Antidesma bunius (L.) Spreng

Last updated: 07 April 2015

Scientific Name

Antidesma bunius (L.) Spreng.


Antidesma andamanicum Hook.f., Antidesma ciliatum C.Presl, Antidesma collettii Craib, Antidesma cordifolium C.Presl, Antidesma crassifolium (Elmer) Merr., Antidesma floribundum Tul., Antidesma glabellum K.D.Koenig ex Benn. [Invalid], Antidesma glabrum Tul., Antidesma retusum Zipp. ex Span. [Invalid], Antidesma rumphii Tul., Antidesma stilago Poir., Antidesma sylvestre Lam., Antidesma thorelianum Gagnep., Sapium crassifolium Elmer, Stilago bunius L. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Buni, buneh, barune, beras beras hitam, berunai [2]
English Bignay, chinese laurel, salamander tree [2], currant tree, queensland cherry, salamander tree [3]
China Wu cao shu [3], wu yue cha [4]
India Soh-syllai [3], airyaporiyan, cerutali, nulittali (Malayalam); nolaidali (Tamil) [3]
Indonesia Buni (Malay); wuni, huni, barunei (Sundanese) [2]; berunai, buneh, boni, wuni [3], buneh (Sulawesi) [4]
Thailand Baa mao ruesee, mamao dong (Chiang Mai); mao chaang (Chanthaburi) [2]; ba mao ruesi, mamao luang, mamao dong, maeng mao khwai [3]
Laos Kho lien tu [2][3]
Philippines Bignay (Tagalog); aging (Ibanag); isip (Pampango) [2]; bognay, bugnay, bugnai, bungee ongal [4]
Vietnam Choi moi [2]
Japan Buni no ki, nanyou gomishi, saramando no ki.[3]
France Antidesme [2][3]
Germany Lorbeerblättriger flachsbaum, salamanderbaum [3]
Portugal Candoeira [3]
Spain Bignai [3]
Netherlands Salamanderboom [3].

Geographical Distributions

Antidesma bunius is found wild in the wetter parts of India from the Himalaya southwards and eastwards, in Sri Lanka, Burma and Malaysia. It may not be native to the Philippines and Peninsular Malaysia, but if so, it must have been introduced in prehistoric times and become widely naturalised at least in the Philippines.  [2]

A. bunius is not a strictly tropical tree, as it also grows and fruits in central Florida. In the tropics, it is found from sea level to elevations of more than 1000 m. In Indonesia, it is grown in the monsoon climate of the eastern provinces as well as in the humid western parts. The tree is common in the early stages of secondary forest succession, invading marginal grasslands. [2]

Botanical Description

A. bunius comes from the family of Euphorbiaceae. It is a dioecious tree, growing according to Rauh's architectural model, 3-10(-30) m tall, with straight trunk and usually branched near the base. [2]

The leaves are distichous, oblong-lance-shaped, measuring 19-25 cm x 4-10 cm, with obtuse or rounded base, acuminate or obtuse apex, entire, coriaceous, shiny and the midribs are strongly prominent below. The petiole is up to 1 cm long. [2]

The inflorescences are terminal or axillary, narrowly spike-like or raceme-like, many-flowered and measure 6-20 cm long. The male flowers are sessile, consisting of a cupular sepal with 3-4 short, rounded, ciliate lobes and measuring about 1 mm x 2 mm. There are 3-4 reddish stamens. The ovary is rudimentary on a fleshy disk. The female flowers are pedicelled, with cupular-bell-shaped sepal, 3-4-lobed, measuring about 1 mm x 2 mm, persistent, with an ovoid ovary with 3-4 stigmas and small disk. [2]

The fruit is a spherical or ovoid drupe, measures 8-10 mm in diametre, yellowish-red to bluish-violet and juicy. [2]

The seed is ovoid-oblong measuring 6-8 mm x 4.5-5.5 mm. [2]


A. bunius is cultivated extensively in many parts of Indonesia, particularly in Java and also in Indochina. In Malaysia and the Philippines, the tree is rarely seen in cultivation. Its distribution in India suggests that it is not by any means drought-tolerant. This plant attains optimum growth on well-drained clay loams under partial shade. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: Line drawing of A. bunius L. Spreng. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Antidesma bunius (L.) Spreng.[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2015 Apr 07]. Available from:
  2. Gruèzo WSM. Antidesma bunius (L.) Sprengel. In: Verheij EWM, Coronel RE, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 2: Edible fruits and nuts. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publisher, 1991; p. 78-79.
  3. Philippines medicinal plants. Antidesma bunius (L.). [homepage on the Internet] c2014. [updated 2014; cited 2014 Dec 12] Available from:
  4. Umberto Q. CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology (5 Volume Set). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2012. p. 332