs, fevers and stomach disorders).
Ecology: Lowland tropical species grown commercially up to 400 m altitude. Although it tolerates a wide range of soils, it prefers deep, medium textured fertile soils free from salt. In Thailand pomelo grows at mean monthly temperatures of 25– 30°C and annual rainfall at about 1,500–1,800 mm, with a few cooler and dryer months.
Distribution: Indigenous to Malesian region, but exact origin uncertain. Now found in all countries in Southeast Asia and also outside the region.
References: Verheij & Coronel (1992).
Synonyms: Citrus nobilis, C. deliciosa, C. chrysocarpa
Key characteristics: Small; slender spiny twigs; leaves small, narrow, glandular; narrowly winged leaf stalks; small white flowers; ripe fruit orange color, loose peel.
Common names: Mandarin, tangerine (En); krauch kvich (Cam); jeruk ke-prok, jeruk jepun, jeruk maseh (Ins); som hot, som lot, liou (Lao); limau langkat, limau kupas, limau wangkas (Mal); leinmaw (Mya); som khieo waan, som saenthong, ma baang (Tha); cam sành, cay quit (Vie).
Description: A small, usually spiny tree up to 8m tall. Twigs slender. Leaves lanceolate or elliptic, 4–8cm long, 1.5–4cm wide, acute tip and base, usually crenate, dark shiny green above, yellow-green below. Leaf stalk narrowly winged or margin-ed. Small white flowers single or in small groups at leaf corners, 1.5–2.5cm in diameter, 5 petals. Fruit a depressed roundish berry with thin, loose peel, orange when ripe. Pulp orange, sweet and juicy. Seeds small, green embryo inside. Many cultivars.
Use: Fruit consumed fresh, canned or as juice. Pectin, essential oils in rind.
Ecology: Grown between 45°N and 45°S with different cultivars having different requirements. Prefers cooler climates with a dry season.
Distribution: Originates in Malesia but is now strongly differentiated and very widely distributed in all tropical and subtropical parts of the world.
Key characteristics: ≤15m high; spiny; young twigs angular; narrowly winged leaf stalks; fruit round, 4–12cm in diameter, yellow green or orange. Seeds white inside.
Synomyms: Citrus aurantium var. sinensis
Common names: Sweet orange (En); krôôch pôôsat (Cam); jeruk manis (Ins); kièngz (Lao); limau manis, chula, choreng (Mal); thung chin-thi (Mya); kahel (Phi); somkliang, somtra (Tha); cam (Vie).
Description: 6–15m tall, evergreen. Young twigs angular. Leaves alternate, elliptic to ovate, 5–15cm long, 2–8cm wide, 1–3cm long narrowly winged stalk, rounded base, undulate to crenate margin, pointed tip. White 5-merous flowers single or in racemes at leaf corners, 2–3cm in diameter, fragrant. Fruit round, 4–12cm in diameter, yellow-green to orange with up to 5 mm thick glandular peel. Flesh juicy, yellow to orange-red, sweet to slightly acid. Seeds, white inside.
Use: Like mandarin. Pulp, molasses used as cattle feed.
Ecology: Subtropical. Prefers seasonal changes. Quality and yield is lower in the lowlands.
Distribution: Thought to originate near China-Vietnam border and now cultivated everywhere in the subtropics and tropics.
References: Purseglove (1974), Verheij & Coronel (1992).
Key characteristics: Up to 5 m tall; leaves opposite, 8–15 cm long; ripe berries red or yellow.
Common names: Arabica (En); Coffee in general: kafae (Cam, Lao); kopi (Ins, Mal); kaphi (Mya); kafe (Phi); gafae (Tha); cà phê (Vie).
Description: 4–5m tall. Horizontal branches in opposite pairs. Leaves opposite, dark green, shiny, 5–15cm long, 6cm wide, oval or elliptical, pointed, sometimes undulating. Flowers white, 2–20 together in leaf corners. Red or yellow berries oblong, 15mm long.
Use: For coffee production. Dried pulp used in livestock food, for cottage soap production and fertilizer.
Ecology: In its native habitat it grows at 1,300–1,800m altitude, prefers temperature between 13–24°C (not below zero) and annual rainfall of about 1,900mm, but will grow with as little as 750mm a year if evenly distributed. A short mild drought facilitates uniform flowering. Prefers deep, slightly acid, fertile and well drained soils.
Distribution: Native to Ethiopian mountains but now found in most southeast Asian countries, including Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Key characteristics: Bush or small tree; leaves 15–30cm long, opposite, with undulating margin, prominent midrib below.
Synonyms: Coffearobusta, C. laurentii, C. maclaudii, C. arabica var. stuhlmani, C. bukobensis, C. welwitschii, C. ugandae, C. kouilouensis.
Common names: Robusta coffee (En).
Description: Umbrella-shaped shrub or small tree, up to 10m tall. In full light branching near base. Leaves opposite, 15–30cm long, 5–15cm wide, often corrugated or undulating, oblong-elliptic, shortly pointed tip, base rounded or broadly cuneate, midrib flat above, prominent below, 8–13 pairs of lateral veins. Leaf stalk 0.8–2cm long with 5mm long triangular scale-like appendage at base. Flowers from leaf corners, usually 6 together of which 3–4 develops. Flowers white, fragrant. Corolla tube about 1cm long and the 5–7 lobes 1–1.5cm long. Fruit round, 1.2cm in diameter, green to crimson to black.
Use: Lower quality than arabica, mainly used in coffee blends and for “instant” coffee.
Ecology: Grows from sea level to about 1,600m altitude. Prefers 1,100–2,500mm annual rainfall and 18–32°C. Dry season favourable for flower initiation.
Distribution: Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Purse-glove (1974), Westphal & Jansen (1993).
|Delonix regia||Leguminosae (Caesalpinioideae)|
Synonym: Poinciana regia
Common names: Flamboyant, flame of the forest (En); seinban (Mya); hang nok yung farang (Tha); phuong (Vie).
Key characteristics: Short trunk; root-like buttresses; wide spreading umbrella shaped crown; about 25 pairs of leaflets per pinnae; abundant, showy red flowers; pods woody, flat, up to 40 cm long.
Description: A small to moderate sized semi-deciduous tree up to 15 m tall with short trunk, often root-like buttresses and a wide, spreading, umbrella shaped crown reaching 15 m in diameter. The bark is smooth and grey with vertical lines of brown spots. The compound leaves are alternate, 20–60 cm long and divided into 15–25 pairs of pinnae, each of which has about 14–30 pairs of small, oblong leaflets, 8–10 mm long and 3–4 mm wide. The numerous showy red flowers with yellow margins grows in dense clusters sometimes almost entirely covering the crown. The fruit pods are stout, woody, reddish brown or black, flat and up to 40 cm long.
Use: Primarily an ornamental species widely planted along streets and in parks, gardens and villages.
Ecology: Grows in warm humid areas from sea level up to about 1,000 m altitude.
Distribution: From its origin in Madagascar, it has been introduced to most of Africa and Asia, including Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
References: Smitinand & Larsen (1984), Storrs (1990).
Synonyms: Subspecies longan and its varieties: var. longan: Euphoria longana, Nephelium longana; var. longepetiolatus: Euphoria morigera; var. obtusus: E. scandens. For subspecies malesianus: var. malesianus: Nephelium malaiense, Euphoria cinerea, E. malaiensis, E. gracilis; var. echinatus: Euphoria nephelioides.
Common names: Ssp. longan var. longan: Longan (En); mien (Cam); lengkeng (Ins, Mal); lam nhai (Lao); kyet mouk (Mya); lamyai pa (Tha); nhan (Vie). -ssp. longan var. obtusus: lamyai khruer, lamyai tao (Tha). -ssp. malesianus var. malesianus: Mata kucing (peninsular Mal and Sabah); isau, sau, kakus (Sarawak); buku, ihau, meduru (Ins).
Key characteristics: Dense short hairs on branches, ribs, veins of leaves & flower stands; leaves with 1–3 pairs of leaflets; fruits round, yellow-brown, 1–3 cm in diameter, translucent white edible flesh.
Description: Up to 40 m high and 1m in diameter, sometimes with buttresses. Branches cylindrical in cross-section with 5 faint grooves and covered with dense short reddish-brown hairs. Leaves with 1–20 cm long petiole, hairy and 1–2 (sometimes 3) pairs of elliptical leaf-lets, 3–45 cm long and 1.5–20 cm wide. Leaflets with dense short hairs on midribs and nerves on underside. Flowers usually grouped in cymes of 1–5 yellow-brown flowers at tip of branches. Flower with 5 petals 1.5–6 × 0.6–2 mm sometimes densely wooly. Fruit 1–3 cm in diameter, smooth to warty or granular, yellow-brown (some varieties green). Seeds round, shining blackish-brown, enveloped in thin, translucent white flesh.
Use: Fruit is eaten fresh or canned. A drink can be prepared from the dried flesh. Seeds is used in shampoo and seeds and flesh have various medicinal purposes.
Ecology: A subtropical tree requiring a cool period for good flowering and fruiting, 1,500–2,000 mm annual rain and sandy soils.
Distribution: Ssp longan var. longan : Burma, S. China, Thailand. Ssp. longan var. obtusus + : IndoChina. Ssp longan var. longepetiolulatus : Vietnam. Ssp. malesianus var. malesianus: All countries in region, Ssp. malesianus var. echinatus : Borneo, Philippines.
References: Verheij & Coronel (1991).
Synonym: Dipterocarpus philipinensis
Common names: Hairy-leafed apitong, apinau, ayamban (Phi); chhë: ti:ël bangku:ëy, chhë ti:ël ba:y, chhë: ti:ël tük (Cam); maiz nhang, nhanh khaw (Lao); kanyin-byu (Mya); yang-na (Tha); daafu rasi (Vie).
Key characteristics: Very large tree, up to 55 m tall, branchless up to 20 m. Bark thin, grey, smooth; twigs, leaves and buds soft-haired; fruit with 5 wings (lobes), 2 lobes large, up to 14 × 3 cm with 3 parallel nerves.
Description: A medium to large size tree up to 55 m tall and 150 cm in diameter, with a tall, straight and cylindrical bole, branchless for up to 20 m. Bark thin, greyish and smooth. Leaves narrowly ovate to elliptical-oblong, 9–25 cm long and 3.5–15 cm wide with cuneate to rounded base and acute tip, 11–18 (sometimes 20) pairs of secondary veins, sparsely soft-haired above and densely soft haired below. Leaf stalk 2.5–4.5 cm long with greyish-yellow soft haired scale-like appendages at base. Fruit usually with 5 wings (calyx lobes), two larger ones up to 14cm long × 3cm wide with three parallel nerves, and three shorter ones up to 1.2–1.4 cm long.
Use: A very important source of construction timber. The oil rich resin is sometimes tapped in Myanmar for various minor uses, including medicinal.
Ecology: Occurs along rivers up to 500 m altitude, where it is a rapid colonizer of alluvial soils. In the Philippines found in mixed dipterocarp forest at low and medium altitudes.
Distribution: Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines.
References: FAO (1985), Soerianegara & Lemmens (1994).
Synonym: Durio acuminatissima
Common names: Durian (All languages); thu-réén (Cam); duren, ambetan, kadu (Ins); thurièn (Lao); thurian, rian (Tha); saù riêng (Vie).
Key characteristics: Large tree; buttresses; dark red-brown bark, peeling off; silvery/golden scales and hair underneath leaves; flowering from old branches; large, spiny yellow green to brown fruit, strongly smelling.
Description: A large tree to 40 m tall, developing buttresses, with dark red-brown bark, peeling off irregularly. Leaves alternate, elliptical to lanceolate, 10–17 cm long and 3–12.5 cm wide, papery, with acute to obtuse base and slenderly pointed tip, smooth, glossy and densely reticulate above, densely covered with silvery or golden scales with a layer of stellate hairs below. Flowerstands on the older branches, forming fascicles of panicle-like groups (corymbs) each with 3–30 flowers, up to 15 cm long. Individual flowers 5–6 cm long, whitish or greenish-white, on 5–7 cm flower stalk, with 5 petals and numerous stamens in 5 bundles. Fruit a globose, ovoid or ellipsoid capsule, up to 25 cm long and 20 cm in diameter, yellow-green to brownish, covered with pyramidal, sharp, up to 1 cm long spines. The fruit opens in 5 thick valves wherein the up to 4 cm long seeds are embedded in yellowish, sweet aril with a smell described as a mixture of rotten cheese and garlic, turpentine and bad drains.
Use: Fruits are eaten fresh or processed into cakes, cookies and ice cream. Boiled or roasted seeds can be eaten as a snack and young shoots and unripe fruits may be cooked as greens. Dried fruit rind is used as fuel, in particular to smoke fish, and several parts are used medicinally. The coarse and light wood is sometimes used for indoor construction and lower quality furniture.
Ecology: A strictly tropical tree growing from sea level to 800 m altitude between 18°N and S, where rainfall is 1,500 mm per year and well distributed, and soils are deep, well drained and light.
Distribution: Native to Southeast Asia and cultivated in all countries covered by this guide.
References: Purseglove (1974), Verheij & Coronel (1992).
Erythrina orientalis, E. poeppigiana & E. variegata
Key characteristics: Thorny trunk and branches; trifoliate leaves; large red flowers before leaves appear; Orientalis: Short brown, black-tipped thorns; greyish green bark; Poeppigiana: Larger tree; bark greyish or greenish brown, warty, thorns larger; Variegata: Small, black thorns.
Synonyms: Orientalis: Erythrina indica, E. variegata var. orientalis. Poeppigiana: E. micropteryx. Variegata: E. indica.
Common names: E. orientalis: Dapdap (Phi). Poeppigiana: Coral tree (En). Variegata: Tall erythrina, tall wiliwili, Indian coral tree, Chochin China coral tree (En); mottled leaf dapdap (Phi); thong baan, thong laang daang (Tha).
Description: Orientalis: Up to 15m tall. Stout branches and branchlets. Short dark-brown, black-tipped thorns. Bark greyish green, finely fissured. Alternate, trifoliate leaves on 20–40cm long leafstalk with entire, broadly ovate, somewhat acuminate leaflets, 8–18cm long, the terminal leaflet largest. Flowers in up to 25cm long, terminal racemes, with numerous large, bright red flowers with 4 cm long calyx and 7–9 cm long petals. Pods are 10–25cm × 1.5–2cm. Often leafless during flowering.
Poeppigiana: Up to 40m tall and 120 cm in diameter with spreading crown. Bark greyish or greenish brown with smooth, slightly furrowed, warty or thorny surface. Leaves alternate, trifoliate, 20–30cm long. Leaflets 6–18cm long and 5–15cm wide, very thin with entire margin, short pointed tip and broadly pointed to straight base. Flowers in 10–20cm long racemes, orange-red, 3.5–5cm long and 1.7–2.5cm wide. Pods dark brown, cylindrical and straight, pointed in both ends, 12–25cm × 1.6cm, on a long stalk. Seeds bean like, 1.2–1.6cm × 0.5–0.7cm.
Variegata: Up to 20m tall, open branched tree with 1–2mm long small black thorns on trunk and branches. Leaves trifoliate, 13–18cm × 7.5–13cm, deciduous during water scarcity. Flowers orange-red, 5–7cm long and 2–3cm wide, mainly borne near top of the tree. Seed pods 8–13cm × 1.2cm with 2–3 dark brown seeds inside.
Use: Shade tree for coffee and cacao plantations and livestock, support trees for climbing crops and used as ornamental. The wood of E. oientalis is used for fishing net floats, insulation boards and other lightweight wood products. E. poeppigiana is also used as soil improver in pastures and its leaves are used as cattle feed or green manure and for various medicinal purposes. E. variegata is used as windbreak in the Pacific and the bark is used in traditional medicine.
Ecology: Nitrogen fixing. E. orientalis and variegata common in low to medium altitude tropical and sub-tropical coastal areas. E. poeppigiana is found along streams and in swamps, often in pure stands, up to 1,900 m altitude. E. variegata prefers 1,500–2,500mm annual rainfall but can survive with as little as 200mm.
Distribution: E. orientalis found from India to Polynesia, incl. Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. E. poeppigiana is native to S. America, but has been introduced to S.E. Asia. E. variegata is native to New Caledonia but now naturalized from east Africa throughout southeast Asia and the Pacific, incl. Myanmar, Thailand, Indochina and the Philippines.
References: Guzman et al (1986); Hensleigh & Holaway (1988).
Synonym: Eucalyptus rostrata
Common names: River red gum, red gum (En); pyilon-chantha (Mya).
Key characteristics: Crooked bole, narrow lanceolate leaves and smooth often pinkish bark.
Description: A small to medium-sized tree up to 20 m (may sometimes reach 45 m). Trunk often crooked, with smooth bark that can appear white, grey, brown or pinkish red, sometimes with air roots. Twigs long, slender, angled and reddish. Leaves alternate, ovate to broadly lanceolate when young, but more narrow lanceolate when older. 8–30 cm long and 1–2 cm wide, pointed, green to green-grey, with 12–15 mm long petiole. Inflorescence from leaf corners, with 7–11 white to cream-white flowers. Fruits 5–8 mm in diameter. Considerable morphological variation. Several varieties.
Use: Wood used for pulp, firewood (including charcoal) and construction where strength and durability is required. Flowers can produce first grade honey. Gum (kino) from bole can be used as dye. Widely planted in agroforestry systems (especially newer systems).
Ecology: Naturally found mainly along watercourses up to 600 m altitude.
Distribution: Naturally wide-spread throughout northern Australia. Now widely introduced to most countries in S.E. Asia, including Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
References: Hensleigh & Holoway (1988), Little (undated), NAC (1980), Soerianegara & Lemmens (1994).
Synonyms: Eucalyptus multiflora, E. naudiniana, E. schlecteri
Common names: Mindanao gum, deglupta (En); leda, galang, aren (Ins); bagras, banikag, amamanit (Phi).
Key characteristics: Large straight tree with smooth, flaking brightly multicolored bark, sometimes buttresses. Twigs square in cross section and petioles twisted.
Description: A very large evergreen tree up to 70 m high and 2.4 m in diameter, often with buttresses. Bark smooth, peeling off. Fresh exposed surface green, then gradually turns blue, purple and finally yellow or red. Twigs square with young leaves opposite, but older leaves may become alternate. Leaves ovate to ovate-lanceolate, held almost horizontal on branches, round to acute or somewhat pointed, slightly leathery, 7.5–15 cm × 5–7.5 cm, with twisted leaf stalks, aromatic when crushed. Inflorescence in leaf axils and at tip of twigs, 3–7 white flowers in each. Fruit round with pointed tip, 3–3.5 mm in diameter.
Use: General purpose timber and pulp, veneer, plywood, particle board, hardboard, wood-wool board as well as firewood.
Ecology: Prefer non-stagnant river flats with adequate soil moisture. In native distribution found from sea level to 1,800 m altitude.
Distribution: Widely planted throughout region, including Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia (Sulawesi, Seram) and the Philippines.
References: Guzman et al (1986), Soerianegara & Lemmens (1994).
Common names: Flooded gum, rose gum (En); shan-tabye (Mya).
Key characteristics: Large tree; straight bole; white, grey-white or blue-grey smooth bark, flaky at base; mature leaves lanceolate.
Description: A medium to very large tree, up to 55 m tall with a straight bole, branchless up to 30 m and up to 200 cm in diameter. Bark smooth, roughly flaky at base, white, grey-white or blue-grey in color. Twigs slender, angled and with white waxy coating. Leaves alternate, ovate when young, later lanceolate, 10–20 cm long and 2–3 cm wide with 1.5–2 cm leaf stalk. Inflorescence single with 7–11 flowers in each stand. Fruit more or less pear-shaped, 4–8 mm in diameter with 4–5 valves.
Use: The wood is especially used for boat building, flooring, plywood, panelling and general construction.
Ecology: Grows in moist subtropical lowlands, preferring deep, well drained and fertile soils.
Distribution: Native to coastal areas of southern Queensland and northern New South Wales and introduced to West Malaysia and Myanmar.
Reference: Little (undated), Soerianegara & Lemmens (1994).
A large genus of primarily tropical trees common in rainforests, of which some species are planted and have religious importance
Common name: Fig tree (En).
Key characteristics: Short, thick, irregular trunk; round or pear shaped “fruit” with the flowers on inside walls, often arising on trunk and major branches; often with white latex.
Description: Mostly trees, with short, thick trunk, and often many air roots. Many species have thick, shiny leaves with pointed tips. The major characteristic is the flowerstand, which is round or vase-shaped and hollow with all the flowers sitting on the inside wall. A small opening at the top allows the pollinating insect to enter. The inflorescences/fruits arise from the trunk and branches. Many species of so-called “strangling figs” like F. bengalensis germinate and grow on other trees, eventually overgrowing and strangling and shading the host to death.
Use: The fruits of many species are edible and the wood of some species is used for fuel. Several species are cultivated as household ornamental plants (e.g. F. elastica, F. benjamina). F. religiosa is very common around Buddhist temples.
Ecology: Mostly tropical. Found in all countries of the region.
Distribution: The genus is represented globally, but the species examples shown here are found in the Asian region only.
References: Storrs (1990).
Synonym: Mangostana garcinia
Common names: Mangosteen (En); manggis (Ins, Mal); mankhud (Lao); mingut (Mya); manggustan, manggis (Phi); Mangkhut (Tha); cay mang cut (Vie).
Key characteristics: Straight trunk; symmetric branches; pyramid-shaped crown; leaves opposite, short-stalked, thick leathery; flowers 4-merous; petals yellow-green with red edges.
Description: A 6–25 m tall tree with a straight trunk, symmetric branches and pyramid-shaped crown. Leaves opposite with short stalks, oblong or elliptical, 15– 25 cm long and 7–13 cm wide, thick leathery, entire, sharply pointed tip, smooth and olive green above and yellow green below, with a pale green central nerve and evenly spaced, many prominent side nerves. Flowers on short, thick stalk, alone or in pairs at tip of branchlets, about 5.5 cm in diameter with 4 sepals and 4 yellow green petals with red edges. The mangosteen fruit is a globose, smooth berry, 4–7 cm in diameter, dark purple when ripe, with the sepals remaining on the fruit. The “skin” is about 0.9 cm thick, purple with 0–3 big seeds embedded in the glossy white “flesh”.
Use: The highly praised fruit is mostly eaten fresh and only occasionally preserved. The fruit rind is used as a dyeing agent, and also, together with the bark, have several applications in traditional medicine. The wood is dark red, heavy and very strong and used in carpentry.
Ecology: Thrives in high temperature and humidity in protected places in tropical areas, often found together with durian. A short dry spell stimulates flowering.
Distribution: Probably originated in Malaysia, but wild forms is unknown. Now cultivated in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
References: Verheij & Coronel (1992).
|Gliricidia sepium||Leguminosae (Papilionoideae)|
Synonym: Gliricidia maculata
Common names: Quick stick (En); gamal (Ins); Khê noyz, khê falang (Lao); thinbaw-ngusat (Mya); madre de cacao, kakauati (Phi); kha farang (Tha); hòng mai, sát-thu dóm (Vie).
Key characteristics: Small tree with twisted trunk; green to grey bark; oddly bipinnately compound leaves with 8 or more pairs of leaflets, each 4–6 cm long. Fruit pods flat, light brown, 10–14 cm long and 2 cm wide.
Description: A small tree up to 10 m in height and 30 cm in diameter. Trunk twisted or angled with initially smooth green bark, later becoming greyish and covered with pores (lenticels). The leaves, which drop in cool or very dry periods, are alternate, oddly bipinnately compound, 15–30 cm long with 8 or more opposite pairs of leaflets, each 4–6 cm long, oblong ovate, pointed with rounded base. Inflorescences are numerous 4–8 cm long racemes, on leafless branches, with 2 cm long pink flowers with yellow and white. The pods are light brown, 10–14 cm long and 2 cm wide, flat and contains 6–8 seeds; they open suddenly, projecting the flat, disc shaped 7 mm diameter seeds with great force.
Use: Often used as living fence, shade for plantation crops, support for climbers, windbreak and erosion control and soil improvement. The hard durable wood can be used for fuel, furniture making, posts, tool handles and heavy construction.
Ecology: Grows in tropical climates with mean annual temperatures of 22–30°C from lowland to about 1,600 m altitude, receiving annual rainfall from minimum 1,000 mm to 2,300 mm. Tolerates a wide range of soils, including saline, acidic, alkaline and heavy clays. Fixes nitrogen.
Distribution: Originates in Central and South America and has been introduced in subtropical and tropical areas world-wide, including Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
References: Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Westphal & Jansen (1993).
Common names: Yemane (trade name), gmelina, gumhar, malay beechwood (En); yemani, mai saw (Mya); so, so-maeo (Tha).
Key characteristics: Medium sized tree; thin gray bark; heart shaped, entire, opposite leaves, 10–20 cm long and 7–13 cm wide with waxy bloom below; trumpet shaped yellow to brown flowers.
Description: A medium sized tree up to 40 m tall and 140 cm in diameter, but usually smaller than this. Bark is thin and grey. Leaves are opposite, more or less heart-shaped, 10–25 cm × 5–18 cm, smooth or velvety beneath. The yellow or brown flowers are arranged in panicled cymes, 15–30 cm long, and appears after leaf-fall. The trumpet-shaped flowers are 4 cm long, nodding, hairy and short stalked. The fruits are ovate or pyriform, 2–2.5 cm long and contain 1–4 seeds.
Use: The wood is used for light construction and pulp as well as fuelwood and charcoal, and the leaves are good cattle fodder. A number of plant parts have medicinal value.
Ecology: Found in rain forests as well as dry deciduous forests. Tolerates a wide range of conditions from sea level to 1,200 m altitude and annual rainfall from 750– 5,000 mm. Prefers temperatures between 21–28°C and moist fertile soils.
Distribution: Originates in an area from Pakistan and Sri Lanka to Myanmar, but is now widely planted in S.E. Asian countries, including Myanmar, Thailand, southern China, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.
References: Soerianegara & Lemmens (1994), Hensleigh & Holaway (1988), Little (undated).