Leea guineensis G. Don

Leea guineensis G. Don




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

Vernacular Names

English West Indian holly (L. coc­cinea).

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


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


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).


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



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