Pometia pinnata

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Pometia pinnata


Tree, up to 50 m, dbh up to 1.40 m, nearly always with buttresses up to 5 m high, spreading to 3 m, and to 15 cm thick. Leaves up to more than 1 m long, 4-13-jugate; Inflorescences erect to drooping, 15-70 cm long, mostly hairy; Petals shorter to longer than calyx, 0.4-1.3 by 0.3-1.6 mm, outside hairy or sometimes glabrous. Stamens: Fruits 1.5-5 by 1-3 cm, pericarp in the lower part 1 mm, in the upper part up to at least 7 mm thick. Seeds up to 2.5 by 1.5 cm.


As the genus; throughout Malesia.


Throughout its area the wood of this tree is used for several purposes, the fruits are eaten, and according to a few reports a decoction of the bark can be used medicinally. The species is of major importance mainly in New Guinea where it is the most abundant tree (10-35%, and often also by volume) in large tracts of lowland rain forest, making it one of the most important timber trees. Preferred are the small-leaved forms (f. repanda) from well-drained sites which generally reach larger diameters and have straight cylindrical boles; the large-leaved forms (mainly f. glabra) occur mainly on the less well-drained sites, reach smaller diameters, and the bole has a less favourable form. See p. 427 for a description of the timber.
In Borneo, Sarawak, the Selayar Iban use this tree for curing chickenpox: the patient is bathed in water in which small pieces of or power from the bark is boiled. It is known under the vernacular name enselan.
See for uses also .


1. Pometia pinnata is a variable species. Jacobs (1962) gave an extensive treatment of the variability, and subdivided the species into eight forms. These forms reflect the variability quite well, but they cover only part of the material, an important part being intermediate between two or even more forms. Some of these forms are rather widespread, others are restricted to a small part of Malesia, some are common, others are rare. Most islands or island groups in Malesia are inhabited by three forms. These are locally ± distinguishable morphologically, may show different ecological preferences, and may even be known by different local names, depending on the importance the tree has in rural economy. As identification of single specimens to one of these forms is nearly impossible it seems of no use to treat them here extensively. A key to, as well as descriptions, of these fnrms can be found in the paper by Jacobs.
2. The name Euphoria pometia as well as the combinations under Dabanus are illegitimate as the generic; names are not legitimate; in the former case, moreover, the epithet pinnata should have been used.
3. Three specimens, Spanoghe s.n. from Timor (type of' Irina tomentosa var. cuspidata), Schmutz 3574 from Flores, and Brass 8181 from Papua New Guinea (representing f. repanda) show many minute pellucid dots in their leaflets, they were not observed in any other collection.


Ridley - in Fl. Malay Penins. 1922: 504
Bos - in Meded. Landbouwho-geschool. 1957: f. 20
Backer, Schoolfl. 1911: 267
Spach - in Hist. Nat. Végét. Phan. 1843: 63
Foreman, Check List Bougainvill. 1971: 158
Browne, For. Trees Sarawak & Brunei. 1955
Anderson - in Gard. Bull. Sing. 1963: 169
Meijer Drees - in Comm. For. Res. Inst. 1951: 110
Foreman, Check List Bougainville. 1971: 160
Merr., Int. Rumph. 1917: 33
Backer & Bakh. f. - in Fl. Java. 1965: 139
Docters van Leeuwen, Zoocecidia. 1926: 338
Radlk. - in Engl., Pflanzenr. 98. 1932: 933
Kraemer, Trees W Pacific Reg. 1951: f. 79
Whitford - in Bull. Bur. For. Philipp. 1911: t. 45
Merr. - in Enum. Philipp. Flow. Pl. 1923: 506
Desch - in Mal. For. Rec. 1954: t. 107, f. 2
Meijer - in Bot. Bull. Herb. Sandakan. 1968: fig. between p. 138 & 139
Merr. - in Enum. Philipp. Flow. Pl. 1923: 505
P. Royen - in Man. For. Trees Papua & New Guinea. 1964: 2, 37
Docters van Letuwen, Zoocecidia. 1926: f. 611
Koord. & Valeton - in Atlas. 1913: t. 90
Radlk. - in Engl., Pflanzenr. 98. 1932: 929
Jutte & Hof - in Nova Guinea. 1962: f. 4
F.S. Walker, For. Br. Solomon Is. 1948: 167
Desch - in Mal. For. Rec. 1954: 533
Corner, Wayside Trees. 1940: 595
Whitmore, Guide For. B.S.I.P. 1966: 97
Radlk. - in Engl., Pflanzenr. 98. 1932: 927
Ridley - in Fl. Malay Penins. 1922: 504
Yuncker - in Bull. Bish. Mus. 1959: 173
Graca de Freitas - in Madeiras de Timor. 1955: t. 4
Lame-Poole, For. Res. 1925: 109
Radlk. - in Engl., Pflanzenr. 98. 1932: 928
P. Royen - in Man. For. Trees Papua & New Guinea. 1964: f. 16
Smythies, Common Sarawak Trees. 1965: 119
Burgess, Timbers of Sabah. 1966: f. 52
Radlk. - in Engl., Pflanzenr. 98. 1932: 934
Koord. & Valeton - in Bijdr. Booms. Java. 1903
Hassk., Pl. Jav. Rar. 1848: 116
Radlk. - in Engl., Pflanzenr. 98. 1932: 928