Lepisanthes senegalensis

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Lepisanthes senegalensis


Treelet or shrub, 0.5-24 m high, dbh up to 44 cm, exceptionally a liana (Peekel 1083, New Ireland); Leaves sometimes with a pseudoterminal leaflet, l-4(-6)-jugate, or sometimes (some or all leaves, in the former case either scattered among pinnate leaves or only near the inflorescence) simple; Inflorescences hairy to subglabrous, few to several fascicled, simple or sparsely, mostly slender branched, up to 40 cm long racemes or narrow thyrses, or sometimes a single, widely though sparsely branched, up to 60 cm long thyrse with a strong peduncle and rachis; Flowers slightly fragrant, female ones apparently developing first. Sepals 5 (rarely 4), in vivo mostly dark red, concave, outer 2 oblong-ovate to orbicular, rounded at apex, 1-3 by 0.8-1.2 mm, sometimes with a narrow, peta-loid, crenulate margin, sparsely ciliolate, inner 3 up to 4 by 3 mm, mostly with a broad, petaloid, crenulate to fimbriate, ciliolate margin. Petals 5 (rarely 4), in vivo creamish or greenish white, imbricate, short-clawed to sessile, the blade elliptic to oblong, widest below to about the middle, 2.5-4.5 by 1-2 mm, entire, rounded, membranous but often thickened towards the centre and the base, ciliate at least near the base, furthermore mostly glabrous, sometimes more or less sericeous outside; Ovary 2- (or 3-)lobed, 1.5-3 mm, hardly to up to 1.5 mm stipi-tate, mostly with some stiff hairs at the style base and in the basal part of the style; Fruits 2-lobed (often only 1 part developed), sessile or up to 2 mm stipitate, lobes short-ellipsoid to globular, 8-15 by 5-15 mm, smooth, when ripe in vivo dark red to black; Seeds ovoid to globular, ± attenuate towards the hilum, 7-8 by 6-7 mm, testa shining, brown to black, hilum circular.


Andamans present, Asia-Temperate: Hainan (Hainan present), Asia-Tropical: Borneo present (Brunei present, Sabah present, Sarawak present); Lesser Sunda Is. absent; Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka present), Burma present, E Pakistan present, Madagascar present, NE India present, Nicobars present, SW Deccan Peninsula present, Tropical Africa present
Tropical Africa, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and the SW Deccan Peninsula, NE India, E Pakistan, Burma to Indo-China and Hainan, the Andamans and Nicobars, and Malesia: all regions except the Lesser Sunda Islands, in Borneo known only from Sarawak, Brunei, and Sabah.


2n = 28: ; 2n = 30: .


Wood hard, heavy, and durable, used in the Malay Peninsula for house-posts. The roots are used in medicine in Mindanao. From the leaves a shampoo is made (Mindanao). The fruits are edible. See


The Malesian material of this widely distributed species is rather variable, as is clear from the above description. This variability is mainly gradual, and sometimes clinal. The main race (Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Philippines, S Celebes, Moluccas) is 'montana' with obtuse, rarely acuminate leaflets and short-stipitate fruits with short ellipsoid to subglobular lobes, grading to the east into 'cuspidata ' with more acuminate leaflets and sessile fruits with more globular lobes. In the Philippines the leaflets tend to become narrower (the series philippinensis-angustifolia-loheri), or the leaves have more jugae, up to 3 pairs of leaflets being normal. Unifoliolate leaves characterize 'macrophylla ' from N Celebes and 'Hydnocarpus tamiana ' from NW New Guinea. These may not be real local races, but plants flowering when young, both being taken from shrubs only. The flowers of 'montana' are 5-merous, but some specimens from Sumatra have flowers with 5 and with 4 petals in the same inflorescence. These specimens have also some hairs on the outside of the petals, whereas the petals in 'montana' are glabrous. In that way these Sumatran specimens form a transition to the races of continental SE Asia, as well as to the only other Malesian race which deserves to be mentioned, which is made up of 'pau-cijuga ' from the Malay Peninsula and 'dasypeta-la ' from Borneo. This race differs from 'montana ' by often having 4 petals that are slightly ('pauci-juga') to rather densely ('dasypetala') sericeous outside, by the longer, stipitate ovary, and by the inconspicuous venation, the nerves are more widely spreading and more distinctly looped and joined at a slightly greater distance from the margin. All specimens from the Malay Peninsula represent 'paucijuga', whereas both 'dasypetala' and 'montana' are known from Borneo, there being apparently clearly distinct. It is not possible, however, to separate 'montana' and 'paucijuga-dasypeta-la ' as subspecies or varieties, as they are connected via Thailand and Indo-China by a chain of races. See for a more comprehensive discussion Leenhouts (1969: 55-59).


Backer & Bakh. f. 1965 – In: Fl. Java: 134
Radlk. 1932 – In: Engl., Pflanzenr. 98: 705
Radlk. 1932 – In: Engl., Pflanzenr. 98: 706
Radlk. 1879: Sapind. Holl.-Ind.: 68
Koord. & Valeton 1903 – In: Bijdr. Booms. Java: 158
Radlk. 1932 – In: Engl., Pflanzenr. 98: 705
cf. Sleumer 1954 – In: FL Males.: 33
Radlk. 1932 – In: Engl., Pflanzenr. 98: 714
Hend. 1928 – In: Gard. Bull. Str. Settl.: 243
Radlk. 1932 – In: Engl., Pflanzenr. 98: 709
Roxb. 1832: Fl. Ind., ed. Carey: 273
Radlk. 1932 – In: Engl., Pflanzenr. 98: 706
Radlk. 1932 – In: Engl., Pflanzenr. 98: 711
Radlk. 1932 – In: Engl., Pflanzenr. 98: 713
Radlk. 1932 – In: Engl., Pflanzenr. 98: 710
Radlk. 1934 – In: Engl., Pflanzenr. 98: 1491
Radlk. 1932 – In: Engl., Pflanzenr. 98: 708
Merr. 1923 – In: Enum. Philipp. Flow. Pl.: 499
Radlk. 1879: Sapind. Holl.-Ind.: 7,21
Radlk. 1932 – In: Engl., Pflanzenr. 98: 714
Radlk. 1932 – In: Engl., Pflanzenr. 98: 710
Roxb. 1832: Fl. Ind., ed. Carey: 274
Radlk. 1932 – In: Engl., Pflanzenr. 98: 716
Radlk. 1932 – In: Engl., Pflanzenr. 98: 703
Merr. 1923 – In: Enum. Philipp. Flow. Pl.: 499
Blume 1913 – In: Atlas: t. 132