Baccaurea motleyana (Müll.Arg.) Müll.Arg.

Last updated: 15 April 2015

Scientific Name

Baccaurea motleyana (Müll.Arg.) Müll.Arg.


Baccaurea pubescens Pax & K.Hoffm., Pierardia motleyana Müll.Arg. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Rambai (General) [2][3]; rambeh [4]
English Rambai [2], common rambai [3]
China Duo main mu nai guo [3]
Indonesia Rambai (General) [2]
Thailand Lam khae, rambai (Peninsular); mafai farang (Central) [2]
Philippines Rambi (Filipino) [2].

Geographical Distributions

Baccaurea motleyana is native in Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Java and Borneo. Baccaurea species are generally uncommon, but may locally occur as an important element of the lower storey of primary lowland rain forest. They are found in well-drained as well as swampy locations, up to 1000(-1800) m altitude, on a wide range of soils in primary and secondary evergreen rain forest, kerangas and peat-swamp forest. [2]

Botanical Description

B. motleyana is a member of the family Phyllanthaceae [1]. It is an evergreen, dioecious and small to medium-sized trees that can grow measures up to 30(-40) m tall [2].

The bole is straight to rather poorly shaped and/or forked. It is branchless for measuring up to 20 m, measures up to 70 cm in diametre and often with small buttresses or prominently fluted. The bark is very thin, with shallowly finely dippled surface or with minute papery scales and it is red to orange-brown. The inner bark is softly fibrous and often deep red-brown. The crown is rather dense. [2]

The leaves are arranged spirally, often crowded towards the end of twigs, simple and entire. The petiole is often long and kneed at the top. The stipules are early caducous. [2]

The inflorescence is an axillary to cauliflorous. The male inflorescence is narrowly thyrsoid while the female inflorescence is narrowly racemose. The flowers are unisexual and small. The sepals are 4-5 while petals are absent. The male flowers are with 4-8 stamens. The disk-glands are absent or free or connate. The female flowers are somewhat larger while disk is absent. The ovary is superior, 2-5-locular with 2 ovules in each cell and bifid styles. [2]

The fruit is variably fleshy and indehiscent or sometimes dry and dehiscent. It is (2-)3(-5)-locular capsule and with 1-6-seeded. [2]

The seed is often enclosed in a juicy, brightly coloured outer layer. Seedling is with epigeal germination. The cotyledons are emergent, leafy and often bilobed while the hypocotyl is elongated. The first pair of leaves are arranged opposite or alternate while the subsequent ones is arranged spirally. [2]


B. motleyana is cultivated in this region and in Peninsular Thailand, the Philippines and Bali. [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: The line drawing of B. motleyana (Müll.Arg.) Müll.Arg.[2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Baccaurea motleyana (Müll.Arg.) Müll.Arg. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2015 Apr 15]. Available from:
  2. Sosef MSM, Hong LT, Prawirohatmodjo S, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 5 (3): Timber trees: Lesser-known timbers. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher; 1998.
  3. 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. 506.
  4. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute Medical Research. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p.97.