Cynometra ramiflora L., Species Plantarum, 382 (1753)

Latin for 'bearing flowers on branches'.

Cynometra bifoliolata Merr.
Cynometra bijuga Span. ex Miq.
Cynometra bijuga Miq.
Cynometra carolinensis Kaneh.
Cynometra hosinoi Kaneh.
Cynometra ramiflora var. bifoliolata (Merr.) Meeuwen
Cynometra ramiflora subsp. bijuga (Miq.) Prain
Cynometra ramiflora subsp. genuina Prain
Cynometra ramiflora var. mimosoides Wall.
Cynometra schumanniana Harms
Cynometra whitfordii Elmer
Cynomorium sylvestre Rumph.
Maniltoa carolinensis (Kaneh.) Hosok.

This is an erect, small tree up to ca. 26 m tall and 50 cm dbh. The leaves are alternate and smooth, and consist of 2 to 6 leaflets. The leaflets are leathery, about 10 centimeters long, and one third as wide. The flowers are yellowish white, corymbosely fascicled or upon short racemes and subtended by large bracts. The fruit is hard, scurfy brown, and 2 to 4 centimeters long.

Tree 4-26 m tall. Leaves 1- and/or 2-jugate, rarely 2-jugate only. Leaflets ovate, ovate-oblong, oblong, elliptic, lanceolate, rarely orbicular, (1.2-)4.5-6.5(-20) by (0.5-)2.5-3.5(-7) cm; apex acute or acuminate; nerves (4-)8-16 pairs; petiole 3-15 mm, rachis 15-40 mm, both sometimes patent-hairy, glabrescent, or glabrous; petiolules indistinct. Rachis of inflorescence 1.3-2.5 cm, usually glabrescent, sometimes glabrous; bracteoles 3-4 mm long, inserted at or near the base of the pedicel; pedicels 7-15 mm, densely patent-hairy or pubescent, sometimes glabrescent or glabrous. Hypanthium 1-1.25 mm deep. Sepals 4-6 mm long, usually with a few hairs near the tip, sometimes hairy all over, sometimes glabrous. Petals 5-8 mm long, lanceolate, sometimes with a small mucro. Stamens 10 (once found 11, 13, and 15, respectively). Ovary densely, often curly hairy, 1- (or 2-)ovuled; stipe 1 mm; style 4-5.5 mm, with a few hairs up to halfway. Fruits broad-ovoid or -ellipsoid, the tip pointing up, thick-woody, deeply rugose, shortly brown, scurfy, 2.2-5 by 1.3-4 cm. [from Flora Malesiana]

Found in undisturbed and secondary forest at low and medium altitudes up to 400 m. Often near streams or in coastal (back-mangrove) forests. Also found in limestone areas.

From India, Sri Lanka and southern China to New Guinea, West Pacific and Australia.

It is cultivated for its beautiful, pendant inflorescenses covered with large, conspicuous, attractive, silvery bracts. According to Guerrero the leaves are used as an antiherpetic, like those of Cassia alata. Burkill quotes Rheede, who says that the roots purge; that the leaves are used in Malabar to make a lotion for skin diseases; and that oil is drawn from the seeds for the same purpose. Crevost and Petelot quote de Lanessan, who states that the roots are purgative. Timber for interior and light constructions, novelties, plywood and decorative veneers; Fuelwood and charcoal.

Local names
Belangkan, Gal mendora, Gulos, Gulus, Hambabalanak, Irapu, Iripa, Irippa, Irudhu, Kahsilah, Kameu, Kammau, Kanaka, Kanakamara, Katong, Katong laut, Kekatong, Kelengui, Ketenguit, Ketunguit, Komon, Kumoh, Madhuka, Mahuka, Mang kha, Mangkha, Moivi, Myin-ka, Myinga, Myinka, Myinkabin, Naipudukan, Odling, Ommo, Omo, Oringen, Pamortisan, Shingar, Shingra, Ula, Ulad, Yeminga.
Cambodia: Chom'prinh.
Indonesia: Kateng, Kepal, Wunut.
Malaysia: Katong laut.
Philippines: Balitbitan.
Thailand: Phang kha, Makhak, Maeng, Kha.
Vietnam: Caay traam ngheej, Caay most.