Macaranga bancana (Miq.) Mull.Arg., in DC., Prodr. 15, 2 (1866)

Latin for 'from Bangka' an island of the coast of Sumatra.

Macaranga tenuifolia Müll.Arg.
Pachystemon bancanus Miq.
Tanarius bancanus (Miq.) Kuntze
Tanarius tenuifolius (Müll.Arg.) Kuntze

Understorey tree up to 23 m tall and 17 cm dbh. Twigs hollow, ant inhabited. Stipules red, recurved, providing food for ants. Leaves alternate, simple to 3-lobed, peltate and palmately veined, glabrous to hairy below, whitish below. Flowers ca. 1 mm diameter, green-whitish, clustered together within bracts on branched inflorescences. Fruits ca. 9 mm diameter, green-white-yellowish, 4-5-lobed, dehiscent capsules with glandular patches, seeds with reddish aril.

Abundant small tree to 23 m tall, but reproductive from only 2-3 m tall; twigs 4-9 mm in diam., glabrous or rarely with scattered minute ferrugineus hairs towards the apex, not glaucous, hollow, housing ants. Bark pale-brown to whitish, mottled, smooth with small lenticels, hoop-marked. Stipules broadly ovate, 6-8 by 6-9 mm, red-brown when fresh, usually finely furfuraceous on the base of the adaxial surface when young and becoming glabrous, the pair completely encircling the twig, succulent, recurved, producing food-bodies on the abaxial surface, usually 2-4 pairs present on the shoots. Leaves: petioles terete, slender, 8-24 cm long, not glaucous, glabrous; blades broadly ovate, 16-32 by 12-25 cm, trilobed to rarely just tricusped, variably dissected to 1/8-1/2 of the leaf length, central lobe broad sometimes constricted near the base, lateral lobes ascending and 2.5-5(-7) cm wide, rather shallowly peltate, petiole insertion 1-4 cm from margin, base broadly rounded, margin entire, apices narrowly acute, adaxial surface glabrous or scattered with fine ferrugineus hairs along the veins when young, abaxial surface glabrous with the veins sparsely to evenly covered in minute crisped silvery hairs; 1st degree venation palmate with 7-8 prominent veins, 2nd degree venation scalariform and rather closely spaced usually with 14-16 pairs of veins arising from the midrib, curving upwards slightly near the leaf margins and running into the margin and terminating in tiny (c. 0.3 mm) narrow conical nectaries; young leaves reddish-brown, densely minutely ferrugineus hairy, soon becoming glabrous. Staminate inflorescences furfuraceous, reddish-brown, paniculate, erect, 10-20 by 5-15 cm, densely ferrugineus tomentose, particularly dense towards the apex and becoming more scattered to rarely almost glabrous at the base, with the hairs also slightly longer towards the base, up to 4 axis orders with the distal branches characteristically looping and convoluted, main axis flattened, first pair of secondary branches opposite with accessory branches; bracts ovate, 3-6 by 2-3 mm, margin entire, apex acute, finely ferrugineus pubes cent on both surfaces and the margin, caducous; flower clusters with 15-25(-30) flowers, spirally arranged and scattered along ultimate inflorescence branches: bracteoles small, broadly ovate to transversely elliptical, 1.5-2.5 by 2-4 mm, enclosing flower clusters, margin entire, apex rounded or with a short broad acute tip, very densely covered with minute ferrugineus hairs and yellow granular glands. Staminate flowers c. 0.7 mm long, sessile; sepals fused, splitting irregularly to c. 1/3, apex densely covered in minute red-brown hairs; stamens 1, anthers 3-locular. Pistillate inflorescences paniculate, erect, 3-11 by 3-7 cm, stout, scattered with short ferrugineus hairs towards the base and more dense towards the apex, up to 3 axis orders, secondary branches opposite and usually with accessory branches; bracts elliptic, 5-8 by c. 3 mm, apex acute, abaxial surface scattered with minute ferrugineus hairs and tiny yellow granular glands particularly towards the base, adaxial surface scattered with ferrugineus hairs, caducous. Pistillate flowers c. 2 mm long, solitary in bract axils; calyx urceolate, 1.0-1.5 mm long, densely ferrugineus pubescent and scattered with yellow granular glands, persistent, splitting irregularly as ovary expands; ovary 4-(sometimes 5-)carpellate, c. 1.5 mm long: styles c. 1 mm long, fused at base, free and spreading from c. 1/2 of the length, persisting to form a prominent 2-3 mm long crown at fruit apex; stigma not dissected. Fruits 5-7 by 10-11 mm, bright green and slightly reddish on the sutures when fresh, subglobose, compressed, sessile, with scattered ferrugineus hairs on the sutures and at the base of the styles, with one discrete glandular patch on each carpel wall developing into a short pointed swelling c. 1-2 mm long, covered in yellow-green, sticky exudate. Seeds subtriangular-ovoid, c. 4 mm in diam., black, with shallow coarse grooves and a small cruciform scar at the columella attachment point, encased in a fleshy bright pinkish to orange-red aril. [from Flora Malesiana]

In disturbed sites in mixed dipterocarp and swamp forests up to 700 m altitude. Often on alluvial sites such as riversides, but also common along roadsides on sandy soils. It is common on both clay and sandy soils, although clearly prefers the latter, which may in part be due to the water status of those soils, as it is also quite a common colonist of wet gullies along roadsides, alluvial forest areas, and the margins of degraded peat swamp forests.

Peninsular Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Philippines (Palawan).

Local names
Borneo: Benuah, Layang-layang, Purang, Sedaman, Sedaman laki.