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Antidesma bunius (L.) Sprengel

Antidesma bunius (L.) Sprengel




Antidesma rumphii Tulasae, Antidesma dallchyanum Baillon, Stilago bunius L.

Vernacular Names



Buni, buneh.


Bignay, Chinese laurel, salamander tree.


Buni (Malay), wuni, huni (Sundanese).


Bignay (Tagalog), paginga (Ibanag), isip (Pampango).


Kho lien tu.


Baa mao ruesee, mamao dong (Chiang Mai), mao chaang (Chanthaburi).


Choi moi.



Geographical Distributions

Antidesma bunius is found wild in the wetter parts of India from the Himalaya southwards and eastwards, in Sri Lanka, Burma and Malaysia. It may not be native to the Philippines and Peninsular Malaysia, but if so, it must have been introduced in prehistoric times and become widely naturalised at least in the Philippines. A. bunius is cultivated extensively in many parts of Indonesia, particularly in Java and also in Indochina. In Malaysia and the Philippines, the tree is rarely seen in cultivation.


Antidesma bunius is a dioecious tree, growing according to Rauh's architectural model, 3-10(-30) m tall, with straight trunk and usually branched near the base.

The leaves are distichous, oblong-lance-shaped, measuring 19-25 cm x 4-10 cm, with obtuse or rounded base, acuminate or obtuse apex, entire, coriaceous, shiny and the midribs are strongly prominent below. The petiole is up to 1 cm long.

The inflorescences are terminal or axillary, narrowly spike-like or raceme-like, many-flowered and measure 6-20 cm long. The male flowers are sessile, consisting of a cupular sepal with 3-4 short, rounded, ciliate lobes and measuring about 1 mm x 2 mm. There are 3-4 reddish stamens. The ovary is rudimentary on a fleshy disk. The female flowers are pedicelled, with cupular-bell-shaped sepal, 3-4-lobed, measuring about 1 mm x 2 mm, persistent, with an ovoid ovary with 3-4 stigmas and small disk.

The fruit is a spherical or ovoid drupe, measures 8-10 mm in diametre, yellowish-red to bluish-violet and juicy. The seed is ovoid-oblong measuring 6-8 mm x 4.5-5.5 mm. 

Ecology / Cultivation

Antidesma bunius is not a strictly tropical tree, as it also grows and fruits in central Florida. In the tropics, it is found from sea level to elevations of more than 1000 m. In Indonesia, it is grown in the monsoon climate of the eastern provinces as well as in the humid western parts, but its distribution in India suggests that it is not by any means drought-tolerant. The tree is common in the early stages of secondary forest succession, invading marginal grasslands. However, it attains optimum growth on well-drained clay loams under partial shade.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.2: Edible fruits and nuts.

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