Articles

Excoecaria indica (Willd.) Muell. Arg.

Excoecaria indica (Willd.) Muell. Arg.

Family

Euphorbiaceae

Synonyms

Sapium indicum Willd., Stillingia indica (Willd.) Baillon, Stillingia diversifolia Miq.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia

Buta-buta, bebuta, kayu mati buta.

English Mock-willow.
Indonesia Gurah (Sumatra).
Thailand Krahut, samo thale (central), ku-ra (Peninsular).
Vietnam Xói ân.

Geographical Distributions

Excoecaria indica is very widely distributed. It is found in southern and eastern India, Burma, and further south and west through Malesia, except the Philippines, to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Description

Excoecaria indica is a small tree which can reach up to 18 m tall but it is usually less than 10 m tall, smooth and contains latex. The trunk is short, not buttressed, and with grayish, shallowly fissured bark. The crown is bushy, usually with upright branches and more or less drooping twigs.

The leaves (narrowly) are elliptic or lance-shaped, measuring 5-12 cm x 2-4 cm, finely crenate or serrate, tapered at apex and with 2 small glands at the base of the blade. The blades are glossy green above and yellowish-green beneath while the old leaves are yellow. The reddish petiole is 7-20 mm long.

The flowers are in (apparently) terminal spikes measuring about 5 cm long. The male flowers are many and with 3 stamens while the female flowers are solitary (or sometimes 2) at the base of the spike and with 3 long styles.

The fruit is a spherical, woody capsule, measuring 2.5-3 cm in diametre, dark grey-brown to almost black and 3-seeded.

Ecology / Cultivation

Excoecaria indica Mock-willow is usually found in wet places along rivers and near tidal marshes, but also in evergreen lowland forests up to 250 m. Locally, it is common.

Line Drawing / Photograph

Excoecaria_indica

References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 3: Dye and tannin-producing plants.