Galbulimima belgraveana F Muell Sprague

Physical description: It is a tree which grows to a height of 35 m and which has a girth of 60 cm. The plant is common in the mountain rainforests of Papua New Guinea, Australia and Indonesia. The buttresses can reach up to 3 m, with a width of 1 m and a thickness of 5cm-20cm. The bark is greenish brown, bitter, and has a resinous smell. The inner bark is cream-colored and rapidly turns red-brown when exposed to light. The wood is white or pale yellow and very soft. The sap-wood and heart-wood are white to a pale straw color. The stems, underside of leaves, petioles, inflorescences and fruits are densely to sparsely covered with copper-colored peltate scales. Leaves: the leaves are simple, alternate and estipulate.The petiole is 1.3cm-1.5cm long, channeled and glabrous. The blade is elliptic, oblong, hard, 14 cm x 5.7 cm, glossy green above and silvery brown below. The midrib is sunken above and prominent below. The margin of the blade is recurved. The blade shows 13-15 pairs of indistinct secondary nerves. The flowers are bisexual, large, and have a strong unpleasant odour. The perianth is white, cream or brown. The fruits are pink or red drupes which are 1.5cm-3cm in diameter. The fruit pedicel is 2.5 cm long (Fig. 1).

Synonymy: Himantandra belgraveana (F. Muell.) F. Muell.

Common name: Pigeon berry ash, agara, white Magnolia.

Flora Sulawesi

Fig. 1. Galbulimima belgraveana (F. Muell.) Sprague. From: KLU Herbarium 33852, Flora of Sulawesi (Celebes). Ex Herb. Leiden Indonesian. Dutch Expedition 1979. Field collector & botanical identification: V Bal-gooy, 11.7. Geographical localization: South Sulawesi 2°15'-3°3' South — 121°-121°45' East, behind Inco driving, altitude: 500 m. Center near Nickel Plant, disturbed forest on ultrabasic soil.

Pharmaceutical interest: The medicinal properties of Galbulimima belgraveana (F. Muell.) Sprague are attributed to piperidine alkaloids, such as (+)-himbacine, which are structurally shaped like acetylcholine and are therefore muscarinic receptor antagonist/agonist (Zholos AV et al., 1997). These anticholinergic alkaloids have become the focus of attention as a potential source of drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's diseases, cardiac bradycardia and glaucoma.

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