Omphalea sargentii Merr., Philipp. J. Sci. 16: 574 (1920)

Named after Charles S. Sargent [1841-1927], founder of the Arnold Arboretum (Harvard University).


Lianas up to 23 m in height, to ca. 22 cm in diameter; branches glabrous or glabrescent; tendril-like shoots with short hook-like branches; foliage evergreen. Leaves: petioles 14(8) cm long, glabrous or sometimes very sparsely pubescent; blades ovate, elliptic or rarely obovate, 1329 by 514 cm, length/width ratio 1.53, somewhat leathery, glabrous, usually drying brownish, base obtuse, rounded, or rarely acute, with two round glands adaxially, apex acuminate; venation pinnate with basal lateral pair of nerves often prominent and diverging at a steep angle, nerves 6-11 per side; understory and juvenile leaves with petioles to 21 cm and blades to 40 by 23 cm. Inflorescences paniculate thyrses, 2070 cm long, highly branched; axes glabrous or very sparsely pubescent, minor axes dark reddish brown or purplish when dry; main branches 220, to 50 cm long, main axis persistent, often becoming tendrillate, with strongly recurved, hook-like branch bases; cymose units very condensed with flowers appearing fasciculate; bracts to 12 by 3 cm, petiolate, biglandular; blade obovate or narrowly elliptic, apex obtuse or acute. Staminate flowers: pedicel 616 mm long; sepals 5, 12 mm long and wide, apex rounded or broadly obtuse, glabrous to very sparsely pubescent; disc subannular, indistinct; androecium of 3 free, subsessile anthers fused basally. Pistillate flowers: pedicel 414 mm long; sepals 5, suborbicular to broadly ovate, 12.5 mm long and wide, glabrous to very sparsely pubescent; gynoecium ovoid or subglobose, 1.73.2 by 1.52.8 mm, apex obtuse or rounded, glabrous; stylar column absent or present as small conical apex, to 0.5 by 1.2 mm. Fruits indehiscent, subglobose, 3.45.4 by 3.76 cm when dry; pericarp fleshy, 36 mm thick and deeply wrinkled when dry. Seeds broadly ellipsoid, radially compressed, 2.53.6 by 2.33.3 by 1.72.2 cm, medium brown, dull, rough, minutely verrucate; outer seed coat thin, whitish, papery when dry, not persistent. [from]

Lowland evergreen primary forest, sometimes in secondary forest, on level land, low hills or near rivers; soils: clay, poor sandy, gravel terrace. Altitude: sea-level to 350 m.

Peninsular Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Borneo (Sabah, Kalimantan), Sulawesi, and the Philippines.

Local names