Casearia grewiaefolia Vent

[After J Caesarius (1642-1678), preacher in Dutch East India Company and from Latin, grewiaefolia = leaves like Grewia]

Physical description: It is a rainforest tree which grows to a height of 24 m and a girth of 180 cm. The stems are softly hairy and slightly zigzag-shaped.

Hydnocarpic acid

Chaulmoogric acid

COOH

Hydnocarpic acid

Chaulmoogric acid

Leaves: simple, stipulate, 10 cm x 3.5 cm and spiral. The stipules are deciduous. The blade is tomentose below, oblong, tapered at the apex and squarish at the base, and shows about 20 pairs secondary nerves. The inflorescences are clusters on stems behind leaves. The fruits are globose, ribbed, with persistent calyces, and contain a few seeds embedded in a juicy aril.

Warning: Caution must be taken as the toxic effects of this plant are unknown.

Synonymy: Casearia hexagona Decne, Casearia laurina Blume, Casearia leucolepis Turcz.

Common name: Big-leaved caesaria; utong manok (Indonesian).

Uses: In Cambodia, a decoction of the bark is drunk to invigorate health after childbirth. It will be interesting to learn whether a more intensive study on this plant will disclose any cytotoxic clerodane diterpenes such as casearvestrins reported Casearia sylvestris (Oberties NH etal., 2002).

Continue reading here: Flacourtia rukam Zoll

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