Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb.

Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb.




Guilandina bonduc L., CaeĀ­salpinia bonducella (L.) Fleming.

Vernacular Names


Bonduc nut, fever nut.


Kemrunggi (Javanese), areuy mata hiyang (Sundanese), kate-kate (Ternate).


Waat (Peninsular).


Kalumbibit (Tagalog), sabinit (Bikol), singor (Iloko).


M[os]c m[ef]o, vu[oos]t h[uf]m.

Papua New Guinea

Kurere (Garara, Oro Province).

Geographical Distributions

Caesalpinia bonduc is a pantropical species. It is found throughout Malaysia, although it is noticeably scarce in the rainforest of Sumatra, Borneo, the Philippines and western New Guinea.


Caesalpinia bonduc is a liana which can reach up to 15 m long. Its branchlets are usually armed.

The leaves are paripinnate, with 15-80 cm long rachis, 6-11 pairs of pinnae and 8-20 cm long pinna. The stipules are pinnately or 3-5-lobed, up to 20 mm long and sub-persistent. The leaflets are opposite to subopposite, in 6-9(-12) pairs per pinna, rounded at base and rounded to acute at apex. The raceme or panicle is supra-axillary or terminal and 30-60 cm long.

The flowers are unisexual, with sepals measure 7-10 mm x 2-3 mm. The clawed petals measure 7-10 mm x 2-3 mm while the ovary is with 2 ovules.

The pod measures 6.5-9 cm x 3.5-4.5 cm and is covered with long hairy spines. It is 1-2 seeded and dehiscent. The seed is ovoid, smooth and grey.

Ecology / Cultivation

Caesalpinia bonduc can be found in a variety of coastal habitats, especially in disturbed sites, but also occurs inland chiefly in secondary forests up to 800 m altitude. C. bonduc and C. major are often confused or misidentified.

Line Drawing / Photograph



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