Baccaurea ramiflora Lour. - EUPHORBIACEAE

Synonym : Baccaurea cauliflora Lour.
Pierardia sapida Roxb.
Baccaurea sapida (Roxb.) Mull.Arg.
Baccaurea flaccida
Baccaurea propinqua Mull.Arg.
Baccaurea wrayi King ex Hook.f.
Baccaurea oxycarpa Gagnep.
Gatnaia annamica Gagnep.

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Botanical descriptions Habitat and ecology Distribution

Botanical descriptions :

Diagnostic characters : Evergreen trees with sympodial branching. Leaves simple, alternate and spiral. Petiole swollen at base and top. Flowers unisexual cauliflorous. Fruit fleshy, orange to purple.
Habit : Small evergreen tree of more than 10 m. high, branches sympodially developed.
Trunk & bark : Trunk crooked and slightly fluted at base. Bark pale cream or orange-brown, smooth or slightly fissured and flaking.
Branches and branchlets or twigs : Branches terete and glabrous.
Exudates : Exudate absent.
Leaves : Leaves simple, 9-25 by 3-9 cm. alternate and spirally-clustered at intervals along the twigs, narrowly elliptic or obovate, apex acuminate, base acute, margin entire or slightly undulate, reddish when young, finely brown-hairy, becoming dark green and shiny above and glabrous when mature.
Midrib flat above, prominent below, secondary veins oblique to the midrib, widely parallel, looped and joined at margin, tertiary veins reticulate.
Petiole slender swollen at top and base.
Stipules caducous.
Inflorescences or flowers : Flowers small grouped in raceme, axillary to cauliflorous, males and females on different trees. Males smaller arranged in slender clusters of 10 cm. long, mostly at the end of the branches, individual flower with short pedicel. Female slightly bigger, racemes clustered of 30 cm. long on old branches and main trunk.
Fruits : The fruit is a berry of 2.5 – 3.5 cm. in diameter, ovoid or ellipsoid, hanging along old branches and main trunk, pale orange ripening reddish to purplish.
Seeds : 2-4 large seeds surrounded by a juicy translucent or pinkish pulp.

Habitat and ecology :

In primary rain forest 50 - 1700 m. altitude, becoming common understory tree of fire-free forests, often cultivated for edible fruits.
Flowering period: February-March; fruiting time: August-September.

Distribution :

Burma (Myanmar), South China, India (Assam, Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Malaysian Peninsula, Vietnam, Laos (Khammouan and many other provinces ).

Remark/notes/uses :
The fruit is harvested and used locally, eaten as a fruit, stewed or made into wine; it is also used medicinally to treat skin diseases. The bark, roots and wood are harvested for medicinal uses, and as a brown-red dye.

Specimens studied :
BT 819, BT 912, BT 583, BT 584 (Herbarium of Faculty of Sciences, UNoL, NHN-Leiden and CIRAD-Montpellier).

Literature :
Flora of Thailand. 1970-2002. Vol. 8, part 1. Forest Herbarium, Royal Forest Department, Bangkok, Thailand.
Gardner S., Sidisunthorn P. & Anusarnsunthorn V. 2000. A field guide to Forest Trees of Northern Thailand. Kobfai Publishing Project. Bangkok. Thailand.
Lecomte H. (ed.). 1907-1912. Flore Générale de l'Indo-Chine. Vol.5 (6), Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Laboratoire de Phanérogamie, Paris, France.
Tree Flora of Malaya. 1972-1989. Vol. 2. Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kepong, Malaysia.

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