Soulamea amara Lam.

Last updated: 04 August 2016

Scientific Name

Soulamea amara Lam. (unresolved name)


Cardiocarpus amarus Reinw., Cardiophora hindsii Benth. [1]

Vernacular Name

Indonesia Buwa hati, kayu sulamu (Moluccas); sulamu pohon (Ternate) [2]
Papua New Guinea Dschiri pangpang (Tami, Morobe Province) [2]

Geographical Distributions

Soulamea amara is a coastal species widespread from Borneo eastward to Micronesia and Melanesia, but not found in New Caledonia. In Malesia S. amara is recorded for Borneo, the Moluccas and New Guinea only. [2]

Botanical Description

S. amara is a member of the Simaroubaceae family. It is a shrub or small tree and up to measure about 5(-15) m tall. The young shoots and buds are rusty hairy. [2]

The leaves are simple, spirally arranged, crowded at the apex of the branchlets, leaving large scars, blade obovate-oblong in shape, with a size of measuring 10-35 cm x 4-12 cm, wedge-shaped base, obtuse apex, sometimes mucronate, entire margin, hairy, prominent below midrib while the lateral veins are parallel end in an intramarginal looped vein. The petiole is measuring 3-8 cm long. Stipules are absent. [2]

The measuring of 3-12 cm long inflorescence is an axillary erect raceme. The flowers are bisexual, 3(-5)-merous and small. The measuring of 0.5-1 mm long sepals are hairy, erect and appressed. The petals are concave, spreading, finally reflexed and accrescent to measure about 2.5 mm x 1 mm. The stamens are twice as many as petals and up to measuring 2 mm long. The intrastaminal disk is present. The ovary is superior, consists of 2(-3) carpels, not more than 2 fertile, connate except at the top and with sessile stigma. [2]

The fruit is an obcordate in shape samara, up to measre about 2.5 cm x 2 cm and with hard corky pericarp. The measuring of 0.5-1 cm across seed is round, with thin testa while the cotyledons are plano-convex. [2]


S. amara is a typical constituent of the Barringtonia formation, which occurs specifically on sandy beaches and behind coral reefs. It is sometimes found as a scattered treelet more inland. Under the parent plants, seedlings may be found in great profusion. The fruits seem well adapted to dispersal by seawater. [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 S. amara [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Soulamea amara Lam. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 26; cited 2016 Jun 30]. Available from:
  2. van Valkenburg JLCH. Soulamea amara Lamk. In: van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers, 2001; p. 505-507.