Mallotus barbatus Müll.Arg. - EUPHORBIACEAE

Synonym : Mallotus esquirollii H. Lév.
Mallotus leveilleanus Tcheou
Mallotus barbatus Müll.Arg. var. congestus F.P. Metcalf
Mallotus barbatus Müll.Arg. var. pedicellaris Croizat
Mallotus lotingensis F.P. Metcalf
Mallotus luchenensis F.P. Metcalf
Mallotus barbatus Müll.Arg. var. hubeiensis S.M. Hwang
Mallotus barbatus Müll.Arg. var. croizatianus (F.P. Metcalf ) S.M. Hwan
Mallotus barbatus Müll.Arg. var. wuiH.S. Kiu.

English   Lao   

Botanical descriptions Habitat and ecology Distribution

Botanical descriptions :

Diagnostic characters : Evergreen trees with reddish sap. Young twigs and all parts covered with very densely wooly stellate hairs. Leaves broadly ovate, base peltate with extra-floral nectaries on lamina near insertion. Flowers unisexual on different trees, female inflorescence long pendulous. Fruit a lobed capsule covered with spines bearing dense wooly stellate hairs. Seeds ovoid black.
Habit : Evergreen shrub or small tree from 8 m height, compact crown. Branches ascending with indumentum densely stellately hairy on the whole part of the plant.
Trunk & bark : Bark smooth, grey-blackish, wood white.
Branches and branchlets or twigs : Twigs terete densely coated with yellowish wooly stellate hairs particularly young shoots.
Exudates : Reddish sap.
Leaves : Leaves simple, alternate and spiral, 10-34 by 8-26 cm, broadly ovate or circular, sometimes lobed, apex acuminate, base peltate, rounded, margin glandular dentate, blade chartaceous subglabrous on upper surface, very densely covered by stellate hairs below, with 1 to 4 nectaries(+) on lamina near on leaf base.
Petiole 5-22 cm long, very densely hairy as the other parts of the plants.
Stipules linear, falling early.
Inflorescences or flowers : Flowers unisexual, on separate plants. Inflorescence terminal, spike-like, male branched, female pendant, covered with yellowish wooly stellate hairs. Pedicel shorter than 0.5cm. Male flowers small, female flowers with 4-5 yellow styles.
Fruits : Fruit is a capsule, globose, depressed at the top covered with spines bearing dense woolly stellate hairs, splitting irregularly into 4-6 parts.
Seeds : Seeds 4 to 6, ovoid, glossy and black.

Habitat and ecology :

Found in depleted mixed Pine forest dominated by Pinus merkusii, Dipterocarpaceae, Fagaceae and Lauraceae; it is well known in open and secondary growth too.

Distribution :

Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, China, India, the Malay peninsula, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos ( Khammouan, Vientiane,...).

Remark/notes/uses :
The wood is termite resistent but soft and is used for paper making or firewood. The fibrous bark has been used for cordage and to make artificial feathers.

Specimens studied :
BT 497, BT 117, BT 663, BS 171 (Herbarium of Faculty of Sciences-NUoL, NHN-Leiden and CIRAD-Montpellier).

Literature :
Flore Générale de l’Indochine. 1925. Vol. 5, Fasc. 4. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Laboratoire de Phanérogamie, Paris, France.
Tree Flora of Malaya. 1983. A manual for Foresters, Vol. 2. Forest Department, West Malaysia. Multiprint Services.
Gardner S., Sidisunthorn P. & Anusarnsunthorn V. 2000. A field guide to Forest Trees of Northern Thailand. Kobfai Publishing Project. Bangkok. Thailand.
Peter C. Van Welzen & Kongkanda Chayamarit. 2007. Euphorbiaceae. Flora of Thailand, Vol. 8, part 2.The Forest Herbarium, Royal Forest Department, Bangkok, Thailand.
Soraya Sierra & Peter C. Van Welzen. 2005. Blumea No 50.

Top of the page