Leea indica (Burm.f.) Merr.

Leea indica (Burm.f.) Merr.




Leea sambucina (L.) Willd., L. gigantea Griff., L. sundaica Miq.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Mali-mali, merbati padang, jolok-jolok (Peninsular).
Indonesia ki tuwa (Sundanese), kayu tuwa (Javanese).
Papua New Guinea paikoro (Gunantuna, East New Britain), dadoro (Garara,Oro Province), warawa (Navuapaka, Central Province).
Philippines mali (Tagalog), amamali (Bisaya).
Thailand katangbai (northern, Bangkok, south-eastern), bangbaai ton (peninsular).
Vietnam c[ur] r[oos]i den.

Geographical Distributions

Leea indica is occur from India, Sri Lanka, throughout South-East Asia, to northern Australia, Solomon Islands, New Hebrides and Fiji.



L. indica is a shrub, treelet or small tree which is measuring 2-10(-16) m tall, with many- or single-stemmed, frequently stilt-rooted while its stems are smooth to pubescent.

The leaves are (1-)2-3-pinnate, 7-numerous leaflets, with a size of measure (6-)10-35(-60) cm long rachis and with (6-)10-25(-35) cm long petiole. The obovate stipules are up to measure 6 cm x 4 cm, early caducous, usually hairless, ovate-oblong to ovate-lance-shaped or elliptical to elliptical-lance-shaped leaflets, with a size of measuring  (4-)10-24(-45) cm x (1-)3-12(-20) cm, wedge-shaped base to rounded, acute to acuminate apex, serrate to shallowly dentate margin, with small pearl-glands, inconspicuous and rapidly caduceus. The cyme is measure about (5-)10-25(-40) cm long, usually lax, sometimes compact and hairless to pubescent. The bracts are deltoid to narrowly triangular that up to measure 4(-8) mm long.

The flowers are greenish-white, measuring about 2-3 mm x (2)3-4 mm sepal and they are smooth to pubescent. The staminodial tube is measure about 2-2.5 mm long which the upper free part is about 1-2 mm long, shallowly retuse lobes, notched or cleft and shallow sinuses. The ovary is (4-)6(-8)-celled.

The purple-black berry is measure 5-10(-15) mm in diametre and it is 6-seeded.

The seed is with a size measure of  5 mm x 4 mm.


Ecology / Cultivation

L. indica is widespread and common in primary and secondary forest, and around villages (often coppiced), in wet areas as well as ridges, from sea-level up to 1700 m altitude.


Line Drawing / Photograph



    1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12 (2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2.