Baccaurea motleyana (Müll. Arg.) Müll. Arg.

Baccaurea motleyana (Müll. Arg.) Müll. Arg.




B. pubescens Pax & K. Hoffm.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Rambai (General).
English Rambai.
Indonesia Rambai (General).
Philippines Rambi (Filipino).
Thailand Lam khae, rambai (Peninsular), mafai farang (Central).

Geographical Distributions

Native in Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Java and Borneo; also cultivated in this region and in Peninsular Thailand, the Philippines and Bali.


This is an evergreen, dioecious and small to medium-sized trees that can grow measures up to 30(-40) m tall. The bole is straight to rather poorly shaped and/or forked. It is branchless for measuring up to 20 m, measures up to 70 cm in diametre and often with small buttresses or prominently fluted. The bark is very thin, with shallowly finely dippled surface or with minute papery scales and it is red to orange-brown. The inner bark is softly fibrous and often deep red-brown. The crown is rather dense.

The leaves are arranged spirally, often crowded towards the end of twigs, simple and entire. The petiole is often long and kneed at the top. The stipules are early caducous.

The inflorescence is an axillary to cauliflorous. The male inflorescence is narrowly thyrsoid while the female inflorescence is narrowly racemose. The flowers are unisexual and small. The sepals are 4-5 while petals are absent. The male flowers are with 4-8 stamens. The disk-glands are absent or free or connate. The female flowers are somewhat larger while disk is absent. The ovary is superior, 2-5-locular with 2 ovules in each cell and bifid styles.

The fruit is variably fleshy and indehiscent or sometimes dry and dehiscent. It is (2-)3(-5)-locular capsule and with 1-6-seeded.

The seed is often enclosed in a juicy, brightly coloured outer layer.

Seedling is with epigeal germination. The cotyledons are emergent, leafy and often bilobed while the hypocotyl is elongated. The first pair of leaves are arranged opposite or alternate while the subsequent ones is arranged spirally.

Ecology / Cultivation

Baccaurea species are generally uncommon, but may locally occur as an important element of the lower storey of primary lowland rain forest. They are found in well-drained as well as swampy locations, up to 1000(-1800) m altitude, on a wide range of soils in primary and secondary evergreen rain forest, kerangas and peat-swamp forest.

Line Drawing / Photograph



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