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Brucea javanica

Family

Simaroubaceae

Botanical Name

Brucea javanica (L.) Merr.

Merrill, E.D. (1928) Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 9: 3. Type: ?.

Synonyms

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.

Common name

Macassar Kernels

Stem

A small tree not exceeding 30 cm dbh.

Leaves

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.

Flowers

Anthers usually red. Disk thick, 4-lobed. Stamens inserted between the lobes under the outer margin of the disk.

Fruit

Fruiting carpels about 6-8 x 5-6 mm. Endocarp +/- reticulate or wrinkled, but difficult to separate from the pericarp.

Seedlings

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.

Natural History

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).

WA

X

NT

X

CYP

X

NEQ

X

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)

X

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)

X

Tree

X

RFK Code

969