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Schima wallichii (DC.) Korth.

Schima wallichii (DC.) Korth.




Schima bancana Miq., S. crenata Korth., S. noronhae Reinw. ex Blume.

Vernacular Names


Medang gatal (trade name), gatal-gatal (Sabah), samak (Peninsular).

English, American

Needle wood, schima.

Trade names

Mang tan, simartolu.

Indonesia Puspa (trade name), madang gatal (Kalimantan), seru (Sumatra, Java).
Thailand Bunnak (South-eastern), champa dong (North-eastern), thalo (Northern).
Papua New Guinea Schima.


Laos Boun nak, 'khai1 sou2, 'mi.
Vietnam V[oos]i thu[oos]c.
Brunei Kelinchi padi.

Geographical Distributions

Schima is a wide-ranging monotypic genus occurring from north-eastern India through Indo-China, southern China, the Ryukyu Islands and the Bonin Islands to Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo and the Philippines (Palawan). S. wallichii (DC.) Korth. is fairly widely grown in Southeast Asia and locally naturalised.


Schima wallichii is an evergreen, medium-sized to large tree that can grow up to 47 m tall. The bole is cylindrical, branchless for up to 25 m, measuring up to 125(-250) cm in diametre and rarely with steep buttresses up to 1.8 m high. The surface of the bark is ruggedly cracked into small thick angular pieces. It is red-brown to dark grey. The inner bark is with irritated, bright-red fibres.

The leaves are arranged spirally, simple, entire to coarsely toothed and exstipulate.

The flowers are solitary in axils at the apices of twigs, with 2 bracteoles and 5-merous. The sepals are subequal and persistent in fruit. The petals are connate at the base. There are many stamens, which are adnate to the petal base while the anthers are versatile. The ovary is superior, 5-locular with 2-6 ovules in each cell and with simple style.

The fruit is a woody and nearly spherical capsule. The seed are winged all around. Seedling is with epigeal germination. The cotyledons are emergent, leafy and with elongated hypocotyls. All leaves are arranged spirally and involute to almost conduplicate.

Ecology / Cultivation

Schima wallichii is a common tree that can grow in a wide range of climates, habitats and soils. It is found in perhumid to seasonal climates. It often occurs gregariously in primary lowlands to montane forests, up to 2400(-3900) m altitude, but is particularly common in disturbed and secondary forests, scrubs and grasslands and even in areas inundated with brackish water. It usually prefers well-drained soils, but has been observed in swamps and along rivers, and is not choosy about soil texture and fertility.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 5(3): Timber trees: Lesser-known timbers.

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