Cerbera odollam Gaertner

Cerbera odollam Gaertner




Cerbera lactaria Buch.-Ham. ex. Spreng., Cerbera manghas auct. non L.

Vernacular Names


Bintan (Peninsular).


Pong pong (Seng­kurong).


Sang la (Peninsular), teenpet nam, teenpet thale (Central).


M[uw][ows]p s[as]t v[af]ng, m[uw][ows]p x[as]c v[af]ng.

Geographical Distributions

Cerbera odollam is distributed from Sri Lanka and India to­wards Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China and Thai­land. In Malaysia, it is recorded in Peninsular Malaysia, also Sumatra, Java, western Sulawesi, Borneo and the Philippines (Luzon). Meanwhile, in the Pacific, it is recorded in the Mariana Islands and Guam.


Cerbera odollam is a shrub or tree that can reach up to 15 m tall. Its bole is up to 20 cm in diametre.

The leaves are obovate, measure 9-26 cm x 2-5.5 cm, with 2.5-5 length-width ratio, wedge-shaped at base, acuminate or apiculate at apex and with 15-25 pairs of secondary veins.

The inflorescence is few-to many-flowered and up to 35 cm long. Usually, only one flower opens at a time. The sepals are very variable in shape and size where the length-width ratio is 2-6. The petal tube which is 15-25 mm long bulges in the middle with its lobes 12-38 mm long. They are usually white but sometimes yellow or orange in the mouth. The stamens inserted around the middle of the petal tube. The fruits consist of 2 mericarps. They are nearly globular to broadly ellipsoid, measure 8-11 cm x 7.5-11 cm x 6.5-10 cm and pale yellow-green or red.

Ecology / Cultivation

Cerbera species are generally associated with water and occur along rivers or streams, in swamp forests and behind mangroves, but may also be found in shrubby savannas or in secondary forest edges. Most Cerbera species occur at low altitude in primary lowland rainforests, but some may ascend up to 2000 m.

Line Drawing / Photograph



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