Family Sapindaceae

Family Sapindaceae
Lepisanthes alata

Java, Borneo, Philippines. Small trees, twigs glabrous, rachis distinctly
winged (Lat. alata). Mainly cultivated in villages on east coast.

Lepisanthes rubiginosa
kelat layu, mertajam

Small white fragrant flowers, fruit ripening from yellow, red, purple,
to black. Common in K. Baru.

Mischocarpus sundaicus


Common on sandy coasts, islands & estuaries or coastal swamps. India to Australia. Small tree to 6m, bushy crown. Young leaves pinkish and edible. Fr Tunas Harapan 6.2012.

Nephelium costatum Hiern

Endemic, Perak, Pahang, Selangor, NS & Melaka.  3-4 prs leaflets glabrous under.  Fr TH 6.2012

Nephelium juglandifolium

rambutan hutan, rambutan pachat

Sumatra, Java, Malaya. Lowland forest.To 30m tall, 3-7 prs leaflets. Fruits slightly flattened ellipsoid. Lat. leaves like the walnut Juglands.

Nephelium mutabile


Like rambutan, but leaflets narrower, dark glossy green above, pale
& glaucous beneath. Crimson to purple fruit with blunt fleshy
spines. Pulp pale yellow, separates cleanly from seed.

Nephelium mutabile trunk.

Pometia pinnata

Sri Lanka, Andamans, S. China. Malesia. Leaf margins dentate, every
other secondary nerve ending in a tooth. Spreading crown. Three forms
recognised, edible fruits, young red foliage.

Pometia ridleyi

kasia daun licin

Malaya, Sumatra. Perak, Pahang, NS, Selangor. Large trees to 50 m. Boles with 2 m buttresses, bark dippled brown. Primary forests, hill slopes, by streams. Leaf secondary veins sunken above, looping up without ending at the margins under.

Pometia ridleyi stem.

Pometia ridleyi.
Xerospermum laevigatum Radlk.

rambutan pacat, gong

Burma, Malaya, Sumatra, Borneo. Lat. smooth.
Syn. with X. acuminatum Radlk. Lowland forest.
To 30m, leaflets opposite, monoecious. Flesh
around seed is edible, pulped stone/leaves are
used to alleviate stomach ache.1 from TH 11/09.

Xeropspermum noronhianum Xeropspermum noronhianum Bl.

rambutan pacat, kikir buntal

2 spp, Bangladesh-Indo China.  Common in low lying forest in Malaya. To 25m, leaves w/1/2/3 prs opposite leaflets; flat glands above axis of veins or scattered over leaf. Fruit yellow. 2 specimens June 2008.

Xeropspermum noronhianum new leaf.

Family Salicaceae

Family Salicaceae
Flacourtia rukam
Previously family Flacourtiaceae

Difficult family to define because of minute variations in flower
structure. Scattered throughout Malaya in rain forest, occasionally
cultivated. Fruits edible, made more palatable by rubbing between
the hands, but best cooked.


Family Rutaceae

Family Rutaceae
Atalantia monophylla

merlimau, limau hantu

India, Burma, Siam, Malaya. Common on rocky and sandy coasts from
Penang northward and all east coast. Thorns and notched leaf tip distinguish
it from Suregada sp. In habit looks much like Citrus, leaves
standing obliquely erect.

Burkillanthus malaccensis

I H Burkill, 1870- 1965, director Singapore Botanic Gardens. Small tree to 12m, one sp in Malaya & Sumatra. Large fruits, thin peel rough with oil glands. Fr Rimba Ilmu 2011.

Citrus aurantiifolia var. microcarpa

limau kasturi

Up to 4m. small fruits used for juice. These planted in memory of
Hj. Kasturi Hj. Idris.

Citrus aurantiifolia.
Citrus hystrix

limau purut

Leaf blade 1 -2″ long, almost as wide, slightly toothed: leaf
stalk widely winged, as to appear like the other half of a blade divided
in two. Fruit has wrinkled skin, used for ritual bathing. Rind used
in ubat jamu to drive away evil spirits, worms in children and headache.
Leaf an essential ingredient in cooking.

Citrus sp.

limau purut

This unidentified hybrid is more hardy than the common limau purut,
but retains the strong pungency of leaves and fruit, and produces
excellent juice.

Clausena excavata
semeruIndia, S. China, Malesia, common especially to north and at edge of
forest. Small tree, laxly branched and spreading, branches ending
in tassels of long slender leaves. Crushed twigs have a nauseous smell
of resin & lime, loose bunches of pink or whitish berries.
Glycosmis pentaphylla
kemotak, kenapehCommon village shrub from Perak & Kuantan to north. Sprawling
evergreen, crushed leaves smell lemony. Small white flowers, axillary
panicles. Fruit edible & sweet but resinous.
Limonia acidissima

belinggai, gelinggai

India, Burma. Common in Perlis villages, needs monsoonal climate to
fruit, slow growth and fruiting, brown pulp edible but resinous.

Triphasia trifolia

limau kingkip, bird lime

Philippines, China? Indifferent fruit, but used to be boiled by Malays
in sugar syrup. Useful small timber, good for hedging.

Family Rubiaceae

Family Rubiaceae
Aidia wallichiana


Malaya, Andamans, Sumatra, Borneo. Througout Malaya, lowland to mountain forest, also on limestone. Showy fragrant inflorescence. Two planted on corners of plaza 07.

Aidia wallichiana.

Aidia wallichiana leaf.

Anthocephalus chinensis

Deciduous monopodial to 30m, stiff outstanding limbs, drooping at
ends. Common in secondary forest & on river banks. Branches in
alternating pairs like mangosteen. Minute seeds, <1mm. Flowers
in stalked round bur-like heads, but each flower separate from others.

Anthocephalus chinensis.
Gardenia carinata
mentiong Kedah

Thailand, throughout Malaya, common in north. Small tree to 15m. Leaves
obovate, lower surface hairy. Flowers solitary or clustered, calyx
tube shields a third of the corolla tube.

Gardenia carinata flower.
Gardenia pterocalyx


Small tree found in swampy habitat, at Tasek Bera, gelam forest in Trengganu and at G. Ulu Kali. Calyx tube with 7-10 narrow wings, fruits with wings down from calyx cup.

Gardenia pterocalyx

Gardenia pterocalyx

Gardenia tubifera

Sumatra, Java, Borneo and Thailand. Throughout Malaya in lowland and
hill forests. Terminalian branching, shoots often resinous. Flowers
solitary, calyx tube truncate, corolla tube length variable, opens
white turning orange. Fruits split to expose seeds in orange pulp.



Ixora scortechinii

pecah periok/piring/pasu, jenjarum

120 spp, generally tropical, 20 spp in Malaya. Flowers in clusters at branch ends, long corolla tube, 4 spreading petals. Attracts butterflies. 2 new specimens December 2007.

Ixora scortechinii.

Ixora schortechinii flowers.

Timonius wallichianus

triang, silver timon

Sumatra, Banka, Riouw, Anambas. In secondary lowland forest up to 500m. Lower leaf surface completely covered by silvery appressed hairs. Flowers unisexual, plants dioecious. 160 spp from Sri Lanka to Pacific, 14 spp in Malaya.

Timonius wallichianus.

Family Putranjivaceae

Family Putranjivaceae
Drypetes pendula
(previously family Euphorbiaceae)
lidah lidah

Lat. hanging, leafy branches. Common in Malaya, low undulating land.
Monopodial tree to 20m, 1m girth, deep dark pyramidal crown, leafy
branches drooping, sinuous. Leaves lying flat, spirally attached,
young in purple red tassels.


Family Polygalaceae

Family Polygalaceae
Xanthophyllum sp.
minyak berok

Genus of about 60 spp., from India to Solomon Islands; W. Malesia
development epicentre for genus. 21spp. in Malaya, inland in primary
forest, fairly common in understorey. Flowers infrequently, possibly
triggered by dry periods.


Family Podocarpaceae

Family Podocarpaceae
Dacrycarpus imbricatus

podo cucur atap

Indo-China, Thailand, Malesia; mountain forests (2,500-6,000ft). Kedah, Pahang, Perak, Selangor. Crown conical or cylindrical, leaves 2 forms awl-shaped or linear blade) Seed globose, back
ribbed, and slightly beaked. 2 new specimens June 2008.

Podocarpus neriifolius
podo bukit

Not distinguishable from P. polystachus (podo laut) except from habitat.
From Kedah to Fiji. Of conifers, there are 3 gen. and 12 spp. in Malaya,
compared with 50 gen. and 550 spp. worldwide

Podocarpus phyllocladus

Leaves alternate or spiral. Cones dioecious. Genera mainly in S. hemisphere, 100 spp., 6 in Malaya, this a very rare endemic from Sabah. 1 specimen Dec 2007.

Family Phyllanthaceae

Family Phyllanthaceae
Antidesma coriaceum

mempunai, kayu mata punai

Genus of distinctive shrubs and small trees, common all over Malaya, name refers to use in India as anti-snake venom. In Malaya 27 spp of 170, most in Asia. This sp. common, fruit a juicy red or black drupe with thin pitted stone

Antidesma ghaesembilla

guncak, balong ayam (Penang)

Treelet to 6m, Malacca-Pekan northwards. Often
by rivers, or in open, usually secondary, forest.
Lowlands to 1200m. Most trees male or female.
Edible fruit & leaves, but acid, used medicinally.
1 fr TH 11/09

Antidesma salicinum


Sumatra, Malaya, Borneo. Flood resistant shrub along fast streams,
adapted to open conditions. burkill says many in genera have edible
shoots and fleshy fruits, many with medicinal properties. Name refers
to use in India for anti-snake venom. This from Rimba Ilmu 11/06.

Antidesma salicinum.

Antidesma salicinum leaf.

Baccaurea brevipes
rambai tikus

Throughout Malaya, Borneo. Small tree, seldom more than 9m. Common in lowland forest, often near rivers, occasionally in seasonal swamps. Leaves elliptic ovate, long tapering. Fruits round, 17mm diam. Seeds with translucent white pulp.

Baccaurea kunstleri

jintek bukit

Siam, N and E Borneo, Kelantan, Trengganu, Selangor southwards. Lowland
forest, uncommon. To 20m, steeply buttresses, fruits to 25mm, splitting,
seed jacket cream.

Baccaurea lanceolata

asam pahong

Sumatra, Siam, Java, Borneo. Malaya, mainly to south. Common small
to medium trees, lowland rainforest. Terminalia branching, distinctive,
big elliptic leaves. Fruits clustered w/translucent, juicy, sour,
edible jacket. Trees monoecious.

Baccaurea lanceolata fruit, old.

Baccaurea motleyana

Thailand, peninsula Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo. Fruits popular. Sap
from bark treats sore eyes, sometimes used with leaves of Mimusops

Baccaurea ramiflora

Genera description: Leaves spirally arranged, simple. Flowers tiny,
yellow/green in unbranched spikes drooping from branch/trunk. Fruit
medium to large berry. Male and female flowers on separate trees;
rambai and pupor the only spp. cultivated, 21 spp. in Malaya, lowland.

Baccaurea sumatrana


Malaya, Sumatra, Banka, Borneo. Medium tree to 30m. Fruits ovoid, 10mm long yellowish with thin wall, seed jacket orange, fruiting racemes 8cm amongst the leaves.

Glochidion superbum


Siam, Malaya, Sumatra, Banka, Borneo. Common in primary & secondary
lowland forest, straggling shrubs, leaves big, base heart shaped,
velvety below. Fruit stalked woody capsule, seeds smooth often with
thin fleshy red or orange skin.

Glochidion superbum leaf. Glochidion superbum flower.

Glochidion superbum flower.



Phyllanthus acidus

cermai, Malay gooseberry

One species, cultivated, origin unknown. Common village tree, especially
in north. Fruits cooked as a sour flavouring or acar; root is medicinal
but poisonous: boiled and steam inhaled for cough, weak infusion drunk
for asthma.

Family Olacaceae

Family Olacaceae
Ochanostachys amentacea


Nicobars, Andamans, Sumatra, Malaya, Banka, Lingga, Borneo, one sp. Common except in north. To 30m, bole poorly formed, fluted. Flower spikes simple or branched, like a catkin (amentacea). Fruit oval green, 2 cm across.

Scorodocarpus borneensis

Sumatra, Malaya, Borneo. Common exc. Perlis & N. Kelantan. Tree,
spiral leaves that periodically reek of garlic, esp. after rain &
without tissue damage. Leaves 5-6 prs secondary nerves, curving up
towards margin, v. prominent below.




Family Myrtaceae

Family Myrtaceae
Melaleuca cajuputi
gelam, kayu putih
Tenasserim to Maluku. Tall tree with narrow crown, often twisted trunk. White bark, fissured and papery-flaky in elongated shaggy pieces, used for caulking. Young leaves silky. Common in coastal swamp. Medicinal oil from leaves.
Melal-cajuputi_trunk_sm Melaleuca-cajuputi
Rhodomyrtus tomentosa
SE Asia, common Malaya, esp. in open sandy ground. Sweet edible fruit. Leaves opposite with 3 distinctive longitudinal veins, underside thinly
white, woolly (tomentosa).
Syzygium aromaticum
cingkeh, clove
Traditionally added to cigarettes (kretek) and food for fragrance. Shoots and leaves chewed for bad breath and to relieve toothache. Sun dried flower buds are the cloves of commerce.
Syzygium borneense
(previously Syzygium microcalyx)
Endemic, from Penang to Singapore, west of ranges. Not uncommon. Leaf margin curls inwards. Flowers yellow white, fruit waxy white tinged red, globose, 5mm. Single seed.2 from TH 11/09.
Syzygium pseudosubtilis
(previously Eugenia pseudosubtilis)
Thailand, Malaya Sumatra, common in swampy forests and near padi fields. Up to 80 ft., flowers 1/4″, green, red after opening with strange sour fragrance. Green fruit ripens through red to black, sweet and juicy.
Syzygium campanulatum
kelat jambu
Not listed in Tree Flora of Malaya; possibly a recently described species.

Syzygium chloranthum
kelat merah
Annam, Siam, Sumatra, Borneo. Lowland and hill forests from Kedah to Singapore. Flowers green
white with red stamens, fruit sub-globular, to
2cm, green flushed rose purple. 2 from TH 11/09.
Syzygium claviflorum
jambu arang, kelat merah
Family: leaves opposite, elliptic or oblong, usually pointed, shortly stalked with distinct marginal veins. Flowers fluffy with stamens. 1,000 species in the tropics, 150 in Malaysia. Largest genus in Malaya in species & individuals. This sp. leaves wither scarlet.
Syzygium cumingianum
Assam, Burma, Siam, S China, Malesia to Solomon Is.
Medium tree to 20m, white flowers,
fruit depressed globose, white ripening blue
black. Single seed. 2 from TH 11/09.
Syzygium-cumingiana Syzygium-cumingiana-leaf
Syzygium cumini Syzygium cumini.
Syzygium grande
jambu laut
Malaya, Siam, Borneo. Common on rocky and sandy coasts, never wild inland, but now commonly planted. Large broadly elliptic leaves with distinct down turned tip. Fruit oblong with green leathery rind, but edible. Thick bark can stand lalang fires.

Syzyg-grandis_ trunk_sm

Syzyg-grandis_flwrs_smSyzyg-grandis_sdlings_sm Syzygium-grandis_branch
Syzygium jambos Syzyg-jambosSyzyg-jambos_2
Syzygium malaccense
jambu bol
Origin uncertain cultivated. Up to 18m., very large leaf blade, large crimson flowers, pear shaped variegated crimson/white tasteless fruit.
Syzygium pyrifolium
Siam, Malaya, Borneo. Common from Kedah to
Tree to 18m, grey brown bark, smooth
to cracking. Fragrant flowers, calyx tapered to
base with a constriction the middle. Very close to
S. longiflora. 2 from TH 11/09.
Syzygium spicatum Syzygium-spicata
Syzygium zeylanicum syn S. spicatum
gelam tikus
India, China, Malesia. Shrub to 18m, common
from Kedah & Trengganu to Singapore, by sea
and rivers. Flowers white sessile, terminal; white
fruit oblong globose, 6mm, sweet periocarp. 2
from TH 11/09.
Syzygium sp.
kelat, jambu
Unidentified sp from peat swamps of Pekan.
4 from Elango 6/08.
Syzygium sp.
Previously S. bonsai.
Tristaniopsis merguensis
pelawan, pahlawan, keruntum
From Mergu, Burma. Widely distributed fromrocky coasts to mountains. Bark orange to grey,
peels like Eucalyptus in spiraled scrolls. Yellow
flowers in compact clusters. 1 from TH 11/09.
Tristaniopsis pontianensis
S Johor, endemic, but this fr Trengganu FR. Young leaves densely coppery red pubescent.Fr Tunas Harapan 6.2012.
Tristaniopsis obovata
Malaya, Rhiau, Sarawak.
On rocky headlands from P.D. to Singapore
& along east coast of Johor. Characteristic peeling bark, twigs with smooth blood red bark.
Tristaniopsis sumatrana
pelawan, seluncur
W. Malesia. Common riverside tree up to 25m. often arching over water. Saplings have grey bark eventually peeling to reveal smooth orange
trunk, glossy green crown. Leaf blade distinctly tipped, tapered to 1cm. stalk.  Note: this species does not exist on The Plant List. References exist that T. sumatrana is a synonym for T. whiteana.