Homalanthus populneus (Geiseler) Pax.

Homalanthus populneus (Geiseler) Pax.




Homalanthus populneus (Geiseler) Pax (orthographic variant); Omalanthus leschenaultianus A.H.L. Jussieu, Homalanthus populifolius (Reinw.) Hook.f., non Omalanthus populifolius Graham.

Vernacular Names


Ludahi, kayu mata buta darat.


Mouse deer's poplar.


Tutup (General), tutup abang (Javanese), totop (Madura).


Mae mae.


Malabinunga (Tagalog), balanti (Bisaya, Bikol).


Geographical Distributions

Homalanthus populneus is distributed from southern Thailand, all over Malesia, except New Guinea, to the Bismarck Archipelago.


Homalanthus populneus is a small tree that can reach up to 6(-10) m tall, smooth and with watery latex. The bark is greyish and roughened. The crown is rather flat and with spreading branches.
The leaves are triangular-ovate to rhombic-ovate, measuring 3-12 cm x 2.5-10 cm and entire. The leaves base is almost truncate with two small glands at the base of the blade while the apex is acuminate. The blades are pale bluish-green beneath and withering into yellow to reddish. The reddish petiole is 2-7 cm long.

The flowers are terminal with racemes 10-25 cm long. The male flowers are many, and with 6-10 stamens while there are 2-8 female flowers at the base of the raceme. They are long-stalked and with 2 long stigmas.

The fruit is a slightly spherical capsule, measuring about 1 cm in diametre, two-lobed, pale bluish-green and with 2 cavities where each contains a single black seed.

Ecology / Cultivation

Homalanthus populneus is locally common, especially in mountains of secondary forests and young regrowth; it is also found in lowlands in the undergrowth of primary forests and along rivers. It is recorded to grow in various types of soils.

Line Drawing / Photograph




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