Fibraurea tinctoria Lour.

Fibraurea tinctoria Lour.




Fibraurea chloroleuca Miers, Fibraurea trotteri Watt ex Diels.

Vernacular Names


Sekunyit (Johore), akar kunyit (Iban, Sarawak), war birar (Murut, Sarawak).

Indonesia Areuy gember (Sundanese), peron (Javanese), akar mangkedun (Bangka).
Thailand Kam-phaeng chetchan (Central), kamin krua, kumin kua (Peninsular).
Vietnam Hoàng dăńg, nam hoàng nhuôm.

Geographical Distributions

Fibraurea tinctoria is widespread from north-eastern India and the Nicobar Islands, through Burma (Tenasserim), Thailand and Indo-China (Vietnam), east to southern China, and south to western and central Malaysia. It is found in Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak, Sabah), Brunei, Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, north-eastern Sulawesi) and the Philippines (Dinagat Island, north of Mindanao).


Fibraurea tinctoria is a large, woody, dioecious, entirely smooth climber which can reach up to 40 m long and measures up to 5 cm in stem diametre. The root is spongy and flexile. The young shoot tips are thread-like. The bark of the older stems is greyish-buff, coarsely and irregularly striate.

The leaves are arranged spirally, thinly coriaceous, simple and entire, exstipulate, elliptic to ovate, measuring 10-20(-28) cm x (3.5-)5-14 cm, rounded, sometimes subpeltate at the base, acuminate at the apex and 3(-5)-nerved. The petiole is (2-)4-13 cm long and often blackish when drying, at least at the swollen base.

The flowers are in axillary or ramiflorous lax panicles, with 6 whitish or yellowish inner sepals that are 2.5-4 mm long, and 2-3 minute outer ones while the petals are lacking. The male flowers are sweetly scented, with 6 stamens which have very thick columnar filaments. The female flowers are with 3 ellipsoidal carpels and 6 rudimentary stamens.

The fruit is composed of up to 3 yellow or orange drupes borne on a small knob-like carpophore.

Ecology / Cultivation

Fibraurea tinctoria is usually found in lowland forests, primary as well as secondary or disturbed forests, up to 1200 m altitude. It is locally common, for instance in dry evergreen forests in Thailand, and in peat swamp forests in Sarawak. This species also occurs in bamboo forests and scrubby vegetations, along river banks and in logged forest. It grows in various soils: sandy loam, clayey soil, ultrabasic soil, sandstone and stony blackish soil.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.3: Dye and tannin-producing plants.