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Scorodocarpus borneensis (Baillon) Becc.

Scorodocarpus borneensis (Baillon) Becc.




Ximenia borneensis Baillon.

Vernacular Names

Trade name Kulim.
English, American Bawang hutan.
Malaysia Bawang hutan (Sabah, Sarawak), sagan berauh, ungsunah (Sarawak).
Indonesia Kayu bawang (Sumatra, Kalimantan), kayu bawang utan (Kalimantan), selaru (Kalimantan).
Thailand krathiam ton, kuleng, kulim (peninsular).
Brunei Bawang hutan.

Geographical Distributions

Scorodocarpus is a monotypic genus occurring in peninsular Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo. The only species is S. borneensis (Baillon) Becc.


S. borneensis is an evergreen, medium-sized to large tree that can reach up to measure 40(-60) m tall. All parts of this tree smell of garlic. The bole is columnar, branchless for up to measure 25 m, as well as up to measure about 80(-150) cm in diametre, often piped and occasionally with small buttresses. The bark surface is shallowly fissured and flaking into thin rectangles. It is grey-brown to dark red-brown in colour. The inner bark is fibrous, purplish-red and with orange flecks inwards.

The leaves are arranged spirally, simple, entire and exstipulate. The petiole is swollen distally.

The flowers are in an axillary, short raceme and with 4-5-merous. The sepal is cup-shaped and with wavy to toothed margin. The white petals are reflexed, and hairy inside. There are 8 or 10 stamens that inserted in pairs about halfway on the petal. The ovary is superior, imperfectly 3-4-locular with a single ovule in each cell while the stigma is minutely lobed.

The fruit is a thinly fleshy, slightly globular, 1-seeded and with green drupe. The endocarp is woody with vertical strands.

The seedling is with hypogeal germination. The cotyledons are not emergent while the hypocotyl is not developed. The epicotyl is with a few scale leaves that followed by normal and spirally arranged leaves. Sapling leaves are alternate-distichous on the branches but arranged spirally on the orthotropic leader. Growth is slow and trees in a large sample in natural forest in Peninsular Malaysia showed an average annual diametre increment of measuring is  0.2-0.3 cm. In plantation trials in Peninsular Malaysia the largest trees of 30-33 years old measured 18-29 cm in diametre and measure about 18-21 m in height. In Peninsular Malaysia flowering is in January-July and fruiting more or less throughout the year; in Borneo fruiting is usually in June-September.

Ecology / Cultivation

S. borneensis occurs scattered but may be locally common or even gregarious in primary rain forest, up to 600(-900) m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph



    1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 5 (3): Timber trees: Lesser-known timbers.

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