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Family Phyllanthaceae
Aporosa frutescens Blume

Scientific names Common names
Aporosa frutescens  Blume            Hauai (Manobo)
Aporosa fruticosa (Blume) Müll.Arg.          Ragsik (Bikol)
Leiocarpus fruticosus Blume            Bastard rukam (Engl.)
Aporosa frutiescens is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
BORNEO: Girak, Kalumanjat, Korosib, Lamog-lamog, Liposu gobuk, Monka-a, Rambai-rambai.
INDONESIA: Sassa lumbut, Sassa benar, Kayu si marlilin, Kayu si topu aek, Kayu malam.
MALAYSIA: Mesekam, Rutam utan, Sebasah.
MOLUCCAS: Ai mbalute.
THAILAND: Khruen, Mai phlong, Som mao.

Gen info
- Etymology: The genus name Aporosa derives from Greek apo meaning "away from", and oros meaning "mountain". The specific epithet frutescens is Latin, meaning "shrubby or bushy".

A small, conical, dioecious tree up to 16 m tall and 35 cm in diameter, but usually much smaller; bark thin, finely flaky, pale brownish. Leaves alternate, simple, papery to thin-leathery, oblong to lanceolate, 6-20 cm √ó 2-6(-9) cm, acuminate, bearing 8-13 small glands along the margins; petiole 6-12 mm long. Flowers unisexual, minute; male flowers in densely flowered axillary, almost sessile, up to 2.5 cm long spikes, each flower with 2(-3) stamens; female flowers in fascicles, each flower with an ovoid-globose ovary. Fruit a subglobose capsule, 1-1.5 cm in diameter, shortly stalked, green to red, usually 3-seeded. Seeds flattened, surrounded by orange-red pulp.

• It is a tree up to 27 m tall with trunk up to 35 cm across. Foliage: Simple, alternate, stalked leaves have papery to thin leathery leaf blades that are narrowly egg-shaped to narrowly elliptic, greyish green to yellowish green when dried, and 6.5-20 by 1.5-7.5 cm. Its midrib is slightly prominent above and prominent below. Flowers: Male flowers are 0.3-0.7 mm long and grow in clusters of 1-4 on flowering shoots that are 5-22 mm long. Its female flowers are 1.5-3 mm long and grow on female flowering shoots that are 2-7 mm long. Its flowers are yellow. Fruits: Its fruits are round, yellow-orange-red, light or brownish-yellow when dried, 9-15 by 10-15 mm, and grow in clusters that are 3-11 mm long. Each fruit bears 2-4 seeds that are ellipsoid, covered with orange-red pulp, and 8-11 by 6-9 by 3-5 mm. (4)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Also native to
Borneo, Jawa, Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand. (1)
- It grows in primary, secondary, and disturbed forests, on hilltops, hillsides, hill ridges, along river banks, roads, lakes, and forest margins, up to 1500 m altitude. (4)

- Dye-fixing properties.

Parts used
Leaves, bark, roots.


- Fruit is edible.
- Leaves, bark, and roots used for fever.
- Mordant: Bark used as mordant in fixing the red dye of Morinda citrifolia.
Used in the batik industry as mordant.
- Dye: Bark occasionally used to prepare a black dye.
- Timber: Wood is hard, yellow-brown; considered second-class. Used for house construction and tool making.

No studies found.


October 2023

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Photos (2): Aprosa frutescens - fruit and leaves /  © Kwan • Nature Love You / Non-commercial use / click on image or link to go to source page / NatureLoveYou

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Aporosa frutescens / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Aporosa frutescens / AsianPlantNet


Aporosa frutescens / C C H Jongkind / Pl@ntUse
Aporoso frutescens / National Parks: FLORA & FAUNA WEB

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 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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