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Quassia indica (Gaertner)

Quassia indica (Gaertner)




Samadera indica Gaertner, Manungala pendula Blanco.

Vernacular Names


Kayu pahit (Peninsular), kelapahit (Murut, Sabah), manuggal (Iban, Sarawak).


Gateph pait (Bangka), sahangi (Minahasa) lani (Ambon).

Papua New Guinea

Tosi (Delena, Central Province).


Manunggal (Tagalog, Bikol, Bisaya).


S[aa]m d[eef], th[awf]n l[awf]n [aas]n.

Geographical Distributions

Quassia indica occurs naturally from Madagascar eastward to Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar) and Indo-China, throughout Malaysia (except for Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands), and eastward to the Solomon Islands. It is cultivated in Java and also in Malaysia.


Quassia indica is a shrub or tree that can reach up to 20 m tall.

The leaves are simple, elliptical-oblong to lance-shaped, measuring 12-30 cm x 4-12 cm, with prominent veins, and with pitted glands on both surfaces. The petiole is 1-2.5 cm long.

The inflorescence is a terminal or axillary pseudo-umbel. It is 1-30 cm long. The flowers are bisexual with 4-lobed sepal, free petals, accrescent, measuring up to 3 cm x 1 cm and creamy green to violet.

The fruit is an aggregate of the 4 carpels, laterally compressed, with a straight inner and semicircular outer margin and measures 4-9 cm x 2.5-5 cm. The seed is with thin testa, absent endosperm, plano-convex cotyledons and measuring up to 3.5 cm x 2.5 cm.

Ecology / Cultivation

Quassia indica is usually rather rare but locally common in tidal swamp forests or periodically inundated forests. In lowland, mixed dipterocarp forest is usually found below 150 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph


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  1)  Safety


  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2.

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