Dodonaea viscosa Jacq.

Dodonaea viscosa Jacq.




Dodonaea burmanniana DC., Dodonaea repanda Schumach. & Thonn., Dodonaea candolleana Blume.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Kayu berteh, serengan laut, gelam paya
English Hop bush
Indonesia Cantigi (Sundanese), kayu mesen (Javanese), sikil (Malay)
Papua New Guinea Lokai (Wapenamanda, Enga Province), kelne (Minj, Western Highlands Province), ioia (Erave,Southern Highlands Province)
Philippines Kalapinai, tabau(Tagalog), tubu-tubu (Cebu Bisaya)
Thailand Chumhet Ie (peninsular), mai pek
Vietnam Ch[af]nh r[af]ng, r[uf] r[if]

Geographical Distributions

D. viscosa has a pantropical distribution and is found throughout South-East Asia.


It is  unisexual or bisexual in the same plants, spreading, dense or erect, multi-stemmed shrub to single-stemmed small tree with a1.5-5(-8) m tall trunk with a diametre up to 20 cm. The branches are spreading or erect.

Leaves are alternate, simple, elliptical to reverse egg-shaped, 5-15 cm x 2.5-4 cm, thin, base extending down into the stalk, rounded apex , entire, smooth, veins 4-8 mm apart, ending free. No stipules present.

Inflorescence is arising from the axils or terminal panicle, 3-3.5 cm long, laxly and widely branched, with 12-15 flowers. Flowers are male, female or hermaphrodite, occurring single per specimen or usually in various mixtures. There are sepals  3-4, about 2.7 mm x 1.5-1.8 mm with scars under its fruits which are strongly lobed; however its  petals are absent. The stamens are 5-7, scars distinct in fruit; ovary 2(-3) and divided into internal compartment, style present while stigma is slightly lobed.

Fruit is a kidney-shaped to heart-shaped, inflated, winged, septifragal capsule size 8-12 mm x 11-16 mm, thin and yellowish to light brown colour. It is very sparsely glandular, smooth and hairless.

The seed subglobular size is about 2.5 mm in diametre and is attached to  aswollen placenta, smooth  and black . Its seedlings are with epigeal germination; hypocotyl 8-16 mm long and cotyledons are lance-shaped, acute, hairless while its epicotyl is 0.5-1.5 mm long.

The first 3-leaves are alternate, simple and sessile.

Ecology / Cultivation

D. viscosa is found in coastal vegetation on or behind sandy beaches or on limestone rock. It can be present in the Barringtonia formation and Casuarina forest but also in savanna and in coconut plantations, from sea-level up to 90 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(2). 1998, Unesco.