Prunus arborea (Blume) Kalkman - ROSACEAE

Basionym : Polydontia arborea Bl.

Synonym : Pygeum arborea Endl.

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Botanical descriptions Habitat and ecology Distribution

Botanical descriptions :

Diagnostic characters : Deciduous trees, bark flaky and fissured, exudate resinous smelling of bitter almonds. Young twigs covered with brown hairs. Petiole with two glands near the top. Stipules entire, free. Inflorescence axillary, flowers bisexual, cream. Fruit a globular drupe.
Habit : Deciduous tree up to 15 m tall up to 35 cm in diameter.
Trunk & bark : Trunk cylindrical and straight. Bark thin, glabrous and silver grey, finely fissured, lenticellate, outer bark green, inner bark c. 3 mm. thick light brown, sapwood white.
Branches and branchlets or twigs : Twigs terete, covered by dense brown soft hairs when young, lenticellate.
Exudates : Exudates resinous smelling of bitter almonds.
Leaves : Simple leaves, alternate, ovate to elliptic 2-7 x 5-15 cm in length , apex acute to acuminate, base acute, margin entire, young leaves brownish, blade thick and coriaceous, pubescent beneath.
Midrib grooved above, prominent below, densely hairy on both sides. Secondary vein 8-12 pairs oblique, widely parallel, tertiary veins oblique. 2 glands at the base of the lamina, petiole 5-10 mm. Long. Stipule subulate, embracing two leaves, at the branch tip, leaving a brown scar ring when falling down.
Inflorescences or flowers : Inflorescence white, axillary in bundle of 2-4 simple or compound racemes, 2-5 cm. long, pubescent, pedicel very short or sessile. Flowers density hairy. Yellowish-white.
Fruits : Fruit solitary drupe, globular, hairy, about 0.5 cm. in diameter. Green then dark red or black. 2 lobed.
Seeds : Two seeds, brown.

Habitat and ecology :

In mountainous evergreen or dense humid forest from 200 to 500 m. altitude.

Distribution :

India, Pakistan, Chine, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodge and Laos.

Remark/notes/uses :
The trunk is used to make house pillars, and in general construction. The tree has ornamental potential.

Specimens studied :
BT 354 and BT 822 (Herbarium of Faculty of Sciences-NUoL, NHN-Leiden and CIRAD-Montpellier).

Literature :
Dung Vu Van. 1996. Vietnam Forest Trees. Agriculture Publishing House, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Flora of Thailand. 1970-2002. Vol. 2, part 1. Forest Herbarium, Royal Forest Department, Bangkok, Thailand.

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