Adenia heterophylla

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Adenia heterophylla


Climber to 30 m. Leaves membranous (herbaceous) to coriaceous, entire to 5-partite, orbicular to ovate to lanceolate, top rounded to acute, up to 3 cm acuminate, base acute to cordate, (3½-)5-25by (1½-)2½-19 cm, 3-5(-7)-plinerved to pinni-nerved by 4-10 pairs of nerves, margin entire or up to ½ cm dentate; Inflorescences peduncled up to 20 cm, rarely in short-shoots, in ♂ up to 40-flowered, in ♀ (1-)2-4(-8)-flowered; Fruits 1-3(-4), ellipsoid to oblong-lanceolate, sometimes ± 3-ribbed, base and top obtuse or acute, excluding the (½-)1-3(-4) cm long gynophore 2-13 by 1¾-4½ cm; Seeds 10-60, orbicular to obliquely triangular, (4-)5-10 by 4½-10 by 2½-3½ mm, pitted, sometimes muricate;


Andaman Is present, Asia-Tropical: Borneo absent; Malaya absent; Sumatera (Sumatera absent), N. Australia present, S. China present, Solomon Is present
From the Andaman Is., Indo-China and S. China through Malesia to N. Australia, east to the Solomon Is., absent in Sumatra, Malaya, and Borneo. .


The plant as a whole, and especially the fruit, is reported as poisonous, and used as poison for hunting; the juicy aril is sometimes mentioned as sweet and edible, whereas POILANE reported for Indo-China that the leaves are eaten by the Moїs.
In the Philippines a decoction of the root is a remedy for stomach trouble.


Modecca heterophylla Bl. and the synonym M. acuminata Bl., the oldest two names available, are both of 1826. The epithet heterophylla is chosen because of the current misinterpretation of specimens from the Malay Peninsula which belong to a different species, A. macro-phylla, under the name Adenia acuminata (non Bl.) KING.
A variable species, in which rather arbitrarily four largely allopatric subspecies — one of which with two varieties — are recognized. Two of the subspecies do not occur in the Malesian region, but these have been entered in the key.


DE WILDE 1971: Thesis. p 212