Aglaia silvestris

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Aglaia silvestris

Description

Tree up to 30 m (–50 m), with a broad rounded crown. Outer bark pale greyish-brown or reddish-brown, longitudinally split at wide intervals, with longitudinal rows of lenticels; inner bark reddish-brown, or dark orange-brown; sapwood paler than inner bark; heartwood pale yellowish-brown, almost white; latex white. Leaves imparipinnate, 19–65 cm long, 14– 35 cm wide; petiole 10–20 cm, petiole, rachis and petiolules densely covered with scales like those on twigs. Inflorescence up to 30 cm long and 20 cm wide; peduncle up to 15 cm, peduncle, rachis, branches and pedicels clothed like the twigs. Flowers up to 3.5 mm long and 2.5 mm wide; pedicel up to 2 mm long, pedicel and calyx densely covered with scales like those on the twigs. Petals 5 (or 6). Staminal tube longer than the corolla, obovoid, with a minute pore 0.2–0.3 mm across which is entire at the margin; anthers 5, 1 /3 to 1/2 the length of the tube, ovoid, inserted near the base and included in the tube. Fruits up to 2 cm long and wide, usually obreniform in outline, flattened, wrinkled when dry, brown, red, orange or yellow, densely covered with scales like those on the twigs, indehiscent, sometimes subglobose (New Guinea); the fruitstalks up to 1 cm.

Distribution

Andaman and Nicobar Islands present, Asia-Tropical: Borneo present; Cambodia (Cambodia present); Jawa (Jawa present); Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia present); Maluku (Maluku present); New Guinea present; Philippines (Philippines present); Sulawesi (Sulawesi present); Sumatera (Sumatera present); Thailand (Thailand present); Vietnam (Vietnam present), New Britain present, Solomon Islands present
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Solomon Islands; Malesia: Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Java, Philippines, Celebes, Moluccas, New Guinea, New Britain

Taxonomy

In western Malesia, the leaves of Aglaia silvestris have 13–19 leaflets and when the leaflets are mature, the scales are conspicuous only on the lower surface; the scales are typically bronze in colour, with a paler ragged margin and blackish central spot; the flowers have an obovoid staminal tube with a minute apical pore; the flattened obreniform fruit which has a conspicuously wrinkled surface when dry is peculiar to this species.

In the eastern part of the range, e.g. New Guinea, the fruits are larger (c. 2.5 cm long and 1.7 cm wide) and obovoid rather than small and obreniform, but they often still have the characteristic wrinkled surface when dry. The venation is often reddish, resem- bling that of A. perviridis. The leaflets are more variable in size (including smaller and larger than elsewhere) and may be fewer in number (e.g. 5 or 7), they are still asym- metrical in shape and the asymmetry is sometimes more pronounced. The inside of the staminal tube and the anthers are sometimes hairy. In some specimens, the peltate scales are pale brown, but the asymmetrical leaflets and the minute aperture of the staminal tube distinguish these specimens as A. silvestris.
Aglaia samoensis resembles A. silvestris, but the peltate scales of A. samoensis lack the very dark centre which is usually found in A. silvestris and peltate scales with a long fimbriate margin or stellate scales are more frequent in A. samoensis, especially on the inflorescence; the flowers of A. samoensis are subglobose and have an obovoid sta- minal tube with a wide aperture, whereas in A. silvestris, the flower is ovoid or ellipsoid and the staminal tube is a similar shape, with a minute aperture.

Uses

Buttresses for house-building (Solomon Islands: San Cristobal); wood used for spear shafts (Philippines: Luzon, Mountain Prov.), axe-handles (Solomons: Guadal- canal), in house construction (Halmahera).

Citation

Miq. 1868 – In: Ann. Mus. Bot. Lugd.-Bat. p 47
Backer & Bakh.f. 1965 – In: Fl. Java. p 129
Koord. 1913 – In: Atlas. t. 156
Pannell 1992 – In: Kew Bull., Add. Ser. 193.
Pannell 1989 – In: Tree Fl. Malaya. 216.
King 1895 – In: J. As. Soc. Beng. p 65