Knema hirtella W.J.deWilde, Blumea 25 (1979)

Latin for 'with short stiff hairs'.

Sub-canopy tree up to 28 m tall and 28 cm dbh. Knema hirtella is a variable species which can easily be confused with K. glauca and K. stenophylla; K. glauca differs in a very weak, early shed indumentum on the lower leaf surface, persistent bracteole, glabrous androphore, and glabrous (glabrescent) fruits; K. stenophylla s.l. differs in a less stout habit, generally smaller fruits, and glabrous androphore. Knema piriformis also resembles the present species, but has differently shaped male buds.

Tree 5-25(-28) m. Twigs striate or not, 2-3.5 mm in diameter, at first with minute scurfy hairs 0.1-0.2(-0.3) mm long, early glabrescent; bark finely striate, not tending to crack or flake. Leaves chartaceous, oblong(-lanceolate), 7-25 by 2.5-10 cm, apex up to 1.5 cm acute-acuminate or subobtuse, base subcordate, broadly rounded, or attenuate, olivaceous brown, with scattered hair scars above; lower surface greyish, with persistent sparse yellowish hairs 0.1 mm long, or early to late glabrescent, at first with weak greyish hairs of mixed sizes, 0.1-0.2(-0.3) mm long, in both cases mixed with scattered scars of early shed coarser hairs; dots absent; midrib little raised above; lateral nerves 10-22 pairs, flat or sunken above; venation +/- coarse (areoles 0.5 mm or more in diameter), distinct or indistinct; petiole 8-12 by 1.5-2.5 mm. Inflorescences: sessile, brachyblast simple or bifurcate, up to 5 mm long; in male 2-6(-10)-flowered, in female 1-6-flowered; flowers with dense hairs 0.1 mm long or less, perianth 3-lobed, yellowish (?) inside. Male flower (var. hirtella): pedicel 4.5-7 mm long, bracteole caducous or persistent, at or 1-2 mm below the apex; buds globose or broadly obovoid, 3-4 mm in diameter, cleft 3/4-4/6, lobes 0.5-0.8 mm thick; staminal disc flat or slightly convex, circular, 1.5-1.7 mm in diameter; anthers 9-13(-15), stiped or half-sessile, +/- horizontal or oblique, 0.2-0.4 mm long, opening more or less downwards, spaced; androphore +/- tapering, 1-1.5 mm long, in var. hirtella at base minutely hairy. Female flowers: pedicel 4-7.5 mm long, bracteole caducous, at or above the middle; buds ellipsoid or long-obovoid, 4.5-6 by 3.5-4 mm, cleft about halfway, lobes 0.7-1 mm thick; pistil 2.5-3 mm long, ovary ovoid, 1.5-2 by 1.5-2 mm, stigma subsessile, 2-lobed and each lobe again 6-8-lobulate or serrate. Fruits 1 or 2 per infructescence, ellipsoid or ovoid, 2.5-3(-3.5) by 1.7-2.6 cm. base rounded. apex rounded or acute, often with style remnant 0.5 mm, with hairs up to 0.5 mm long; dry pericarp 1.5(-2) mm thick; fruiting pedicel 4-10(-15) mm long. [from Flora Malesiana]

In undisturbed mixed dipterocarp to sub-montane forests up to 1000 m altitude. Usually on hillsides and ridges, sometimes on periodically inundated sites. On clay to sandy soils.


Local names
Borneo: Dara-dara, Darah-darah, Kumpang, Kupang.