Styrax benzoin Dryand.

Styrax benzoin Dryand.




Benzoin officinale Hayne, Cyrta dealbata Miers, Plagiospermum benzoin Pierre.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Kemenyan (Peninsular).
English Sumatra benzoin tree, gum benjamin tree.
Indonesia kemenyan (general), haminjon durame, menyan (Java).
Laos kam nha:n (general).
Thailand kam yaan (peninsular).
Vietnam c[ur] chi (general), c[oo] chi (Khanh Hoa), m[ax] ti[eef]n.


Geographical Distribution

Stryrax benzoin occurs naturally in India, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra and is rare in West Java; it has been cultivated in Sumatra since early the 19th Century, and is also cultivated in Java and West Kalimantan.


S. benzoin is a tree can grow measure about 8-34 m tall while the trunk is measure about 10-100 cm in diametre and with grey young twigs.

The leaf blade is a measure about 8-13 cm x 2-5 cm. The undersurface leaf is with white woolly indumentum of stellate hairs and with 7-13 pairs of veins.

The inflorescence is a panicle up to measure 20 cm long, but usually smaller than the leaves. The white flowers are fragrant. The pedicel is up to measure 4 mm long. The petal tube is measuring 1-2 mm long while its lobes are measure about 9-12 mm x 2-3.5 mm.

The indehiscent fruit is a measure about 2-3 cm x 2 cm.

The seed is nearly spherical in shape, with a size of measure about 1.5-2 cm in diametre and it is dull pale brown in colour.

Ecology / Cultivation

S. benzoin is found at altitudes of 100—700(—1600) m, outside Malesia it is restricted to 200—500 m.

Line Drawing / Photograph



    1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 18: Plants producing exudates.