Geunsia pentandra (Roxb.) Merr.

Geunsia pentandra (Roxb.) Merr.




Callicarpa pentandra Roxb., Geunsia farinosa Blume.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Tampang besi, ambong (Peninsular), tambong (Sabah).
Philippines Layaupan (Bagobo).

Geographical Distributions

G. pentandra is widely distributed in India, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the Philippines, Sulawesi, the Moluccas, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.


This is an erect shrub to small or medium-sized tree that can grow up to 25 m tall, with the bole is up to 50 cm in diametre and buttressed.  The twigs are stellate-mealy indumentum.

Leaves arrangement are partly opposite and partly solitary. They are simple, ovate to oblong-ovate or oblong-elliptical with a size of 9-30 cm x 3-12 cm, cuneate to rounded at base, acuminate to caudate at apex, entire margin, leathery, stellate-hairy, gland-dotted below and prominently pinnately veined. The petiole is 1-5 cm long. Stipules are absent.

Inflorescence is an axillary cyme on a 2-10 cm long peduncle, whitish to brownish stellate-tomentose and many-flowered. Flowers are bisexual, regular, usually 5-merous and very short stalk. Sepal is shortly bell-shaped, about 2 mm long. The petal is with about 5 mm long tube and 2 mm long lobes, white to greenish and pink or purple. The stamens are inserted on the base of the petal tube and exserted. The ovary is superior, usually imperfectly 5-celled, exserted style and broad stigma.

The 4-6 mm in diametre of fruit is a depressed-spherical drupe, red to black when mature and usually breaking up into 10 in 1-celled nutlet. 

Ecology / Cultivation

G. pentandra occurs in mixed forest, primary as well as secondary forest, often in edges and along roads, also in brushwood up to 2000 m altitude. It is locally common.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(3): Medicinal and poisonous plants 3.