Gluta tavoyana Wall. ex Hook.f. - ANACARDIACEAE

Synonym : Gluta benghas L.
Melanorrhoea usitata Wall.

Common name : Rengas

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Botanical descriptions Habitat and ecology Distribution

Botanical descriptions :

Diagnostic characters : White irritant sap turning rapidly blackish. Flowers bisexual. Fruit a drupe.
Habit : Evergreen tree up to 15 m tall.
Trunk & bark : Straight trunk. Bark flaky, whitish grey, reddish, outer bark dark red, inner bark light reddish.
Branches and branchlets or twigs : Young branches and twigs terete, puberulent, adult ones glabrous.
Exudates : Exudates copious, white irritant sap rapidly turning black.
Leaves : Leaves simple and spiral 6-15 by 2- 4.5 cm, elliptic or oblong, apex acute, base cuneate and slightly attenuate. Petiole flat, glabrous. Margin entire, undulate.
Midrib raised above, primary vein single, secondary veins oblique, 11-15 pairs, tertiary veins reticulate on both surfaces.
Stipules absent.
Inflorescences or flowers : Flowers in panicle terminal or axillary, bisexual, pedicel short, bract and bracteole caducous.
Fruits : Fruit a drupe of 3 - 4 x 2 cm, globose, shortly stipitate, greenish-yellow when young and glabrous when ripen.
Seeds : Seed 1.

Habitat and ecology :

In degraded forest dominated by Pinus merkusii up to 500 m altitude.

Distribution :

Cambodia, China, Malesia, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Vietnam and Laos (Khammouan).

Remark/notes/uses :
The timber is seldom used due to the poisonous nature of the sap but if seasoned could provide a cabinet wood.

Specimens studied :
BT 141 and BT 233 (Herbarium of Faculty of Sciences-NUoL, NHN-Leiden and CIRAD-Montpellier).

Literature :
Tardieu-Blot.1962. Anacardiaceae. Flore du Cambodge, du Laos et du Viêtnam. Vol. 2. Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, Paris, France.
Tree Flora of Malaya, 1978. A manual for Foresters, Vol. 4. Forest Department, West Malaysia. Multiprint Services.

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