Erythroxylum cuneatum (Miq.) Kurz, J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, Pt. 2, Nat. Hist. 43(2): 135 (1874)

Species name meaning 'wedge-shaped', reffering to the leaves.

Erythroxylum bancanum Burck
Erythroxylum borneense Merr.
Erythroxylum burmanicum Griff.
Erythroxylum cuneatum forma sumatranum (Miq.) R.C.K.Chung
Erythroxylum densinerve O.E.Schulz
Erythroxylum iwahigense Elmer
Erythroxylum iwahigense forma calcicola R.C.K.Chung
Erythroxylum latifolium Burck
Erythroxylum longistipulatum Burck
Erythroxylum platyphyllum Merr.
Erythroxylum retusum F.A.Bauer ex Teijsm. & Binn.
Erythroxylum sumatranum Miq.
Ficus cuneata Wall.
Urostigma cuneatum Miq.


Small to large tree or a shrub, (1-)8-40(-45) m, up to 35-55 cm diam. Bark noted to be grey to brown often with vertical grooves, inner bark yellow to reddish brown. Branches 1.5-4 mm diam., brown to black when dried, the tips 1-3 mm diam. Leaves very variable in size and shape, even on the same twig, mostly obovate, elliptic or oblong, c. (3-)5-11(-18) by 2-3(-7) cm; dark green to greenish brown often shining above, dull light green beneath, shortly acuminate or rounded with a more or less emarginate, mostly mucronate tip, base attenuate or cuneate; midrib nearly always sunken above, very prominent beneath; nerves on both sides equally distinct, often almost horizontal and close together giving a dense nervation, venation delicate; areolation often distinct; petiole 2-7(-9) mm. Stipules triangular to lanceolate, mostly as long as the petiole, not divided, entire, distinctly bicarinate c. 2-7(-9) mm, top mostly curved. Ramenta very rarely a few. Flowers in clusters of 1-8, mostly in pairs, faintly scented. Bracteoles deltoid, scarious, c. 1 mm long, 1-nerved. Pedicels thickened towards the calyx, c. (1-)4-10 or in fruit even to 35 mm (in the Philippines). Calyx tube c. 2-1.5 mm high; lobes triangular, c. 0.5-1.5 mm, acuminate with a bluntish tip. Petals white, whitish green to light green and yellow (also pink recorded from Central Celebes), oblong or oblong-elliptic, convex, c. 3-4 by 1.5-2 mm; ligule 3-lobed, half as long as the blade; claw often distinctly narrowing towards the base, c. 1/3 as long as the petal. Flowers dimorphous, both types either with equal or unequal stamens. Drupe oblong-ovoid, often somewhat curved, red, when dry obtusely trigonous, distinctly furrowed, top pointed, c. 7-12 by 3-6 mm; fertile cell as large as or smaller than sterile cell, bilaterally compressed, sterile cells distinct and large, on both sides of the fertile cell. Seed flattened often somewhat curved, with distinct furrows, c. 5-10 by 1-2.5 mm, endosperm little; embryo flattened, slightly curved or straight, green, c. 4-8 by 0.5-1.5 mm; cotyledons linear, very thin, c. 2.5-6 by 0.5-1.5 mm; radicle distinct 1.5-3.5 mm. [from Flora Malesiana]

Very tolerant and found in a variety of habitats. It is often a tree or shrub behind sandy beaches or rocky shores; in Johore it is a characteristic constituent of the Eugenia grandis coastal forest. Also inland it is found under various conditions: sandy or rocky hills, average dryland forest, inundated peat-forest, sometimes on exposed limestone summits, both in primary and secondary vegetation. Sometimes in groups, more often scattered and nowhere dominant, from sea level up to 900 m. Specimens collected on rich soils (heavy black soil, yellow clay, or old volcanic soils) are often small trees or shrubs already flowering and they possess large leaves which remain green when dried. Other large-leaved specimens showing this were collected as shrubs on coastal karst-limestone in Waigeo and along mangrove swamps in Mindanao and Bunguran Isl. A few times it has been collected on exposed limestone summits (Philippines and a hill in Perak) scrambling as a very small-leaved, almost xerophytic shrub in the open. Trees over 15 m height always possess small or relatively small and thicker leaves, specially where the habitat is dry sandy soils, high forest, or inundated peat-swamp.

The sapwood is white to yellow, abruptly set off against the brown heart-wood which is very durable and easy to work; it shrinks, tears, and warps very little and the timber is used for housebuilding in the Malay Peninsula, and in Sumatra also for bridges. Beams are said to be very durable but can seldom be obtained in quantity. The fresh wood sinks in water. In Trengganu, according to Holttum, the leaves are pounded and applied on the forehead of women after miscarriage. In Bunguran leaves are reported to be used in sajur (vegetable soup).

From Burma and Indochina to New Guinea.

Local names
Billiton: Kayu mutoh, Banka, Membentaan, nembentahan.
Borneo: ki beureum, asan, djenging, gerongan, liduja, mahui, paris, piling, tailan, tebakan, kaju sapat.
Moluccas: bugunran, horu malako or malau. Peninsular Malaysia: baka, chinta mola (mula, mulah, or tnulek), inai-inai, mansira, medang or bunga langundi, payoli (also medang bunga langundi payoli), poko buluntas bukit, sri mula.
Philippines: baransidgau, manambo, salngen, saleng.
Sumatra: Ankara mula, garu lanang, g. abang, gelundi, kaju urang, k. katjang, kepitis, ngelegundi, pietis, pulas, telung, tenara punai (= pepitis), tenaropunang.