Excoecaria agallocha L

[From Latin, excoecare = to deprive of sight and agallochum = a soft, resinous wood of highly aromatic smell, burnt in Asia as a perfume]

Common names: Blinding tree, tiger's milk tree; arbre aveuglant (French); kayau (Burma); tuku (Fiji); buta buta, bebuta (Malay); buta de Philippinas (Spanish); agaru (Sanskrit); tillai-cheddi (Tamil).

Uses: The sap of Excoecaria agal-locha L. is well-known throughout the Asia-Pacific as corrosive and is applied externally as a counter-irritant remedy. In Burma, the leaves are used to treat epilepsy. In Indonesia, the oil distilled from the wood is used to assuage itchiness and skin affections. In Malaysia, the latex is used for criminal purposes. In Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, the oil expressed from the seeds is applied externally to assuage itchiness. In the Philippines, the latex is Fig"2^ ^^f a9allocnhaiL From- KLU , Herbarium 27930. Plants of Ceylon. Field Col-

used to heal ulcers and wounds occa- tectorS: Gerrit Davidse & DB Sumithraarachchi,

sioned by poisonous fish._ 3 Dec 1974. Geographical localization: Eastern

Province, Batticaloa District ca. 4 miles North-

Physical description: It is a small, west of Batticaloa, altitude 3 mi. near mile post crocked, twisted, dioecious and lean- 4/6 on the road toTrinc°malee. Botamcal identi-

. , . . 0 , ■ ,. fication: LC Wheeler, 1976. From: KLU Herbar-

ing tree of about 3m-10m height .-, , M „

a a ium 040755. Flora of the Northern Mariana

which grc>ws in the mangrOves, tidal Islands, University of Guam Herbarium, Tinian.

forest, beach, rocky shores and coastal forests of India, Ceylon, Mariana's Islands, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Fiji, Ryukyu Islands, Pacific Islands and New Caledonia. The trunk exudes an abundantly white latex which blisters the skin and causes temporary blindness. The stem bark is lenticelled and greyish. Leaves: dull, dark green above, and green below, spiral, and without stipules. The petiole is grooved, and 8mm-1.6cm long. The blade is elliptic-lanceolate to obovate, 2.3 cm x 3.6 cm-3.3 cm x 6 cm. The margin is serrate, and the midrib is sunken above and raised below. The flowers are very small, attached to short axillary and whitish spikes, occurring in small groups subtended by glanded and overlapping bracts. The perianth comprises of 3 sepals. The male flowers have 3 stamens, and the female flowers have a 3-locular ovary, from which spread into 3 undivided styles joined at the base. The fruits are 3-lobed, woody, glabrous capsules, 7mm-1 cm in diameter, which split into 3 bivalved parts, leaving a central, and winged column. Vestigial calyx and stigma are present. The seeds are ovoid, smooth and 3 mm x 2.5 mm (Fig. 207).

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