Picrasma javanica Blume

Picrasma javanica Blume




Picrasma nepalensis A. W. Bennett, Picrasma philippinensis Elmer.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Balimbing (Sabah), kayu pahit (Sarawak).
Indonesia Ki pahit (Sundanese), tuba ulet (Palembang, Sumatra), pati laler (Javanese).
Thailand Kom khom (Northern), dam, yee nam bai lek (Peninsular).
Vietnam Kh[oor] di[eej]p.

Geographical Distributions

P. javanica occurs from north-eastern India throughout Southeast Asia to the Solomon Islands.


P. javanica is a monoecious or dioecious tree that can reach up to 25 m tall. Bole is fluted, up to 35 cm in diametre. Leaves are arranged spirally and imparipinnate. The petiole is 2-6 cm long while stipules are early caducous and foliaceous.

The leaflets are opposite or subopposite with a size of 4-20 cm x 1-10 cm, wedge-shaped base, blunt-acuminate apex and entire.

Inflorescence is axillary, compound-cymose, unisexual that up to 20 cm long, bracteolate and long-peduncled. Flowers are unisexual with 4-merous, white to yellow or green. The female ones are usually twice as large as the male. Sepals are triangular to ovate, about 1 mm. The petals are ovate-oblong or oblong. The size of male flowers is 2-5 mm x 1-2 mm while in female flowers is 3-7 mm x 3-5 mm. The size is increasing with the age. The stamens are up to 5 mm long in male flowers, 4-lobed disk and hairy. The ovaries are superior and up to 4 and free with styles are up to 4 and united.

Fruit is consisting of 1-4, hardly fleshy drupelets. Drupe is ovoid to depressed-spherical with a size of 9-10 mm x 7-12 mm, green to red or blue, thin exocarp, fleshy, wrinkled when dry and hard endocarp. 

Ecology / Cultivation

P. javanica occurs scattered in rain forest from sea-level up to 1500 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph



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