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Family Verbenaceae
Tectona philippinensis Benth. & Hook.f. ex Merr.

Scientific names Common names
Jatus philippinensis Kuntze            Bunglas (P. Bis.)
Tectona philippinensis Benth. & Hook.f. ex Merr.            Malabayabas (Tagalog)
  Malamolawin (Tagalog)
  Malapangit (Tagalog)
  Philippine teak (Engl.)
Tectona philippinensis Benth. & Hook.f. ex Merr. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Gen info
- Tectona philippinensis was first described by British botanists George Bentham and Joseph D. Hooker (1876) based on specimens deposited at London's Kew Herbarium. The species was collected by English naturalist Hugh Cuming (1432) from the shores of Batangas, Philippines. (7)

The Philippine teak is a small to medium sized tree with bright purple blooms. The species can attain a height of 15 to 25 meters and a diameter of around 50 centimeters. It has leaves which are 8 to 15 cm long and 3 to 6 cm wide elliptical to ovate lanceolate, acuminate, light green above and pale beneath with rough surface. It has terminal flowers sometimes in the upper axils around 8 x 10 mm in diameter. The fruits are very small which are enclosed in enlarged persistent calyx with bony endocarp and thin exocarp. The seeds are oblong. It has grayish trunk with thin flaking bark similar to that of guava. The wood is hard and heavy with relative density of 0.710. It is light yellow with slightly wavy grain. The texture is fine and glossy. (8)

- Endemic.
- Found in coastal to lowland limestone forest. In thickets and secondary forests at low altitudes in Batangas, Iling Island in Mindoro, and Mt. Makiling in Laguna. Also thrives in remaining patches of molave forests and in ravine and abyss and on relief limestone hills. (8)
- IUCN classified as "critically-endangered" due to rapid decline in population from land conversion and logging.

- Air-dried leaves of Tectona philippinensis yielded 5-hydroxy-3,7,4′-trimethoxyflavone (1), 5,4′-dihydroxy-3,7-dimethoxyflavone (2), squalene (3), a mixture of lupeol (4a) and β-amyrin (4b), chlorophyllide a (5), and hydrocarbons. (see study below) (6)
- Air-dried leaves of Tectona philippinensis afforded four new chromomoric acid derivatives (1, 2, 3a and 3b). Antimicrobial testing was carried out against a panel of bacteria and fungi. (9)

- Studies have suggested antimicrobial, dye-producing properties.

Parts used
Leaves, oil.


- Fruits reportedly edible, sweet. Apical bud eaten as vegetable.
- Decoction of the fresh dried leaves used for menstrual disorders and hemorrhages. (8)
- Oil from nuts used as hair growe; also applied to treat skin irritations. (8)
- Dye: Leaves can be source of natural dye. (see study below)
- Wood: Highly valued in the construction industry.  With its high density and  strength, species is suitable for heavy duty structural use such as building ships and sailboats, bridges and wharves, mine timber, posts and beams, railway carriage,  heavy duty furniture, and wood carving. (8)
- Fuel: Also used as firewood.

Natural Dye / Leaves:
Study reports on the development of an alternative dye from Philippine teak leaves. Leaves were boiled in tap water for one hour as solvent for dye extraction. The extracted dye was reddish in color. Results showed the dye was acceptable to technical evaluators from Philippine Textile Research Institute in measures of laundering, perspiration, and light. The teak leaves can be a source of natural dye of different shades of color using different fabrics and mordant and a substitute for synthetic dyes. (5)
Antimicrobial / Air-Dried Leaves: Study on air-dried leaves of Tectona philippinensis yielded 5-hydroxy-3,7,4′-trimethoxyflavone (1), 5,4′-dihydroxy-3,7-dimethoxyflavone (2), squalene (3), a mixture of lupeol (4a) and β-amyrin (4b), chlorophyllide a (5), and hydrocarbons. Compounds 1 and 2 showed low antifungal activity against Candida albicans and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. Compound 1 showed low antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. (6)


October 2023

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Lamiaceae-Tectona philippinensis / Flower / Copyright © 2012 by Philip Cruz (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL97185] / Non-Commercial Use  / click on image or link to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Lamiaceae-Tectona philippinensis / Tree / Copyright © by Errol Abada Gatumbato / Non-Commercial Use  / click on image or link to go to source page / Sugar Industry in Negros contributed to the depletion of Philippine teak / ErrolAbadaGatumbato
IMAGE SOURCE: Lamiaceae-Tectona philippinensis / Abaxial view of leaf surface / Copyright © 2012 by Philip Cruz (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL97216] / Non-Commercial Use  / click on image or link to go to source page  / image modified / Phytoimages.siu.edu

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Tectona philippinensis /  
KEW: Plants of the World Online
Tectona philippinensis - Philippine teak / IUCN:Red Lit of Threatened Species / eISSN: 2307-8235 /
DOI: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-
Tectona grandis Linn. f. secondary metabolites and their bioactive potential: a review / Lucero Paola Chavez-Salgado, Virginie Vandenbossche, Gerard Vilarem / iForest-Biogeosciences and Forestry, 2022; Vol 15: pp 112-120 / DOIL 10.3832/ifor3714-015
DEVELOPMENT OF AN ALTERNATIVE NATURAL DYE FROM PHILIPPINE TEAK LEAVES (Tectona philippinensis) / Jeelene B Asiong, Shanice A Facto, Janine O Nidua, Annalyn N Gebe /  Journal of BIMP-EAGA Regional Development, 2017; 3(2) / DOI: 10.51200/jbimpeagard.v3i2.1039
Secondary metabolites from Tectona philippinensis / Consolacion Y Ragasa, Maria Claribel Lapina, Jadz Jevz Lee, Emelina H Mandia, John A Rideout / Natural Product Research, 2008; 22(9): pp 820-824 /  DOI: 10.1080/14786410701640551
Endemic Philippine teak (Tectona philippinensis Benth. & Hook. f.) and associated flora in the coastal landscapes of Verde Island Passage, Luzon Island, Philippines / Anacleto M Caringal, Inocencio E Buot Jr, Elaine Loreen C Villanueva / Current Science, 2021; 120(6)
Philippine Teak - Tectona philippinensis Benth. & Hook.f. / RISE: Research Information Series on Ecosystems, 2017; 29(1)
Chromomoric acid derivatives from Tectona philippinensis / Consolacion Y Ragasa, Myrna M Tepora, Dinah H Espinelli, Emelina H Mandia, John A Rideout / J Nat Prod., 2008; 71(4): pp 701-705 /
DOI: 10.1021/np0704304

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 know of a medicinal plant, native or introduced, to suggest for addition to the compilation, please email the info: local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, scientific name (most helpful), and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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