Microdesmis caseariifolia Planch. ex Hook. - EUPHORBIACEAE

Synonym : Microdesmis philippinensis Elmer

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Botanical descriptions Habitat and ecology Distribution

Botanical descriptions :

Diagnostic characters : Small evergreen trees, young twigs grey hairy. Flowers unisexual on separate trees, pale yellow, in axillary glomerule.
Habit : Small evergreen tree up to 10 m high. Branches ascending to main trunk.
Trunk & bark : Trunk straight. Bark smooth, lenticellate, greyish-green, outer bark thin, inner bark yellowish white, softwood whitish. .
Branches and branchlets or twigs : Twigs thin, terete, covered by short greyish hairs when young, becoming glabrous. .
Exudates : Exudate absent.
Leaves : Leaves simple alternate distichous, 7-14 by 3 -4.5 cm, ovate-lanceolate, apex acuminate, base acute to attenuate, slightly asymmetric, margin entire, dentate at least the upper half or slightly undulate, blade glabrous on both sides except along the midrib below.
Midrib slightly raised above, primary vein single, secondary veins oblique to the midrib, widely parallel, anastomosing near margin, tertiary veins oblique. Petiole pubescent. Stipule present.
Inflorescences or flowers : Inflorescence in axillary glomerule, flowers pale yellow.
Fruits : Drupe, 4-7 by 5-8 mm, greenish turning orangish-yellow. .
Seeds : Seeds 2 to 3.

Habitat and ecology :

Common in evergreen forest, especially along streams up to 400 m. Flowering and fruiting throughout the year.

Distribution :

Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, China (South), Indonesia (Sumatra, Borneo), Malaysia peninsular (Type), Philippines, Thailand (almost over the country), Vietnam and Laos (Borikhamxay province).

Remark/notes/uses :
The yellow-brown timber has been used in house building and making fine artistic articles. May be used medicinally but no country reports.

Specimens studied :
BT 113 (Herbarium of Faculty of Sciences-NUoL, NHN-Leiden and CIRAD-Montpellier).

Literature :
Flore Générale de l’Indochine. 1925. Vol. 5, Fasc. 4. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Laboratoire de Phanérogamie, Paris, France.
Peter C. Van Welzen & Kongkanda Chayamarit. 2007. Euphorbiaceae. Flora of Thailand, Vol. 8, part 2.The Forest Herbarium, Royal Forest Department, Bangkok, Thailand.

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