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Family Phyllanthaceae

Flueggea flexuosa Müll.-Arg.

Scientific names Common names
Acidoton flexuosus (Müll.Arg.) Kuntze            Anislag (Tag.)
Flueggea flexuosa Müll.Arg         Anislang (Bikol)
Phyllanthus acuminatissimus C.B.Rob.        Anislog (C., S., L. Bisaya)
Securinega acuminatissima (C.B.Rob.) C.B.Rob.       Hamislag (Bik.)
Securinega flexuosa (Müll.Arg.) Müll.Arg.        Katamangan (Manobo)
Securinega samoana Croizat       Malagau (Buutuan)
  Tras (Magindanao)
  White berry bush (Engl.)
White berry bush is a common name also applied to Botolan (Flueggea virosa).
Flueggea flexuosa is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
FIJI: Pou, Natoro, Baumuri.
FUTUNA: Poutea.
SAMOA: Poumuli..
TONGA: Pomuli.
VANUATU: Namamau.

Gen info
- The genus Flueggea is a plant in the family Phyllanthaceae (previously Euphorbiaceae). The genus contains 16 species.
- The genus name Flueggea honors the botanist Johannes Flüggé (1775-1816), a native of Germany, and author of the famous monograph Paspalum plants (Graminum Monographiae, 19109). (4)

- In Republic Act No 37o of the Philippines that became law on June 14, 1949, Anislag was listed in the 3rd group on the grouping of trees in the context of tree management according to the revised Administrative Code.  (4)
- IUCN Red List status change (2018-2019): Listed as "vulnerable" in 2018, which was changed to "least concern" in 2019. (Reason for change: N: Non-genuine status change (i.e., status changes due to new information, improved knowledge of the criteria, incorrect data used previously, taxonomic revision, etc.) (6)

Securinega flexuosa is a deciduous, shrub or small or rarely medium-sized tree up to 10(-30) m tall; bole often irregular, branchless for up to 6 m, up to 30(-50) cm in diameter, sometimes with indistinct buttresses; bark surface smooth, becoming fissured and scaly with age, peeling in small, thin strips, lenticellate, pale grey to pale brown. Leaves: Leaves arranged spirally but distichous on twigs, simple, entire, with short petioles; stipules small. Flowers: Flowers in an axillary fascicle, unisexual, small, whitish or greenish-yellow; sepals 5; petals absent. Male flowers with 3-5 stamens; disk composed of 5 glands; pistillode present. Female flowers with an annular, crenate disk; ovary superior, 3-locular with 2 ovules in each cell, styles short, connate at base, stigmas deeply 2-lobed or double 2-lobed. Fruit: Fruit drupaceous, many in clusters, fleshy, red turning black when ripe. Seed angled. (3)

- Native to the Philippines.
- In low elevation primary forests.
- Also native to Bismarck Archipelago, Caroline Is., Fiji, Maluku, New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Is., Tonga, Vanuatu, Wallis-Futuna Is. (1)

- Potentially invasive outside its natural range however, it appears to have limited potential of invasiveness in little disturbed native forest communities or on farmlands. (2)

- No studies found.

- Flueggea flexuosa is related to the widespread F. virosa (Botolan), having more or less similar baccate fruits that dehisce irregularly and seeds with hilar invagination. It differs in larger, acuminate leaves and larger floral parts. (4)

Parts used
Leaves, bark.


- No reports found on fruit edibility by humans. However, its almost year-round fruiting is a food source for many bird species, insects, and other fruit eaters (pigeons, fruit doves, etc.) (2)
- No reported folkloric medicina use in the Philippines.
- In the Solomon Islands, a medicinal drink made from the rasped bark is used to treat fever. Shredded roots is medicinally used in New Guinea and Vanuatu. (2)
- In Vanuatu, leaves are boiled and rubbed over the body for curing scabies, especially in small children. The bark is applied in the same way. (4)
- Wood: A source of durable round timber, hard and strong, somewhat brittle. Not susceptible to fungal or dry-0wood termite attack. Used for construction poles (12-15 years) or fenceposts (6-7 years). Used for making booms for outrigger canoes, joists, rafters, tool handles, wooden buttons, etc. (2) (3)
- Agroforestry:
Used as windbreak. Well-suited for boundary plantings for property demarcations, planted fallows, and intercropping.
- Fuel: The wood makes an excellent, hot-burning fuel.
- Dye: Leaves of the red-veined kind are used to stain Pandanus leaves a charcoal color. In Samoa and Uvea, purple juice from the fruit is used as a dye. (2)

No studies found.


April 2024

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Flueggea flexuosa / © Tim Woodward Hurst / CC BY-NC-4.0 / Non-commercial use / Image modified / Click on image or link to go to source page / EOL
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Phyllantaceae : Flueggea flexuosa / Leaf / Copyright © 2018 by P B Pelser & J F Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL131909] / Non-Commercial Use  / Image modified / Click on image or link to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
IMAGE SOURCE: Phyllantaceae : Flueggea flexuosa / Inflorescence / Copyright © 2018 by P B Pelser & J F Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL131921] / Non-Commercial Use  / Image modified / Click on image or link to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Flueggea flexuosa / KEW: Plants of the World Online

Flueggea flexuosa (Poumuli) / Lea A J Thomson / Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry
Flueggea flexuosa /  Agroforestree Database
Flueggea flexuosa / Wikipedia
Flueggea: Malesian Euphorbiaceae Descriptions / C Barker, PC van Welzen / Flora Malesiana
Species changing IUCN Red List Status (2018-2019) / Last updated Dec 2019

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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