Picrasma javanica Blume

Last updated: 29 Jul 2015

Scientific Name

Picrasma javanica Blume


Picrasma nepalensis A. W. Bennett, Picrasma philippinensis Elmer. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Balimbing (Sabah); kayu pahit (Sarawak) [1]
India Bonpashala, chap-alau, nim-teeta, nimteeta, sheng-lauksau, seheng-lokso [2]
Indonesia Tuba ulet (Palembang, Sumatra); pati laler (Javanese) [1]; ki pahit, ki brahma (Sundanese) [1][3]
Thailand Kom khom (Northern); dam, yee nam bai lek (Peninsular) [1], di ngu ton [3]
Vietnam Kh[oor] di[eej]p [1]

Geographical Distributions

Picrasma javanica occurs from North-Eastern India throughout Southeast Asia to the Solomon Islands. It can be found scattered in rain forest from sea-level up to 1500 m altitude. [1]

Botanical Description

P. javanica is a member of the Simaroubaceae family. It is a monoecious or dioecious tree that can reach up to 25 m tall. The bole is fluted, up to 35 cm in diametre. [1]

The leaves are arranged spirally and imparipinnate. The petiole is 2-6 cm long while stipules are early caducous and foliaceous. The leaflets are opposite or subopposite with a size of 4-20 cm x 1-10 cm, wedge-shaped base, blunt-acuminate apex and entire. [1]

The inflorescence is axillary, compound-cymose, unisexual that up to 20 cm long, bracteolate and long-peduncled. The flowers are unisexual with 4-merous, white to yellow or green. The female ones are usually twice as large as the male. Sepals are triangular to ovate, about 1 mm. The petals are ovate-oblong or oblong. The size of male flowers is 2-5 mm x 1-2 mm while in female flowers is 3-7 mm x 3-5 mm. The size is increasing with the age. The stamens are up to 5 mm long in male flowers, 4-lobed disk and hairy. The ovaries are superior and up to 4 and free with styles are up to 4 and united. [1]

The fruit is consisting of 1-4, hardly fleshy drupelets. The drupe is ovoid to depressed-spherical with a size of 9-10 mm x 7-12 mm, green to red or blue, thin exocarp, fleshy, wrinkled when dry and hard endocarp. [1]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of P. javanica. [1]


  1. Picrasma javanica Blume. In: Lemmens RHMJ, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia 12(3): Medicinal and Poisonous Plants 3. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publication; 2003.
  2. 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. 565.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 2. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p. 221.