Diospyros wallichii K G ex Williams

[From Greek, diospyros = persimmon fruit and after Dr Nathaniel Wallich (1786-1854), a Danish plant hunter, botanist and physician]

Common name: Pokok tuba buah.

Physical description: Diospyros wallichii K. & G. ex Williams is a timber which grows to a height of 15 m in lowlands up to 700 m, throughout Malaysia, Burma, Thailand, Sumatra and Borneo. The stems are glabrous, lenticelled and terete. Leaves: simple, alternate and without stipules. The petiole is stout, channeled above, glabrous and 1 cm-1.3cm long. The blade is elliptic, lanceolate, 21 cm x 7.8cm-25.9cm x 8.2 cm, papery and glabrous. The base and the apex of the blade are acute, the margin is somewhat wavy and recurved. The midrib is deeply sunken above and raised below, and the blade shows

14-18 pairs of secondary nerves which are raised below, while arching and indistinct above. The tertiary nerves are scalariform. The inflorescences are axillary cymes of minute and velvety flowers. The fruits are brown, velvety, globose, and 2.5 cm-3 cm in diameter. The calyx is vestigial and woody (Fig. 135). The juice expressed from the fruit stains yellow and is very irritating to the skin.

Uses: In Malaysia, the leaves of Diospyros wallichii K. & G. ex Williams are used to treat yaws. The fruits are used to poison fish.

Fig. 135. Diospyros wallichii K. & G. ex Williams. From: KLU 32792. The New York Botanical Garden. Economic Plants of Thailand. Field collectors and botanical identification: Tetsuo Koyama, PJ O' Connor. 4 Feb 1979. Geographical localization: PeninsularThailand, Prov. Pangna, Kraburi District, Songphinong waterfall, 50 m alt., tropical forest.

Pharmaceutical interest: To date, nothing is known about the therapeutic potential of Diospyros wallichii K. & G. ex Williams. The ichthyotoxi-city of the fruits is probably attributed to saponins. The plant may have disappeared before being investigated for pharmacology.

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

Fig. 135. Diospyros wallichii K. & G. ex Williams. From: KLU 32792. The New York Botanical Garden. Economic Plants of Thailand. Field collectors and botanical identification: Tetsuo Koyama, PJ O' Connor. 4 Feb 1979. Geographical localization: PeninsularThailand, Prov. Pangna, Kraburi District, Songphinong waterfall, 50 m alt., tropical forest.

Continue reading here: Family Styracaceae Dumortier 1829 nom conserv the Storax Family

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