HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Meliaceae
Goniocheton arborescens Blume

Scientific names Common names
Aglaia halmaheirae Miq.            Kalimutain (Ifugao)
Aglaia macrophylla Teijsm. & Binn.            Mossman mahogany (Engl.)
Alliaria arborescens (Blume) Kuntze             
Alliaria halmaheirae (Miq.) Kuntze             
Alliaria kunthiana (A.Juss.) Kuntze             
Alliaria maingayi (Hiern) Kuntze             
Alliaria nernstii (F.Muell.) Kuntze             
Dysoxylum arborescens (Blume) Miq.             
Dysoxylum arborescens f. ceramicum Miq.             
Dysoxylum arborescens var. timorense (Miq.) C.DC.             
Dysoxylum arborescens f. timorense Miq.            
Dysoxylum forsythianum Warb.             
Dysoxylum gjellerupii C.DC.             
Dysoxylum halmaheirae (Miq.) C.DC.                
Dysoxylum halmaheirae var. subobovatum C.DC.                
Dysoxylum insulare Pierre           
Dysoxylum kunthianum (A.Juss.) Miq.           
Dysoxylum maingayi Hiern          
Dysoxylum nernstii F.Muell.          
Dysoxylum novohebridanum C.DC.          
Dysoxylum rubrum Merr.          
Dysoxylum sibuyanense Elmer          
Epicharis kunthiana A.Juss.          
Goniocheton arborescens Blume          
Goniocheton insularis Pierre          
Hartighsea acuminata Miq.          
Hartighsea sumatrana Miq.          
Trichilia arborescens (Blume) Spreng.             
Goniocheton arborescens Blume is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
NEW GUINEA: Abungusevarak, Ai, Bepon, Meia, Sagowai.
SUMATRA: Kaju kupang, Kaju longgajan.
VANUATU: Nemawte.

Gen info
- Dysoxylum arborescens is a small tree in the mahogany family Meliaceae.
- The genus name Dysoxylum derives from Ancient Greek words dys "bad", osme "smell", and xylon "wood", referring to the unsavory odor of the timber of some species.
The species epithet derives from Latin arborescens, meaning "tree-like", referring to its relatively small stature. (2)
- The species was first described as Goniocheton arborscens in 1825 by German-dutch botanist Carl Ludwig Blume, and given its current combination in 1868 by Dutch botanist Friedrich Anton Wilhelm Miquel in Monographia Meliacearum Archipelagi Indici. (2)

The Mossman mahogany usually grows to around 20 m (70 ft) high, occasionally to 30 m (100 ft), but it may flower and fruit when only 1 m (3 ft 3 in) high. Trunk can reach a diameter of up to 45 centimeters (18 in), and may be fluted or possess buttresses up to 1 m (3 ft) tall. Bark that is grey-brown, smooth or with mild cracking,and which bears large conspicuous lenticels. Leafy twigs are also grey-brown and lenticellate. Compound leaves are arranged in whorls or spirals and are pinnate with 5 to 9 leaflets  , usually with a terminal leaflet. Petioles are glabrous, about 7 cm (3 in) long, and swollen at the junction with the twig. Leaves have 5 to 9 glabrous leaflets which are dark green above and lighter below, and measure up to 18 by 7 cm (7 by 3 in). Proximal leaflets (i.e. the ones closest to the twig) are the smallest, with successive leaflets getting larger, and the terminal leaflet is the largest. Inflorescence is an axillary thyrse measuring up to 8 cm (3.1 in) long which is covered in minute tawny hairs. Flowers are sweetly scented, around 10 mm (0.39 in), and are creamy-green to white with usually 5 petals up to 10 by 2.2 mm (0.4 by 0.1 in). Staminal tube rises from the base of the petals, and has 10 anthers about 1 mm (0.039 in) long inserted close to the distal end. Fruits are slightly flattened globular capsules up to 3 cm (1 in) in diameter, glabrous, bright pink-red in color and usually contains 5 seeds. (2)

- Native to the Philippines. (1)(3)
- In Isabela, Davao del Sur, Palawan, Sulu Archipelago. (3)
- Also native to Andaman Is., Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Cambodia, Jawa, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Queensland, Solomon Is., Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Vanuatu, Vietnam
. (1)
- Very common tree of primary and secondary forests including that on limestone, to 1500 m.  (3)

- Study isolated three triterpenoids, taraxerone (1), 18-epi-taraxerol (2). and masticadienolic acid (3) from stem barks of Dysoxylum arborescens and D. excelsum. (see study below) (4)

- Studies have suggested cytotoxic, anticancer, antimicrobial, acetyl- and butyrylcholinesterase inhibitory properties.

Parts used
Stem bark.


- Fruits are edible.
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In Manokwari, West Papua, stem bark used for fatigue and fever associated with C. neoformans. Bark used for treatment of malaria and fever.
- In Vanuatu, preparation from inner bark drunk to treat kidney pain. (6)
• Wood: The wood belongs to a group of species that is a source of commercial timber referred to as "jarum-jarum". The wood is moderately hard to hard; used for flooring, furniture, wall paneling, solid door construction, veneer and plywood. (7)

Cytotoxic Triterpenoids / MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cell / Stem Bark:
Study isolated three triterpenoids, taraxerone (1), 18-epi-taraxerol (2). and masticadienolic acid (3) from stem barks of Dysoxylum arborescens and D. excelsum. Compounds 1, 2, and 3 showed inhibitory activity aginst MCF-7 breast cancer cells wit IC50s of 792.9, 59.6, and 3.5 µM, respectively. (4)
Antimicrobial against C. neoformans / Bark: Study of 50% EtOH extract of bark showed 20.50 mm one of inhibition against Cryptococcus neoformans. A 90% EtOH extract showed 16 mm zone of inhibition against  Klebsiella pneumonia. (5)
Acetyl- and Butyrylcholinesterase Inhibitory / Leaves: Study of MeOH extract of leaves showed 68.1% inhibition of AChE and 37.8% inhibition of  BChE. (6)
Cytotoxic against Colon Cancer Cell Line HT-29: In a cytotoxicity assay for HT-29, Dysoxylum arborescens showed selective cytotoxic effects on colon cancer HT-29 cells. (6)


January 2024

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Dysoxylum arborescens / Fruit and leaves / Steve Fitzgerald / CC BY-SA 4.0 International / Click on image or link to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons
IMAGE SOURCE: Dysoxylum arborescens / Leaves / Steve Fitzgerald / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Click on image or link to go to source page / Wikipedia
IMAGE SOURCE: Dysoxylum arborescens / Close-up of flower / Jago B / Australian National Botanic Gardens / CC BY-NC-ND / Click on image or link to go to source page / Useful Tropical Plants

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Goniocheton arborescens / KEW: Plants of the World Online

Dysoxylum arborescens / Wikipedia
Goniocheton arborescens / Co's Digital Flora of the Philippines
Cytotoxic Triterpenoids from the Stem Barks of Dysoxylum arborescens and Dysoxylum excelsum against MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cell / Achmad Zainuddin, Sylvia Rachmawati Meilanie, Tri Mayanti et al / Sains Malaysiana, 2020; 49(5): pp 989-994 / DOI:  10.17576/jsm-2020-4905-03
Biological screening of selected traditional medicinal plants species utilized by local people of Manokwari, West Papua Province /  Obed Lense / NUSANTRA BIOSCIENCE, 2011; 3(3): PP 145-150 / eISSN: 2087-3948 / pISSN: 2087-3948 / DOI: 10.13057/nusbiosci/n030307
Ethnobotanical Survey and Biological Screening of Medicinal Plants from Vanuatu / Gesine Bradacs: Dissertation 2008
Dysoxylum arborescens / Ken Fern: Tropica Plants Database / Useful Tropical Plants

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,300 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you know of a plant to suggest for inclusion, please email the info: local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, scientific name (most helpful), and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT