Aglaia elliptica

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Aglaia elliptica


Tree 2–20(–40) m, with an irregularly rounded crown. Bark dark reddish-brown or greenish- brown with shallow pits, inner bark magenta; sapwood pale yellow pinkish-red or dark reddish-brown; latex white. Flowers up to 6,000, 1.2–1.5 mm long, 1–1.6 mm wide; pedicels 0.5–2 mm, with indumentum like the twigs. Flowers 1.8–2.2 mm long, 2–2.5 mm wide, otherwise similar. Petals 5. Staminal tube 0.5–0.75 mm long, 1 mm wide, shallow- ly cup-shaped, yellow, thickened inside below the insertion of the anthers, the apical margin shallowly or deeply 5-lobed (in the rheophytic form, the staminal tube is divided almost to the base into 5 lobes); anthers c. 0.4 mm long and 0.3 mm wide, yellow when immature, brown at anthesis, turning black later, ovoid, inserted just below the aperture and pointing towards the centre of the flower. Fruits 1.5–3.5(–5) cm long, 1.5–3 (–5) cm wide, bright pale green when young, orange when mature, obovoid or ellip- soid, indéhiscent, with few to densely covered with reddish-brown stellate scales; peri- carp 3–10 mm thick, inner surface shiny, orange, white latex present until fruit ripens, opening under pressure loculicidally along a longitudinal ridge encircling the fruit. Seeds 1 or 2, 2.2–2.8 cm long, 1–1.4 cm across, ovoid, the inner surface flattened; aril 2–3 mm thick, sometimes not quite complete on the antiraphe side, pinkish-orange, translucent, sweet or acidic tasting; with two layers beneath the aril, the outer hard, chestnut brown, the inner thin and membraneous, with the main vas- cular bundle running through the raphe and antiraphe, divaricately branching from the raphe over the sides of the seed. 2n = 68 .


Asia-Tropical: Borneo present; Jawa (Jawa present); Lesser Sunda Is. (Bali present); Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia present); Philippines (Philippines present); Sulawesi (Sulawesi present); Sumatera (Sumatera present); Thailand (Thailand present), Burma present, Flores present
Burma, Thailand; Malesia: Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Java, Philippines, Celebes, Lesser Sunda Islands (Bali, Flores).


Bark boiled and solution bathed in is used against tumours; leaves are ap- plied to wounds (Philippines, Mindanao).


Aglaia elliptica is most frequently found in forest close to rivers and sub- ject to periodic flooding. The fruit of A. elliptica has two locules, one or both of which contain(s) a single seed; a longitudinal ridge nearly always encircles the ripe fruit and it usually has a dense reddish-brown indumentum; the fruit is, however, sometimes small or glabrescent or lacks the longitudinal ridge in the Philippines and Celebes. In these cases, the tree is usually smaller and the indumentum is of pale stellate scales rather than reddish-brown stellate hairs. Similar variants of A. elliptica are occasionally found in Peninsular Ma- laysia and Borneo. Some of the variation in size and conspicuousness of the longitudi- nal ridge is attributable to different stages in development of the fruit. Glabrescent fruits are also found in the Philippines in several other species, which have a dense indumen- tum in other parts of their range (e.g. A. elaeagnoidea). Some more robust specimens from Celebes and Borneo have stellate scales on the midrib and the fruit has a thick woody pericarp when dry. These are included here be- cause of the characteristic longitudinal ridge on the fruit and because there are no reliable features on which they can be recognized as a separate species or subspecies. A rheophytic form (A. lancifolia) occurs only in Borneo. It usually has more nu- merous, narrower and often smaller leaflets than in the rest of the species and is found along river banks, often overhanging the water. A series of intermediates connects A. elliptica and A. lancifolia, so the latter is treated as conspecific. The leaves of this species sometimes resemble those of A. odoratissima, but they usually have more leaflets and the indumentum is of stellate hairs or stellate scales only; the peltate scales are absent on the leaves of A. elliptica. The indumentum is usually dense on the midrib of the lower surface of the leaflet. Aglaia elliptica is usually a larger tree than A. odoratissima. The flowers are similar in structure in the two species, but the inflorescences of A. elliptica are larger and the flowers more numerous.


Miq. 1868 – In: Ann. Mus. Bot. Lugd.-Bat.: 50
Teijsm. & Binn. 1867 – In: Nat. Tijds. Ned.-Indië: 253.
Pannell 1992: p. 275. – In: Kew Bull., Add. Ser.: f. 82.
Steenis 1981: Rheophytes: 287: t. 30.
Koord. 1913 – In: Atlas: t. 15
Pannell 1989 – In: Tree Fl. Malaya: 214
Steenis 1981: Rheophytes: 289.
Backer & Bakh.f. 1965 – In: Fl. Java: 126