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Family Phyllanthaceae
Bridelia insulana Hance

Scientific names Common names
Bridelia griffithii var. glabra Gehrm.           Subiang (Tag.)
Bridelia griffithii var. penangiana (Hook.f.) Gehrm.          

Gray birch (Engl.)

Bridelia insulana Hance            
Bridelia insulana var. subnuda (K.Schum. & Laut.) S.Dressler            
Bridelia minutiflora Hook.f.            
Bridelia minutiflora var. abbreviata J.J.Sm.            
Bridelia morotaea Airy Shaw            
Bridelia palauensis Kaneh.            
Bridelia penangiana Hook.f.            
Bridelia penangiana var. subnuda (K.Schum. & Laut.) AiryVShaw          
Bridelia platyphylla Merr.       
Bridelia subnuda K.Schum. & Lauterb.            
Bridelia insulana Hance is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
INDONESIA: Kanderi besar, Kandri kebo, Ki pahang gunung.
OTHERS: Kenidai.

Gen info
- Bridelia is a plant genus of family Phyllanthaceae, first described in 1806. The genus name Bridelia honors Samuel Elisée Bridel-Brideri by the German Botanist Carl Ludwig Wildenow. (2)

Bridelia insulana is a tree up to 17 m tall, 30 cm in d.b.h.; bark fulvous, nearly smooth; branchlets glabrous, with elevated lenticels.  Leaf stipules linear-lanceolate, ca. 3 mm long, yellowish pubescent.
petioles 3-10 mm long; leaf blade
coriaceous or nearly so, elliptic,
oblong-elliptic or oblong-lanceolate,
5-25 cm long, 1.5-7.5 cm wide, base obtuse, apex acuminate or caudate-acuminate, glabrous or only puberulous abaxially, margins slightly revolute; lateral veins 5-11 pairs. Flowers andogynal grouped into densely axillary glomerules, glabrous except for the sepals and petals yellowish pubescent. male flowers 3 - 4 mm in diameter; pedicels very short; sepals triangular, ca. 2 mm long, 1 mm wide; petals spathulate, 0.3-0.4 mm long; filaments connate at middle under, free and extended; disc shallowly cup-shaped; rudimentary ovary ovoid-conical; female flowers 4-5 mm in diameter; pedicels ca. 1 mm long; sepals as in male; petals rhomboid-rounded, ca. 1 mm long; disc urceolate enclosing the ovary, lacerate with ovary inflated ovary ovoid, styles 2, free, ca. 1.5 mm long, bifid at the apex, lobes linear.  Fruits are drupes, oblong-ovoid or ovoid, 9-11 mm long, 7 - 8 mm in diameter, purple-black when maturity, 1-celled, the stalk very stout, 3 - 5 mm long. (Hong Kong Flora and Vegetation) (4)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Also native to Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Caroline Is., Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Queensland, Santa Cruz Is., Solomon Is., Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand, Vanuatu, Vietnam. (1)
- At primary and secondary rain forests, along rivers, on dry land, sandy, loamy or clayey soils, or on limestone, from sea level up to 1,500 meters.

Study suggest anticancer property.

Parts used


- Fruits are edible.
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- Used for headache. Leaf decoction applied as lotion to itches.  Leaves heated over fire until soft and applied as poultice on sores and ulcerations. (3)
- Dye: Bark used to color saguwer (palm wine) red. (3)

- Wood: Used for house building, light construction, house posts, knife handles. (6)
- Wrapping: In Papua New Guinea, leaves used as wrapping for smokes. (6)

Anticancer Against Hepatoma Cell Line:
Study evaluated the potential anticancer activity of 50% ethanol-water extracts of the six herbs in the Plant Genetics Conservation Project used as complementary medicine viz., Bridelia insulana, T. mucronata, D. winitii, A. harmandii, T. triptera, and C. oblongifolius. The cytotoxicity of the herbal extracts relative to that of melphalan was evaluated using a hepatoma cell line (HepG2). All six herbs exhibited cytotoxicity against HepG2 cells, with IC50s ranging from 100-500 µg/mL. (No details on Bridelia insulana provided by the abstract) (5)


August 2023

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Bridelia insulana fruits / © Wannura / Non-commercial use / click on link or image to go to source page / Wannura
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Bridelia insulana / Close-up of fruit / B Jago / Australian National Botanic Gardens / Noncommercial use / Click on link or image to go to source page / Image modified / Useful Tropica Plants
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Bridelia insulana / Close-up of flower / B Jago / Australian National Botanic Gardens / Noncommercial use / Click on link or image to go to source page / Image modified / Useful Tropica Plants
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo : Bridelia insulana / Abaxial view of leaf / Copyright © 2018 by Edmund B Capuz (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL136989] / Non-Commercial Use / image modified / click on image or link to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Bridelia insulana / KEW: Plants of the World Online

Bridelia / Wikipedia
Bridelia insulana / Ken Fern: Tropical Plants Database / Useful Tropical Plants
Bridelia insulana / PIER: Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Evaluation of the anticancer potential of six herbs against a hepatoma cell line. /  Weerapreeyakul Nathida, Apiyada Nonpunya, Sahapat Barusruk, Thaweesaj Thiimetharoch, Bungorn Sripanidkulchai /  Chinese Medicine, 2012; 7(1): pp 15-21
Bridelia insulana / WFO: The World Flora Online

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

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