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Family Phyllanthaceae

Baccaurea tetrandra (Baill.) Müll.Arg.

Scientific names Common names
Adenocrepis tetrandra Baill.            Katag (Tagalog)
Baccaurea brevipedicellata Pax & K.Hoffm.            Saket (Tag.)
Baccaurea stipulata J.J.Sm.          Red grape tree (Engl.)
Baccaurea terminaliifolia Elmer           
Baccaurea tetrandra (Baill.) Müll.Arg.           
Baccaurea tetrandra is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
BORNEO: Engkuni, Keramaian, Konkuning, Kunau, Kunau-kunau, Mata kunay, Mata pelandok, Mata pelandu, Pundung udang, Pupor, Sekunau.
MALAY: Mata kunau, Kunau-kunau, Enkuni, Tampoi.

Gen info
- Baccaurea is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Phyllanthaceae. The genus comprises 51 species. It is dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants. Many species contain edible fruits.
- Etymology: Species epithet tetrandra is Latin, meaning "with four male parts." (3)

The species grows as a dioecious tree to 4–20 m in height, with a short, occasionally fluted, 1–1.5 m bole. Leaves are smooth, oval, smooth, 5–21 cm long by 2–12 cm wide. Inflorescences of white or green to yellow (sometimes red) flowers occur in the leaf axils and along the branches. Fruits are pink to red berries, with the seeds contained in an edible, blue to purple arillode. (2)

• Shrub or tree 2-20 m high, dbh 3-29 cm, sometimes fluted, buttresses absent; branch-lets (sub)glabrous, often thickened at tip, Terminalia branching pattern well-developed. Indumentum of simple hairs. Bark brown to grey to whitish green when fresh, brown to grey when dry, 0.1-2 mm thick, smooth to slightly rough, corky, peeling off in 5-8 long cm strips, soft; inner bark red to purple to brown to yellow to white, c. 1.5 mm thick, soft. Heartwood brown. Leaves: petiole 4-75 mm long, (sub)glabrous, transverse cracks at base and tip, brown to grey when dry, raised glands present; stipules 3-11 by 1.2-4.5 mm, caducous (to late caducous), glabrous to densely hairy outside, glabrous inside, margin often ciliate, sometimes hyaline; lamina obovate to elliptic, (3.2-)5-21 by 1.5-12.3 cm, l/w ratio 1.4-3.4, papery; base rounded to cuneate; apex (retuse to) obtuse to acute, up to 20 mm long; upper surface glabrous, raised glands usually present, often granulate, (light yellow-)green when fresh, (greenish to brownish) white, nervation slightly raised; lower surface glabrous, nervation subglabrous, raised glands usually present, discoid glands absent, light green when fresh, (pale greenish to greyish) brown when dry; secondary veins (2-)4-9 per side, often closed at margin; nervation reticulate to weakly scalariform, white to brown when dry; young leaves red. Staminate inflorescences axillary to just below the leaves, solitary to 3(-many) clustered together, 1.5-17 cm long, 0.5-1.5 mm thick, sparsely to densely hairy, many-flowered, flowers scattered along inflorescence, rachis white to red to purple; bracts 1 per branchlet, 0.3-2 mm long, persistent to caducous, glabrous to densely hairy outside, (sub)glabrous inside, margin ciliate, not hyaline; bracteoles (0-)2, up to 1 mm long, subglabrous to densely hairy outside, glabrous inside; branch-lets cylindrical, 0-2.5 mm long, densely hairy, 3-flowered. Staminate flowers 1.6-4.5 mm diam., yellow to white; pedicel 0.8-3 mm long, upper part 0.3-2 mm long, densely hairy; sepals 4 or 5, spatulate to sometimes ovate, 0.9-3 by 0.6-1.3 mm, sometimes apically recurved, sparsely to densely hairy outside, densely hairy inside; staminodes absent or 4 or 5; stamens (3 or) 4 or 5, 0.6-1.4 mm long, (sub)glabrous; filaments glabrous to subglabrous, 0.5-1.3 mm long, often apically geniculate; anthers 0.15-0.25 by 0.15-0.3 by c. 0.1 mm; pistillode obtriangular to cylindrical, 0.6-1.3 mm high, densely hairy, usually hollow. Pistillate inflorescences axillary to just below the leaves (to ramiflorous), solitary to 3 clustered together, 2.5-30 cm long, 0.1-2 mm thick, sparsely to densely hairy, 5-50-flowered, rachis red; pedicel 0.5-7.5 mm long, upper part 0-1.3 mm long, sparsely hairy to densely hairy; bracts (1 or) 3 per branchlet, glabrous to densely hairy outside, glabrous inside, margin ciliate. Pistillate flowers 3-12 mm diam., yellow to green (to red); sepals 4-6, obovate to elliptic, 1.5-5.9 by 0.2-2.4 mm, sparsely to densely hairy outside, densely hairy inside, caducous; ovary globose, 1.2-2.4 by 1-2.1 mm, 2-locular, sparsely to densely hairy, pale green; style absent to 0.4 by 0.7-1 mm, densely hairy; stigmas 0.4-1 mm long, cleft for upper up to 90%, white, persistent to caducous; lobes 0.4-0.7 by 0.2-0.7 mm, glabrous with protuberances above, below glabrous to densely hairy with protuberances. Infructescences to 45 cm long, purple. Fruits globose to ellipsoid, laterally flattened, 1- or 2- or 4-seeded, fleshy capsules, 7-17 by 6.5-15 by 6.5-15 mm, loculicidally dehiscent to irregularly splitting, raised glands sometimes present, glabrous to sparsely hairy outside, glabrous inside, red (to yellow to pink to greenish white); pericarp 0.1-1.5 mm thick; column 8-14 mm long, straight, caducous; pedicel 0.5-8 mm long, upper part 0.2-5.5 mm long, red. Seeds globose to obovoid, laterally flattened, 7-13 by 5-9.5 by 3-6.5 mm; arillode blue to purple; testa red; cotyledons often folded, (3-)3.5-7.5 by 4-8.7 by c. 0.1 mm; radicle 0.9-1.8 mm long; endosperm 0.2-1 mm thick. [from Flora Malesiana] (3)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Also native to
Borneo, Maluku, Sulawesi. (1)
- In undisturbed to slightly disturbed mixed dipterocarp and swamp forests up to 1500 m altitude. Mostly on alluvial sites with clay, sand, loam soils. (3)

- Phytochemical screening yielded tannins ++, saponins ++, flavonoids +, steroids/triterpenoids +, alkaloids +, with absence of hydroxyquinones. (see study below) (5)
- GC-MS analysis yielded main chemical components, namely: gamma sitosterol 20.81%, hexadecanoic acid 13.57%, erucyl amide 10.11%, octadecanoic acid 7.14%, and 3-nitro-O-methylateroline 6.00%. (5)

Studies have suggested antioxidant, cytotoxic, teratogenic, angiosuppressive properties.

Parts used
Bark, leaves.


- Fruits are edible; sweet-sour tasting fleshy pulp.
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In Sumatra, bark used for treatment of stomach ulcers. (5)
- Wood: Used for poles and traditional house construction.

Antioxidant / Toxicity:
Study evaluated ten medicinal plant species from North Sumatra for phytochemical content, toxicity, and antioxidant activity. Brine shrimp lethality testing LC50 416.81 ppm (classified toxic is < 1000ppm). DPPH assay showed very strong antioxidant activity with IC50 of 27.06. (see constituents above) (5)
Teratogenic Activity / Leaves: Study evaluated the teratogenic/antiteratogenic potential of leaf extracts of Baccaurea tetrandra and Ficus odorata. Inbred strain of ICR mice were treated with varying concentrations of crude leaf extracts, with or without supplementation of 2,500 IU vitamin A, an established teratogen at high concentrations. B. tetrandra induced a few malformations, suggesting possible weak teratogenic effect. Both plants did not show antiteratogenic activity. (4)
Angiosuppressive Activity / Leaves: Study screened the extracts of leaves of Baccaurea tetrandra, Parameria laevigata, Voacanga globosa, Ficus septica, Uncaria perrottetii, and Aglaia loheri for potential angiosuppressive activity and whether the extracts have synergistic or antagonistic effect with a known antiangiogenic agent, retinoic acid (RA) using the Chorio-allantoic membrane (CAM) assay in Ana platyrhynchos embryos. ANOVA and DMRT tests showed that in all extracts, except P. laevigata, the number of vessel bifurcation for untreated and PBS treated embryos were significantly different. All except P. laevigata could reduce CAM vascular density pointing to an antiangiogenic activity. The extracts showed no synergistic effect on retinoic acid. Tetratogenicity evident in embryo abnormalities was probably due to hypoxia. (6)


April 2024

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Phyllantaceae : Baccaurea tetrandra / Staminate inflorescence / Copyright © 2015 by P B Pelser & J F Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL97049] / Non-Commercial Use  / Image modified / Click on image or link to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Phyllantaceae : Baccaurea tetrandra / Fruits / Copyright © 2014 by P B Pelser & J F Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL91800] / Non-Commercial Use  / Image modified / Click on image or link to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Phyllantaceae : Baccaurea tetrandra / Abaxial view of leaf / Copyright © 2015 by P B Pelser & J F Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL97062] / Non-Commercial Use  / Image modified / Click on image or link to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Phyllantaceae : Baccaurea tetrandra / Fruiting twig / Copyright © 2011 by Leonardo L Co [ref. DOL29987] / Non-Commercial Use  / Image modified / Click on image or link to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Baccaurea tetrandra / KEW: Plants of the World Online

Baccaurea / Wikipedia
Baccurea tetrandra / AsianPlantNet
Teratogenic Activity of Ficus odorata (Blanco) Merr. and Baccaurea tetrandra (Baill.) Müll. in Mice Embryos / Herrea AA, Jobylyn B Ramos, Lerrie Ann Ipulan /
Phytochemical content, toxicity and antioxidant activities of native medicinal plants from North Sumatra / G Pasaribu, T K Waluyo, I Winarni / IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science 591 (2020): 012026 / DOI: 10.1088/1755-1315/591/1/012026
In vivo evaluation of the potent angiosuppressive activity of some indigenous plants from Bataan, Philippines. / A A Herrera / Asia Life Sciences, 2010; 19(1): pp 183-190 / pISSN: 0117-3375 /
CABI Record Number: 20113217858

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,300 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you have a plant to suggest for inclusion, native or introduced, please email the info: scientific name (most helpful), local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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