Aphanamixis polystachya (Wall.) R.Parker - MELIACEAE

Basionym : Aglaia polystachyaWall.

Synonym : Aphanamixis cochchinchinensisPierre

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Botanical descriptions Habitat and ecology Distribution

Botanical descriptions :

Diagnostic characters : Leaves paripinnate and imparinnate, crowded at the apex of the branches, leaflets opposite, base acute and asymmetrical. Flowers polygamous. Fruit a capsule, seeds with orange-red aril.
Habit : Evergreen tree up to 8 m. tall, about 15 cm. in DBH, branches ascending or horizontal to main trunk.
Trunk & bark : Trunk longitudinal fissured, bark up to 1 cm. thick, blackish-grey, inner bark brown.
Branches and branchlets or twigs : Branches pubescent, the first twigs yellow, tomentose then glabrescent, terminal buds densely covered with yellow hairs.
Exudates : Exudate absent.
Leaves : Both imparipinnately and paripinnately compound leaves, alternate, crowded at the apex of branchelets, rachis up to 50 cm. long, petiole up to 10 cm. long, opposite leaflets 9-12, oblong-elliptic 12-15 x 3-5 cm. in length, the lower pair are the smallest, apex acute-acuminate, base acute and asymmetric, margin entire, glabrous on both surface.
The veins prominent below, with a single midrib, secondary veins about 5-8 pairs, obtuse, tertiary veins reticulate. Petiolule up to 1 cm. long.
Inflorescences or flowers : Inflorescence shorter than leaf, less than 30 cm. Long. Flowers polygamous, globose, yellow, sessile, 3 bractiole on the base. Male inflorescence pedunculate but female solitary and axillary spike.
Fruits : Fruit is a thick capsule, rounded about 1.5 cm. in diameter, thick walled, glabrous. Green flushed with pink then red, later dehiscent into segments, 3 loci, with persistent calyx.
Seeds : A few, black with orange-red aril, globose.

Habitat and ecology :

In evergreen or open degraded forests from 400 to 600 m. altitude, along the river.

Distribution :

Chine, Malaysia, Vietnam and Laos.

Remark/notes/uses :
The low quality wood is sometimes used in house construction and interior fittings The bark is used for a remedy for rheumatism, colds and chest pains. Extracts of leaves and fruits have insecticidal properties.

Specimens studied :
BT 359, Lao 152 (Herbarium of Faculty of Sciences-NUoL, NHN-Leiden and CIRAD-Montpellier).

Literature :
Dung, Vu Van. 1996. Vietnam Forest Trees. Agriculture Publishing House, Hanoi, Vietnam.

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