Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Anisophyllea disticha Jack

Kingdom:Plantae
Phylum/Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Eudicots
Order:Cucurbitales
Family:Anisophylleaceae
Genus:Anisophyllea
Species:A. disticha
Common Names:Leechwood, Kayu Pacat, Pokok Kancil, Kayu Ribu-ribu, Raja Berangkat
Status:Common

Description

This tropical evergreen shrub or small tree has a slender main stem and can grow up to 7.5 m tall. The drooping branches are arranged in whorls around the main stem. It has a distinctive leaf arrangement, in which two kinds of leaves are arranged in four rows in almost the same plane of a branch. The rhombic and asymmetrical larger leaves (2-3 cm) spread in two rows on each side of the branch while the smaller leaves (0.5 cm) are lined in two rows on the upperside of the larger leaves. The undersides of the leaves can be hairy.

The yellowish- or pinkinsh-white, unisexual flowers grow in clusters in the axils of the large leaves. They give rise to ellipsoidal, red, fleshy drupes (2-2.5 cm).

Read more about the Cucurbitales order.
Read more about the Anisophylleaceae family.

Distribution

Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei

General Biology

Found in lowland forests and secondary forests.

Ecological Role

The fleshy red drupes produced by the plant are eaten by birds.

Human Uses

The main stem is a hard wood good for making walking sticks. The roots and flowers are also used as sexual tonics in Malaysia. The Penan tribe in Sarawak believes that the roots have anti-aging properties and it keeps a person healthy.

Other Resources

Johor Biodiversiti Database. Anisophyllea disticha. http://birg1.fbb.utm.my/jbiodi/page.php?pageid=s_found&s_id=14&search1=Anisophylla disticha. (Accessed 17 Aug 2011).

Med-plants.com. Anisophyllea disticha (Kayu pacat). http://www.med-plants.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=88&Itemid=8. (Accessed 17 Aug 2011).

References

Chong, K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & R. T. Corlett, 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 273 pp.

Corner, E.J.H., 1988. Wayside Trees of Malaya. Third Edition. Volumes 1-2. Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur. 861 pp.

Keng, H., 1990. The Concise Flora of Singapore: Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons. Singapore University Press, Singapore. 222 pp.

Tan, H. T. W., 2011. Anisophylleaceae. P. 224. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors), Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development, Editions Didier Millet, Singapore, 552 pp.

Tipot, E., J. Liam, A. K. Sayok, 2006. Tumbuhan Ubatan di Taman Negara Loagan Bunut. Projek Hutan Paya Gambut UNDP/GEF in cooperation with Jabatan Hutan Sarawak & Sarawak Forestry Corporation, Malaysia. 91 pp.

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