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Hunteria zeylanica (Retz.) Gardner ex Thwaites

Hunteria zeylanica (Retz.) Gardner ex Thwaites

Family

Apocynaceae

Synonyms

Hunteria corymbosa Roxb.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Getah aguh, kayu gading, kemuning hutan (Peninsular).
Indonesia Gitan obat, tahoi (Lampung).
Thailand Muuk khao (Nakhon Ratchasima, Krabi), yaang khaao (Chanthaburi).
Vietnam B[ee]n bai.

Geographical Distributions

H. zeylanica occurs in eastern Mrica, India, Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, southern China (Hainan), Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, the Anambas Islands and Sumatra.

Description

It is a shrub or small tree that can reach up to 15 m tall, with its bole up to 30 cm in diametre and often fluted.

Leaves are arranged opposite, simple and entire, elliptical to oblong or obovate with a size of 2-21 cm x 1-7 cm, cuneate to rounded at base, rounded to acuminate at apex and hairless. The secondary veins are 12-30 pairs and joined into a marginal vein. The petiole is 1-1.5 cm long while stipules are absent.

Inflorescence is terminal, compound, dichasial cyme and many-flowered. Flowers are bisexual, regular, 5-merous and fragrant. Pedicel is 4-10 mm long. Sepals are 1-2.5 mm long and with colleters inside. The 6-10 mm long petal is an almost cylindrical tube, hairy inside below the stamens while spreading lobes are 4-9 mm long, white to pale yellow. The stamens are inserted in the upper part of petal tube while filaments are short. The ovary is superior, composed of 2 separate carpels that unite at the extreme base by a disk-like thickening. Style is up to 7 mm in length, pistil head is composed of a stigmatic subglobose basal part and a stigmoid apex.

Fruit is composed of 2 separate, obovoid to spherical mericarps that are up to 3 cm long. It is stiped at the base, yellow to orange and usually 2-seeded.

Seeds are oblong or ellipsoid, up to 1.5 cm long, smooth and orange. Cotyledons are thin and leafy.

Ecology / Cultivation

H. zeylanica usually occurs in the undergrowth of lowland rain forest, up to 550 m altitude, rarely on limestone. It is locally common, e.g. in parts of Peninsular Malaysia.

Line Drawing / Photograph

BOT00125

References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(3): Medicinal and poisonous plants 3.

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