Dysoxylum cauliflorum Hiern, Fl. Brit. India 1: 549 (1875)

Species name meaning 'flowering on the stem'.

Alliaria beccariana Kuntze
Alliaria hiernii Kuntze
Dysoxylum angustifoliolum Merr.
Dysoxylum beccarianum C.DC.
Dysoxylum cauliflorum var. tomentellum Stapf
Dysoxylum foxworthyi Elmer [Invalid]
Epicharis angustifoliola (Merr.) Harms
Epicharis foxworthyi (Elmer) Harms [Invalid]
Epicharis hierniana (Hiern) Harms
Lepisanthes forbesii Baker.f.

The flowering (pinkish-creamish) and fruiting (red, exposing black seeds on orange background when capsules open) along the whole stem is the easiest character. When not flowering the scars of previous flowering events can be seen on the trunk. Its a intermediate sized tree with buttresses. Leaves are placed alternate (no stipules) and are compound with terminal leaflet.

Trees 5-20(-30) m; clear bole to 16 m, 50 cm diam., sometimes fluted or with small buttresses to 60 cm tall, 5 cm wide, 30 cm out. Bark grey and smooth with lenticels and bosses of defunct inflorescences to mottled brown with rectangular flakes; inner bark fawn with sour smell and no conspicuous latex; wood straw-coloured. Leafy twigs 3-6 mm diam., lenticellate. Apical buds with fist-shaped young leaves, +/- fulvous pubescent. Leaves to 60 cm, imparipinnate, 4- or 5- (to 6-)jugate; petiole 8-16 cm, 4-5 mm diam., terete to flattened or grooved adaxially when dry, +/- rusty puberulous or even tomentose, swollen al base; rachis 3-4 mm diam., terete to flattened adaxially, +/- rusty puberulent to pubescent or even tomentose. Leaflets to 17(-30) by 7 cm, the apical the largest, ovate-elliptic to ovate or obovate in the terminal one, opposite to subopposite, acuminate, base cuneate, or acute laterals often asymmetrically so, sparsely pubescent to densely rusty tomentose, particularly on abaxial surface of veins and adaxial surface of midrib, papery when dry, rather bullate when fresh, venation brochidodrome, conspicuously reticulate, costae c. 9-12 on each side, prominent abaxially, petiolules c. 4-9 mm (-15 mm on terminal leaflet), pubescent, somewhat swollen. Spikes to 8 cm, borne on persistent woody tubercles to 7 cm diam. on bole almost to ground level and major branches and sometimes axillary as well, usually in fascicles, tawny tomentose, sweetly scented (almonds and musk, Corner); bracts c. 1 mm long, triangular, adpressed pubescent; pedicels 2-3 mm, pubescent. Calyx 2-3 mm tall, cupular with 3 or 4 irregular shallow teeth, adpressed pubescent. Petals (3 or) 4, 7-10 mm long, linear-oblong, acute, imbricate at least at apices, glabrous or sparsely hairy without, white to pinkish or creamish. Staminal tube glabrous to puberulent without, sericeous within, white margin with (6-)8 bifid lobes; anthers (6-)8, at base of notches between lobes, c. 1 mm long, ovale. Disk 3-4 mm long, glabrous, margin irregularly lobed. Ovary (3-) 4- (or 5-)locular, pilose; style terete pilose in proximal half; stylehcad +/- discoid, yellow. Fruits solitary or clustered at end of rachides (to 8 cm long), to 4 cm long and 4 cm diam., top-shaped, 3- or 4- (or 5-)locular, sometimes 3-4-angled or weakly winged, glabrous, red, pericarp with milky latex, valves bright orange within. Seeds 1-4, to c. 2 cm long, 8 mm wide, plano-convex, borne on white placenta, aril basal, bright orange; testa black. [from Flora Malesiana]

Rain forest to 1500 m altitude, including ridge forest, freshwater swamp forest and heath forest. A common tree throughout the lowland forests particularly in Malaya and Sarawak, where it is the most conspicuous of all Meliaceae on account of its striking cauliflory. According to Corner, Wayside Trees 1 (1940) 462, "at certain times of the year, the Reservoir Jungle in Singapore is perfumed of an evening with the heavy fragrance of the flowers which develop simultaneously on all the trees".

Indochina into Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo and the Philippines (Palawan).


Local names
Borneo: Banga, Ngasakra, Uchong chit (Iban).
Malaysia: Dedali, Langga ayer, Popok parong.
Sumatra: Mensiah rima.