Arcangelisia flava

Arcangelisia flava




Arcangelisia lemniscata (Miers) Becc., Arcangelisia loureiri (Pierre) Diels.

Vernacular Names

English Yellow-fruited moonseed.
Malaysia Mengkunyit.
Indonesia Areuy ki koneng (Sundanese), sirawan (Javanese), daun bulan (Moluccas).
Philippines Abutra (Ilokano, Bisaya), suma (Tagalog, Pampango).
Thailand Khamin khruea (Chanthaburl), kamphaeng jedchunum.
Vietnam V[ar]y d[aws]ng.

Geographical Distributions

A. flava is widely distributed from Hainan (China), Indo-China, southern peninsular Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the Philippines, Sulawesi, the northern Moluccas to New Guinea.


This is a large, woody, smooth liana, up to 20 m long. The stem is up to 5 cm in diametre. The yellow wood secretes yellow sap when cut.

The leaves are usually egg-shaped, (10-)12-25 cm x (5.5-) 8-19 cm, leathery texture and 5-veined arising from the same base. The stalk of its leaf is (4-)7-15(-20) cm long, swollen at both ends but no stipules.

This plant bears unisexual flowers.Its inflorescence arises from the axils or borne on the trunk, resembling an indeterminate branched, raceme-like and slender with size of 10-50 cm long. The lateral branches are spike-like. The flowers are unisexual with 3-4 minute outer sepals and 6 larger inner sepals. The petals are absent. The male flower is in spherical cluster of 9-12 anthers, slightly without stalk.. The female flower bears 3 fruits and has a number of abortive stamens but without an imperfect anther.

Its fruit is a slightly laterally compressed drupe, transversely slightly ovoid, 2-3 cm in diametre, yellow, with a club-shaped stalk. The endocarp is woody, covered with a dense mat of radial, elongated, thread-like structure.

The seed is broadly ellipsoidal, with ruminate endosperm and much folded cotyledons.

Ecology / Cultivation

A. flava occurs in forests at altitudes up to 1000 m, sometimes near river banks. In Sulawesi, it is reported to grow on limestone.

Line Drawing / Photograph



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