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Family Symplocaceae
Symplocos fasciculata Zoll.

Scientific names Common names
Dicalix tinctorius Blume Agosip (Phil.)
Eugenioides fasciculatum Kuntze Bangkunai (P. Bis.)
Serjania tinctoria Sandifort Himamaliu (Phil.)
Symplocos fasciculata Zoll.  
Symplocos fasciculata var. blumeana Koord. & Valeton  
Symplocos fasciculata var. minor Miq.  
Symplocos phanerophlebia Merr.  
Symplocos fasciculata Zoll. is an accepted name. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
BRUNEI: Giak, Girak, Gumiting puteh, Jirah, Jirak, Labah, Leboh, Loboh, Njam-njam, Pachal ambok.
INDONESIA: Jirak (Sundanese), Jirek (Javanese), Kayu loba-loba (Sumatra), Sasah.
MALAYSIA: Merpadi paya, Nasi-nasi, Pokok lukut (Peninsular), Kerenang, Menasi.
SUMATRA: Djarak bulau, Djirok, Kekatja, Lelebah, Pipi udan, Lebomelukut, Hapu-hapu, Havu-havu.

Gen info
- Symplocos is a genus of flowering plants in the order Ericales. It contains about 300 species, many in the humid tropical regions. It is sometimes considered the only genus in the family Symplocaceae.

Symplocos fasciculata is a shrub, or less often a tree to 22 m high and 50 cm diameter. Twigs sparsely pilose, puberulous, or appressedly pubescent, glabrescent, often zigzag. Leaves alternately or (on the leaders) spirally arranged, glabrous above, sparsely appressedly fine-hairy beneath, rarely patently hirsute, especially on midrib and nerves and towards the margin, (narrowly) elliptic or sometimes ovate, acuminate to caudate with acute to rounded base, 5-13(-18) by 2-4.5(-6) cm; nerves (4-)6-8(-11) pairs, meeting in a looped intramarginal vein; petiole 2-8 mm. Flowers in a fascicle of reduced, often branched, racemes to 2.5 cm long. Bracts and bracteoles persistent, minute (rarely to 3 mm), as the axis pubescent; often several bracts present, indicating the origin from a more branched inflorescence, Pedicel 1-5 mm, pubescent. Calyx divided into (4-)5(-6) broadly ovoid, rounded, appressed pubescent or glabrous lobes, c. 1 mm long but sometimes the lobes different in size. Often some of the lobes petaloid. Corolla glabrous or more often with minute hairs towards the outer base, rarely some hairs on the back too, 2-4.5 mm. Stamens 12-35. Disk glabrous to more or less pilose, low annular. Ovary appressedly hairy, c. 1 mm high ; style hairy, especially towards the thickened base, rarely glabrous, 2-3.5 mm. Fruit broadly or narrowly ampulliform, often curved, the belly globose or ovoid, the neck broadly conical, dark violet-blue or cobalt-blue, 5-7 by 3-5 mm; stone brain-like grooved without or with c. 10 shallow grooves. Seed 1, much lobed, with slightly curved embryo. (From Flora Malesiana) (1)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Also native to Borneo, Jawa, Malaya, Nicobar Is., Sulawesi, Sumatera. (2)
- Grows primarily in the wet tropical biome.
- Primary high and open secondary forests and thickets and disturbed forests.

- Study suggested that the mealy sweet taste and smell of roots and leaves suggest the presence of tannin or phenol compounds. (6)
- Study suggested high quantity of saponin.

Parts used
Bark, leaves.


- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- Juice from pounded bark used to treat eye sores.
- Powdered bark is placed in a bowl and covered, then left outside during the day, the condensate formed is used to treat sore eyes. (5)
- Bark used for treating aphtha.
- Dye: Leaves and inner bark yield alum used as mordant and dyestuff. Decoction used to produce red and brown dyes, which are used in the Batik industry in Java and for dyeing rattans.
- Wood: Used for furniture making, light and temporary construction.

No studies found.


November 2022

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Symplocos fasciculata Zoll. / Michael Kesi / CC by NC / click on image to go to source page / BioLib

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Symplocos fasciculata / PROSEA: Plant Resources of Soouth-East Asia
Symplocos fasciculata / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Symplocos fasciculata / AsianPlant
Symplocos / Wikipedia
Symplocos fasciculata / Ken Fern: Tropical Plants Database / Useful Tropical Plants
Medicinal properties of Bornean Orangutan food plants in
Gunung Beratus protected forest, East Kalamintan, Indonesia / Tri Atmoko

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

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