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Scale bar 10mm. Copyright CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. Copyright CSIRO
10th leaf stage. Copyright CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. Copyright CSIRO
Brucea javanica (L.) Merr.
Merrill, E.D. (1928) Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 9: 3. Type: ?.
Rhus javanica L., Species Plantarum 1: 265(1753), Type: Java, Osbeck s.n. Brucea amarissima (Lour.) Merr., Philippine Journal of Science 10C (Botany): 18(1915), Type: ?. Brucea sumatrana Roxb., Flora Indica 1: 469(1820), Type: A native of Sumatra. From thence Mr. Ewer sent the seeds to the Botanic Garden. Gonus amarissimus Lour., Fl. Cochinch. 2: 658(1790), Type: India & China, collector unknown.
A small tree not exceeding 30 cm dbh.
Leaflet blades about 4.5-11 x 1.5-5.5 cm, with hairs on both the upper and lower surfaces. Leaflet stalk of the terminal leaflet much longer than those on the lateral leaflets. Midrib slightly raised on the upper surface of the leaflet blades. Terminal bud densely clothed in pale, +/- prostrate hairs.
Anthers usually red. Disk thick, 4-lobed. Stamens inserted between the lobes under the outer margin of the disk.
Cotyledons glabrous, about 5-9 x 3-5 mm, petioles hairy or petioles absent. Hypocotyl hairy. First pair of leaves trifoliolate, margins ciliate, lateral leaflets shorter than the middle leaflet. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves compound with three, five or seven leaflets. Margin serrate, crenate or smooth, both the upper and lower surfaces hairy. Terminal buds and stem clothed in golden hairs.
Distribution and Ecology
Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and southwards as far as coastal central Queensland. Altitudinal range from sea level to 500 m. Grows as an understory tree in monsoon forest and beach forest. Also occurs in Asia and Malesia.
This species may have medicinal properties. (http://squid2.laughingsquid.net/hosts/herbweb.com /herbage/A4049.htm)
In Chinese herbal medicine, the kernels are prescribed in amoebic dysentery and as a remedy for intestinal worms. Although there is no record of the kernels being used in Australian traditional medicine, the leaves and roots were used as an analgesic by Aborigines in north Queensland. Cribb (1981).
Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)