Clausena excavata Burm., Fl. Ind. (N.L.Burman) 89 t.29 (1768)

Latin for 'hollow'.

Amyris graveolens Buch.-Ham. ex Steud.
Amyris punctata Roxb. ex Colebr.
Amyris punctata Roxburgh
Amyris sumatrana Roxb.
Clausena excavata var. lunulata (Hayata) Tanaka
Clausena excavata var. villosa Hook.f.
Clausena javanensis Raeusch. ex DC.
Clausena javensis J.F.Gmel.
Clausena lunulata Hayata
Clausena moningerae Merr.
Clausena punctata (Roxb.) Wight & Arn. ex Steud.
Clausena punctata (Roxburgh) Wight & Arn.
Clausena sumatrana (Roxb.) Wight & Arn. ex Steud.
Clausena tetramera Hayata
Cookia anisodora Blanco
Cookia anisum-olens Blanco
Cookia graveolens Wight & Arn.
Cookia punctata Retz.
Gallesioa graveolens M.Roem.
Lawsonia falcata Lour.
Murraya burmanni Spreng.

A slender tree to 15 m tall. Twigs finely hairy. Leaves pinnate, to 60 cm long, with 10-31(-41) pairs of alternate, oval oblique leaflets 2-9 cm long with pointed tips and toothed margins. Leaflets have a characteristic curry-like smell when crushed. Leaflets full of translucent dots when hold against the light. Small white flowers occur in terminal clusters, followed by translucent pink berries 7-18 mm across, each containing 1-2 seeds.

Small tree to 15 m tall and 20 cm diameter. Branchlets softly hairy. Leaves alternate, 20-50 cm long, rachis slender, cylindrical, not winged; leaflets 10-31, oblong-ovate to lanceolate or slightly crescent-shaped, 2-9 x 1.5-4 cm, thinly leathery, glabrous above, sparsely hairy below; base rounded, obliquely asymmetric, margins toothed, apex tapered or acuminate; petiolules short. Inflorescence a much-branched panicle, terminal, 10-30 cm long, pyramid-shaped, branches hairy. Flowers 4(-5)-merous, buds round; calyx minute, hairy; petals oval, 3.5-5 mm long, glabrous, yellowish or greenish; stamens 8, filaments inflated and concave at base; ovary ovoid to ellipsoid, hairy or hirsute, slightly lobed, style cylindrical, persistent, not narrowed where it joins the ovary. Fruits broadly ellipsoid, 1-1.8 cm long, smooth, glabrous; peel green ripening pink, translucent. Seed 1-2 per fruit, oblong. [from Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak]

Establishes dense stands along roads and in disturbed areas up to 1000m elevation. Seeds dispersed by birds.

The fruit has the taste of grape, accompanied with a peculiar flavor, being very grateful to the palate. The scanty pulp of the fruit has an anise-seed flavor. In China it is pleasantly acid and held in esteem, as it also is in the Indian archipelago. In China, Indo-China, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Java, the juice from the leaves is taken for intestinal worms or cough, and, sometimes together with Curcuma longa L., for fever, malaria or colds. A decoction of the roots, flowers or leaves is taken for bowel complaints, such as colic, dyspepsia and stomach-ache. The pounded root or leaves are used as a poultice on sores, including ulceration of the nose, or sometimes for yaws. Ulcerations of the nose may also be treated by fumigation using burning leaves and bark. The pounded leaves may be applied to the head for headache. A decoction of the leaves is taken after childbirth. In Peninsular Malaysia the plant is also credited with magic virtues. In China, it is considered a bitter, tonic, astringent and emmenagogue. A poultice of the leaves is applied to treat paralysis. In Burma (Myanmar) the leaves are taken for stomach troubles. In Java the timber is used for handles of axes; it is white and has a fine structure. The leaves are insecticidal.

From the Himalayas to southern China, southern Taiwan, throughout Indo-China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines to New Guinea. Currently cultivated pan-tropical.

Local names
Cambodia: cantrouk san hoeut, sanitrok damrey.
Laos: tcho kou nhia, khong touang, kok sa mat.
Indonesia: temung (Aceh), bajetah (Sundanese), tikusan (Javanese).
Malaysia: pokok kemantu, cherek hitam, chemama.
Philippines: buringit (Tagbanua).
Thailand: phia faan (northern), khee phueng (eastern), huat mon (central).
Vietnam: ch[uf]m h[oo]i, d[aa]m h[oo]i, h[oof]ng b[if] d[aj]i.