Barringtonia macrostachya (Jack) Kurz

Barringtonia macrostachya (Jack) Kurz




B. acuminata Korth., B. balabacensis Merr., B. cochinchinensis (Blume) Merr. ex Gagnep.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Putat bukit putih, putat gajah (Peninsular), semuting (Sarawak).
English Red putat.
Indonesia Kayu putat, tuwah dotan (Sumatra), panga ha (Morotai).
Philippines Apalang (Tagalog), karakauat (Negrito), ulam (Tagbanua).
Burma (Myanmar) cây tam lang, thay nya oo.
Thailand Chik nom (Peninsular), chik nawn wan, chick.
Vietnam Tam lang, chi[ees]c ch[uf]m to.

Geographical Distributions

From southern China, Burma (Myanmar) and Indo-China to Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Borneo, northern Sulawesi, the Moluccas, and the Philippines.


B. macrostachya is a shrub to medium-sized tree. It is measures 4-20(-30) m tall, 3-35(-90) cm in diametre of the trunk while the twigs are 5-10 mm in diametre.

The leaves are obovate-oblong to oblong, with a size of (10-)15-25(-45) cm x (4-)6-8(-10) cm, wedge-shaped base, cuspidate or caudate apex, shallowly serrate-crenulate, hairless while the petiole is measuring 2.5-10(-17) cm long.

The spike is terminal or ramiflorous, pendulous, (10-)19-45(-75) cm long and up to 60-flowered or more. The opening buds are measures 0.7-0.9 cm long. The sepal tube is measures about 1-3 mm long. Sepals are free, red, purple, or magenta. The 4 petals are elliptical, convex, measuring 2-2.5 cm x 1.5 cm, white, pink or red. The stamens are in 4(-5) whorls. They are measures 2.5-3 cm long, white, red or pink. The ovary is 4-celled, with 4-4.5 cm long style, red or magenta.

The berry is an obovoid, with a size of measuring 5.5-9 cm x 2-4 cm and tetragonous. The pericarp is measured about 3-10 mm thick. The exocarp is measuring 0.5-3 mm thick while the mesocarp is spongy and fibrous. It is measures 1-8 mm thick, fibrous endocarp and it is 0.5-2 mm thick.

The seed is an ovoid, measuring 3-4.5 cm x 1-2.5 cm, quadrangular and ribbed.


Ecology / Cultivation

B. macrostachya is found in primary and secondary forest on hills, along rivers, or in periodically inundated or swampy areas, mostly on sand or loam, from sea-level up to 700(-1300) m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph



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