Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don

Last updated: 07 Jul 2015

Scientific Name

Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don

Synonyms

Myrica sapida Wall. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Telur chicak, gelincek, kesami (Peninsular) [2]
English Box myrtle [2], bay berry, Malay gale, myrtle [3]
China Mao yang mei [3]
India Katphal, sombrikha (Sanskrit); achensu, akolich, kayaphul, mahavalkala, marutham, sehlia, soma valka, marulam, marutam [3]
Indonesia Ki keper (Sundanese); samben, woru gesik (Javanese) [2]
Thailand Metchun tua phuu (Phangnga); ruesee sek (Chai Nat); maak-mon-on (Shan-Chiang Mai) [2]
Nepal Jheremsi, kabasi, kafal, kaiphal, kaphal, karbija, karpesi, kawasi, kobusi, namum [3]

Geographical Distributions

Myrica esculenta is native to a large part of South Asia. It is found in the Himalayas of Nepal, in southern China eastwards to Guangdong province, in northern India, Burma, Indo-China and Thailand. In Malaysia, it occurs in Peninsular Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia (Sumatra, Kalimantan, Java, and the Lesser Sunda Islands). [2]

In Southeast Asia, M. esculenta occurs in light forests, where it is locally numerous. It prefers dry, well-drained soils, and can be found on sandy dunes and stony laterites, from the lowland up to 1700 m altitude. In India and China, M. esculenta grows in a subtropical climate on hills and mountains at 900-2100 m altitude. [2]

Botanical Description

M. esculenta is a small, evergreen dioecious tree which can reach up to 15 m tall. The trunk is 40 cm in diametre, crooked and irregularly branched. The bark is greyish-brown and measure 5-15 mm thick. The buds and twigs are usually clothed with long hairs and mixed with scattered sessile glands. [2]

The leaves are arranged spirally, coriaceous, lance-shaped-obovate or oblong-obovate, measuring (2.5-)5-18 cm x 1-4.5 cm, usually wedge-shaped at the base, acute or obtuse at the apex, entire or sometimes coarsely serrate, more or less hairless and minutely glandular beneath and without stipules. The petiole is 2-10 mm long. [2]

The flowers are in catkins, which are borne on stalks up to 8 cm long in the leaf-axils. Each flower is subtended by a bract. The male flowers are with (2-)4 stamens and with red anthers while the female flowers are with an initially hairy ovary and two slender, sharply-pointed stigmas. [2]

The fruit is an ellipsoid drupe, measuring 1-2 cm long, beset with rounded tubercles, red when ripens and 1-seeded. The fruits mature in about 6 months after flowering. [2]

Cultivation

M. esculenta is very rarely cultivated. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation

Dosage

No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing

836

        

Figure 1: The line drawing of M. esculenta [2]

References

  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1 Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited on 2015 July 07]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/tro-50058795
  2. Chengde C, Dawang S. Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. In: Lemmens RHMJ, Wulijarni-Soetjipto N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 3: Dye and tannin-producing plants. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publishers, 1991; p. 96-97.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume IV M-Q. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p.234.