Macaranga lowii King ex Hook.f., Fl. Br. Ind. 5 (1887)

Named after H. Low [1793-1863], a British plant breeder.

Macaranga auriculata (Merr.) Airy Shaw
Macaranga glaberrima var. kostermansii Airy Shaw
Macaranga lowii var. kostermansii Airy Shaw
Macaranga poilanei Gagnep.
Mallotus affinis Merr.
Mallotus auriculatus Merr.
Mallotus tsiangii Merr. & Chun
Tanarius lowii (King ex Hook.f.) Kuntze

Sub-canopy tree up to 22 m tall and 33 cm dbh. Stipules crowded at twig tips, needle-like, ca. 8 mm long. Leaves alternate, simple, penni-veined, hairy to glabrous below, with usually two, sometimes more, nectary glands at the upper leaf base. Flowers ca. 1.5 mm diameter, yellow, placed in axillary racemes. Fruits ca. 11 mm diameter, green, 2-lobed, spiny, dehiscent capsules.

Small trees, to 22 m, dbh up to 16(-33) cm; bole straight. Bark smooth, shallowly cracked, latex red; inner bark thin, dark red. Twigs solid, round, striate, slender, glabrous. Stipules and bud scales 7 mm long, subulate with a small ovate base, chestnut brown glabrous, stiffly erect, crowded at twig tip, soon caducous. Leaves: petioles 3-7 cm, slender, 1 mm, terete, weakly pubescent or glabrous, kneed; blades elliptic, 8-15 by 3-5 cm, thinly leathery, base rounded to cuneate, minutely auriculate, with 2 glands at petiole insertion, margin entire, slightly sinuate, apex abruptly acuminate, 1.5 cm, drying chestnut brown to grey green, below glabrous or pubescent on lower part of midrib and closely to sparsely but regularly dark granular glandular. Staminate inflorescences often malformed as a witches' broom, slender spikes to 6(11) cm; peduncle 1 cm, axis slender, 1 mm diam., finely pubescent, terete to slightly flattened; bracts not seen; flower clusters 3-4 mm across, 1 cm spaced; bracteoles persistent, ovate, 1.5 mm, apex acuminate, pubescent both sides, shorter than flower cluster. Staminate flowers 4 per cluster, opening serially; sepals hooded, pubescent outside with granular glands towards tip; stamens 12, anthers 4-locular. Infructescences spikes to 9 cm, axis slender, flattened, pubescent, leafy bracts ovate, to 10 by 5 mm, apex acute, soon caducous. Fruits spaced along top 1/3-2/3 of spike, solitary with a furthergroup at apex, strongly dicoccous, reaching 6 by 12 by 6 mm, woody, when young very densely spiny, at maturity spines spaced, sometimes very sparse, spines 4 mm, flattened, surface furfuraceous, glabrous or black granular glandula; pedicel stout, 2-4 mm, pubescent; sepals ovate, 2 mm, apex acute, persistent; styles 15 mm, spreading, soon caducous. Seeds round, 4 mm, shiny, smooth, without sarcotesta. [from Flora Malesiana]

In undisturbed mixed dipterocarp and sub-montane forests up to 1500 m altitude. Usually on hillsides and ridges with sandy soils. Also found on ultrabasic soils.


Southern China, Indo-China, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, Philippines.

Local names
Borneo: Kenayan, Mahang jarum.