Glycosmis pentaphylla

Glycosmis pentaphylla




Limonia pentaphylla Retz., Glycosmis arborea (Roxb.) A.DC., Glycosmis cochinchinensis auct.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Merapi, nerapi, terapi.
Indonesia Gongseng (Sundanese), jerukan, totoan (Javanese).
Philippines Gingging (Tagalog, linauin (Iloko).)
Cambodia Dom phlang. Laos: som sum, om chune.
Vietnam C[ow]m r[uw]-[owj]u, b[uw][owr]i bung.

Geographical Distributions

G. pentaphylla is found from India and Sri Lanka eastward to Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, southern China and Indo-China, possibly the Philippines, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Java and also cultivated elsewhere.


It is an evergreen shrub or small tree that reaches to a height of  between 1-5 m . The branches are hairless, unarmed, young parts finely rusty and puberulent.

Leaves are alternate, pinnate with an unpaired terminal leaflet with (1-)3-5(-7) leaflets supported by a 2.5-5.5 cm long stalk. The leaflets are narrowly elliptical or oblong-elliptical with a size of 6-24 cm x 2-7 cm. The base is acuminate, margin is entire or minutely and distinctly with small teeth-serrate, lateral veins 6-12 pairs and supported with 3-8 mm long leaflet stalk.

Inflorescence is arising from the axils, paniculate, elongated up to 8 cm long, narrow, tri-pinnate, branches short, ascending, axes and bracteoles rusty covered with down and fine hair. Its flowers are about 5 mm long, fragrant; sepals are broadly egg-shaped to rotund, 1-1.5 mm long, margin ciliolate; petals are reverse egg-shaped to elliptical, 5 mm x 2.5 mm, hairless, white with stamens up to 3.5 mm long.The ovary is ovoid, up to 2.5 mm long, coarsely blister-like prominences-glandular, usually 5-celled, style scarcely distinct.

Its fruit is a berry, nearly spherical, white to pink or crimson, 10-13.5 mm in diametere, 1(-3)-seeded and edible.

Its seed is round to plano-convex, nearly longer than broad with the side parallel and green.

Ecology / Cultivation

G. pentaphylla prefers relatively dry habitats from sea-level up to 1000 m altitude, and is commonly encountered in secondary thickets.

Line Drawing / Photograph


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