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Pisonia aculeata L.

Pisonia aculeata L.




Pisonia villosa Poir.

Vernacular Names


Alar (Madurese), cuhun-Iamarang (South Bantam), ram pari (Sumba).


Digkit, pakat-aso (Tagalog), puriket (Iloko).


Khat khao (Peninsular), ma kang phee (Northern), huu cha luang (South­eastern).


B[if] s[ow]n nh[oj]n, tuy[ees]n qu[ar] d[awf]ng.

Geographical Distributions

Pisonia aculeate is pantropical, from (sub)tropical America, the West and East coasts of Africa and Indian Ocean islands, to Burma (Myanmar), Indo-­China, South Chinese islands, and throughout Southeast Asia. It is also found in Peninsular Malay­sia, central Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands, northern Borneo, Sulawesi, the Philippines, New Guinea to northern Australia and New Caledonia.


Pisonia aculeate is a large, dioecious, climbing and overhanging shrub, up to 20 m tall, and armed with solitary, axillary, recurved thorns which are 0.5-1 cm long.

The leaves are arranged (sub)opposite, elliptical, measure 4-10 cm x 1.3-5 cm, acute at base, obtuse at apex and with 0.5-2.5 cm long petiole. The thyrse is axillary, dense, 1-2.5 cm in diametre and short brown hairy.

The flowers are unisexual, with short pedicel and 1-3 bracteoles. The male flower is funnel-shaped, 3 mm long, with 10 lobes where 5 are large and alternate, while the other 5 small ones are opposite, with 5 rows of black stalked glands outside and recurved. There are 7-8 stamens, long exserted, with small ovary and trifid stigma. The female flower is bell-shaped, urn-shaped, with lobes 2 mm long, and the male flowers are with androecium absent, fimbriate stigma and 1-1.5 mm exserted.

The anthocarp is club-shaped, measures 15 mm x 2-2.5 mm and 5-ribbed. Each of it is with a biserial row of glandu­lar appendages that soft, viscid prick­les grow out from them and are 1.5 mm long.

Ecology / Cultivation

Pisonia aculeata occurs along coasts, in hedges, rain forests and open forests, sometimes forming impenetrable masses, from sea level up to 500 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph



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

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