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Articles

Leea guineensis G. Don

Leea guineensis G. Don

Family

Leeaceae

Synonyms

Leea manillensis Walp., Leea coccinea Planch., Leea sambucina auct. non Willd.

Vernacular Names

English West Indian holly (L. coc­cinea).
Philippines

Abang-abang (Tagalog), mali-mali (Tagalog, Pampanga).

Thailand

Kra­dangngaa daeng (Central), khueang khaeng maa (Northern), seesa lueat (Peninsular).

Vietnam

G[oos]i h[aj]c tr[aws]ng, c[or] h[aj]c.

Geographical Distributions

Leea guineensis is distributed from tropical Africa, Madagas­car, India, Burma (Myanmar), throughout Southeast Asia (except New Guinea) to Taiwan and Palau (Micronesia).

Description

Leea guineensis is a shrub, sometimes with a creeping rootstock, or semi-woody branches or tree. It can grow up to 1-5(-10) m tall and its young twigs are smooth.

The leaves are (1-)2 or 3(-4)-pinnate, with numerous leaflets, rachis up to 50 cm long, petiole (5-)10-20(-25) cm long, with obovate stipules, measuring 2-4(-6) cm x (1-)1.5-3 cm, early cauducous and hairless. The leaflets are ovate to ovate-Iance-shaped or elliptical to elliptical-Iance-shaped, measure (3-)8-20 (-30) cm x (1.5-)3-8(-14) cm, wedge-shaped to rounded at base, (long-)acuminate at apex, with repand to denticulate margin, small pearl-glands, inconspicuous and ca­uducous.

The cyme is (3-)10-25(-40) cm long, lax or com­pact, rusty pubescent, with ovate to deltoid bracts and up to 3 mm long. The flowers are red to reddish-orange. The sepal measures about 1-3 mm x 2-4 mm, hairless to pubescent, with red to citrous-white staminodial tube and about 2-3 mm long. The upper part is 1.5-2.5 mm long, with shallowly retuse lobes, notched or cleft, shallow sinuses and (4-)6(-8)-celled ovary.

The berry is 5-15 mm in diametre, red and 6-seeded. The seed measures 6 mm x 5 mm.

Ecology / Cultivation

Leea guineensis is found in secondary and primary vegetation in Tai­wan, the Philippines and Micronesia; throughout the remainder of Malaysia, it is rather rare in pri­mary forests and shaded localities, but a common component of secondary vegetation in mainland Asia and Africa, from sea level up to 1500 m alti­tude.

Line Drawing / Photograph

leea_guineensis

References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2.