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Family Malvaceae
Pterocymbium tinctorium (Blanco) Merr.

Scientific names Common names
Heritiera tinctoria Blanco            Malasapsap (Tagalog)
Pterocymbium tinctorium (Blanco) Merr.        Taloto (Tagalog)
Accepted infraspecifics (3) Taluto (Tagalog)
Pterocymbium tinctorium var. glabrifolium (Kurz) Thoth.        Bellflower sterculia (Engl.)
Sterculia campanulata var. glabrifolia Kurz Winged boot tree (Engl.)
Pterocymbium tinctorium var. javanicum (R.Br.) Kosterm.         
Pterocymbium campanulatum (Wall. ex Mast.) Pierre  
Pterocymbium javanicum Wall. ex Mast.  
Sterculia campanulata Wall. ex Mast.  
Pterocymbium tinctorium var. tinctorium       
Clompanus javanica Kuntze  
Pterocymbium columnare Pierre  
Pterocymbium macrocrater Warb.  
Pterocymbium nicobaricum Didr.  
Pterocymbium tinctorium is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
INDIA: Papita (Kannada).
INDONESIA: Beurih, Kelumbuk, Tolutu, Gelumbah.
LAOS: Oy sang.
MALAYSIA: Teluto, Melembu.
MYANMAR: Sawbya.
THAILAND: Po-khiliat, Po-khihaet.
VIETNAM: Duc nang nhuom, Duc nang java, Sao.
TRADE NAME: Amberoi.

Gen info

- Pterocymbium tinctorium is a tropical tree species in the family Malvaceae, subfamily Sterculioideae.
(previously placed in the family Sterculiaceae).

• A large deciduous tree, 30-42 m tall; buttress absent; stem 70-85 cm diameter, tapering, no branches for more than half its length, looks white from far; outer bark gray, usually smooth or with small horizontal ridges, finely fissured vertically; inner bark brown red, laminate; sapwood slightly pinkish to white; terminal branches smooth to striate, lenticels absent. Petiole brown, 2-8 cm long, glabrous; stipules caduceus. Leaves spirally arranged; lamina thinly papery, cordate to ovate, base cordate to truncate, apex acute to acuminate, 7-13.5 × 4-6 cm, glabrous above, pilose below, with 5-7 palmate basal veins, shiny, margin entire, midrib raised; young ones usually lobed, dark green, densely pubescent. Inflorescence a lax, erect, terminal panicle, 5-12 cm long, with dense stellate hairs. Flower unisexual, with male and female flowers on the same plant stalked, in clusters of 3-5, bellshaped, 5-lobed; bract caduceus to semi-persistent, outer surface with stellate hairs, inner surface glabrous; male flower: not seen; female flowers: yellowish white, 5-lobed. Fruit of 4-6 follicles, within a persistent calyx, pendulous, dehiscing before ripening; follicle papery, winged, boatshaped, 6-9.2 cm long, inner surface of wing glabrous with some red dots, outer surface glabrous or with very sparse stellate hairs, inner surface shiny, outer surface look dull, with a prominent dorsal lobe. Seed 1 at base of each follicle, solitary, ellipsoid, 1.5-1.8 × 1.1-1.2 cm, outer surface rough, wrinkled, cotyledon 2, pale yellow, and smooth, between the two a yellow wooly substance is interposed. (2)

- Native to the Philippines. (1)
- Also native to Andaman Is., Assam, Borneo, Cambodia, Jawa, Laos, Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, Nicobar Is., Sulawesi, Thailand, Vietnam. (1)
- Common on alluvial flats; also in evergreen, deciduous or open forests, at elevations up to 1000 meters.

No studies found.

Caution: Many sites mention that the bark and fruits are poisonous. (I have not found toxicity studies on any part of Pterocymbium tinctorium.)

Parts used


- Mention made of bark use as appetizer. (7) (Caution: Mention also made of bark and fruits being poisonous)
- In Zamboanga del Sur, the Subanen tribe of Lapuyan apply poultice of trunk scrapings on fresh wounds. (5)
- In Indonesia, decoction of pounded and boiled bark drunk for headaches, fever, body pains, and rheumatism. (4) Bark used for urinary tract problems. (3)
- Fiber: Bark yields a fiber
; strips of bark used for making rope.
- Dye: Yields tannin; bark used to improve black dyeing of cotton cloth.
- Wood: White, light and soft; perishable;used for construction, making matches, veneer, floats and pulp. Wood is sometimes traded internationally.

No studies found.


March 2024

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Pterocymbium tinctorium / Forestowlet / CC0 / Image modified /Click on image or link to go to source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Pterocymbium tinctorium / Forestowlet / CC0 / Image modified /Click on image or link to go to source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Pterocymbium tinctorium / Infructescence / Copyright © 2012 by P B Pelser & J F Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL52298] / Non-Commercial Use / Image modified / Click on image or link to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Pterocymbium tinctorium / Abaxial view of leaf / Copyright © 2013 by P B Pelser & J F Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL63934] / Non-Commercial Use / Image modified / Click on image or link to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Pterocymbium tinctorium / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Pterocymbium tinctorium (Merrill, 1901) (Magnoliophyta: Malvales: Sterculiaceae: Sterculioideae): New record from mainland India and extension of geographic distribution / Bikarma Singh, Dibyendu Adhikari, Saroj Kanta Barik, Arun Chettri / CheckList, 2013; 9(3): pp 622-625 / ISSN: 1809-127X

Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used for treating urinary tract problems in eastern Indonesia
/ U Nisa, P R W Astana, A Triyono et al / IOP Conf Series: Earth and Environmental Science 905, 2021: 012119 / DOI:  10.1088/1755-1315/905/1/012119
Ethnobotany of Medicinal Plants in the Jalawastu Cultural Village Community, Brebes, Central Java, Indonesia / Umi Nihayatul Khusna, Jumari Jumari, Erma Prihastanti / Egyptian Journal of Botany, 2023; 63(2): pp 457-474 / DOI: 10.21608/ejbo.2022.166112.2156
Ethnobotany of Medicinal Plants Used by the Subanen Tribe of Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur / Jhoan Rhea L Pizon, Olga M Nuñeza, Mylene M Uy, WTPSK Senarath / Bulletin of Environment, Pharmacology and Life Sciences, 2016; 5(5): pp 53-67 / eISSN: 2277-1808
Pterocymbium tinctorium / Wikipedia
Indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants used by ethnic communities of South India / Santhosh Kumar, Krishna Chaitanya, Andrew J Semotiuk, V Krishna /
Ethnobotany Research & Applications, 2019; 18(4) /
DOI: 10.17348/era/18.4.1-112

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 have a plant to suggest for inclusion, native or introduced, please email the info: scientific name (most helpful), local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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