Ochanostachys amentacea Masters

Ochanostachys amentacea Masters




Petalinia bancana Becc., Ochanostachys bancana (Becc.) Valeton.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Petaling, mentalai (Peninsular), petikal (Sarawak), tanggal (Dusun, Sabah).
Indonesia Petikal (Sumatra), ampalang, empilung (Kalimantan).

Geographical Distributions

Ocha­nostachys is a monotypic genus occurring in Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo and inter­vening islands. It is probably erroneously reported from the Nicobar and Andaman Islands.


Ochanostachys amentacea is a medium-sized to sometimes large evergreen tree that can reach up to 30(-50) m tall. Its bole is straight or rather poorly shaped, branchless up to 15(-20) m, measuring up to 60(-80) cm in diametre, fluted and often with short buttresses at the base. The surface of the bark is with distant, roundish to oblong, thin and adherent scales, mottled with purplish shades of pale brown and yellowish-brown or dark brown. The inner bark is finely fibrous, mottled yellowish to orange-brown ­fawn, with droplets of white latex and separated from the cambium by a purplish line. The crown is dense and dark with many small branches.

The leaves are arranged spirally, simple and entire. They are ovate or el­liptical to oblong, measuring (5-)6-13 cm x (2.5-)3-7 cm, broadly wedge-shaped to rounded at the base, short to ­bluntly acuminate at the apex, pinnately veined with (4-)5 (-8) pairs of secondary veins and scalariform with tertiary venation. The petiole is (1-)1.5-2(-3) cm long and with an apical knee while the stipules are absent.

The flowers are bisexual, actinomorphic, interruptedly arranged, measuring about 3 mm long, green to whitish-yellowish, al­most sessile and either solitary or 2-4 together in a spike from the leaf axils which is simple or sometimes 1-2-branched, and measuring up to 12 cm long. The sepal is 4-5-toothed while there are (3-)4(-5) petals united at the very base. There are (1-)2(-3) stamens before each petal. The ovary is superior, depressed-ovoid, hairless and with a short cylindrical style.

This 1-seeded fruit is a slightly spherical to ovoid pendulous drupe, measuring (1.5-)2-2.5 (-3) cm in diametre, yellow when ripens, with a thin pericarp and woody endocarp. The seed is subglobular. The seedling leaves are similar in form to those of the mature trees.

Ecology / Cultivation

Ochanostachys amentacea is a fairly common tree but is scat­tered understorey or rarely reaching the canopy of primary or sometimes secondary lowland rainforests. It of­ten thrives in mixed dipterocarp forests in undu­lating countries or hillsides and ridges, up to 950 m altitude. It is found on clay-rich, loamy or sandy, usually well-drained soils, apparently growing well on laterite, and is rarely found in periodically inundated locations.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 5(2): Timber trees: Minor commercial timbers.