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Family Chrysobalanaceae
Maranthes corymbosa Blume

Scientific names Common names
Exitelia corymbosa (Blume) Blume Alamag (Tag.)
Exitelia multiflora (Korth.) Walp. Bingas (Tag.)
Ferolia corymbosa (Blume) Kuntze Merbatu (Phil.)
Ferolia griffithiana (Benth.) Kuntze Sea beam (Engl.)
Ferolia minutiflora Kuntze White cloud tree (Eng.)
Ferolia salicifolia (C.Presl) Kuntze  
Grymania salicifolia C.Presl  
Maranthes corymbosa Blume  
Maranthes multiflora Korth.  
Parineri corymbosa (Blume) Miq.  
Parineri griffithiana Benth  
Parineri maranthes Blume  
Parineri multiflora (Korth) Miq.  
Parineri palauensis Kaneh.  
Parineri petiolata Malm  
Parineri racemosa S.Vidal  
Parineri salicifolia (C.Presl) Miq.  
Petrocarya griffithiana (Benth) Miers  
Petrocarya maranthes (Blume) Miers  
Maranthes corymbosa Blume is an accepted name. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
FRENCH: Liusine.
INDONESIA: Bangkawang, Kayu batu, Kalek keruseng, Kolaka
MALAYSIA: Bangkawang, Merbatu laut, Nyalin lain
THAI: Chi khat phen, Chi ot phen

Gen info
- Maranthes is a genus of plant in the family Chryobalanaceae, described as a genus in 1825.
- Etymology: The genus is derived from Greek 'maraino', meaning  'to wither', referring to the long-persistent withered calyx and stamens before the fruit. (6) The species epithet "corymbosa" is  Greek for "cluster", referring to the clustered inflorescences.
- In Singapore, Maranthes corymbosa is listed as a Heritage Tree . Two are found at the Fort Canning Park. (6)

Maranthes corymbosa is a tree growing up to 40 meters with trunk diameter of up to 1.5 meters. Bark is smooth, grey brown, and hard. Leaves are alternate, stalked. Leaf blade is leathery,  oblong-lanceolate or oblong-ovate, 6.5-14 by 2.5-8 cm. Leaves have 2 prominent glands at the junction of the leaf stalk and the lower leaf surface Flowers are about 10 mm  wide, growing  on branched flowering  shoots. Petals are white, tinged with pink, 3-6 mm long. . Edible fruit is ellipsoid, 3-4 by 1.5-2 cm. (3)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Also native to Bismark Archipelago, Borneo, Caroline Is., Jawa, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, New Guinea, Northern Territory, Queensland, Santa Cruz Is., Sulawesi, Sumatra, Thailand.
- Found in forests from sea level to 1,500 meters elevation.
- Fruit is popular with many bird species and may account for its wide distribution.

No studies found.

- Study has suggested antitumor, photocytotoxic properties.

Parts used
Stem bark.


- Fleshy fruit is edible.
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.    
- Stem bark of this species has shown antitumor activity.
- Construction: Wood used for posts and various construction needs. (2)

- Agroforestry: One of the most cyclone and termite resistant shade trees. (4)
Suitable for planting in streetscapes, parks, and gardens for its bushy crown. (3)

Photocytotoxicity / HL60 Human Leukemia Cell Line:
Study evaluated 155 extracts from 93 terrestrial species of plants for photo-cytotoxic activity using HL60 human leukemia. Twenty nine plants including Maranthes corymbosa were able to reduce the cell viability by more than 50%. Results suggest the main photosensitisers from terrestrial plants are likely based on the cyclic tetrapyrrole structure and photosensitisers with other structures, if present, are present in minor amounts or are not as active as those with the cyclic tetrapyrrole structure. (5)


Updated October 2022
January 2022

IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Maranthes corymbosa flowering stem / Credit: © Australian National Botanic Gardens--Photograper: G Sankowsy / click on image to go to source page / Aust. Nat. Bot. Gar
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / Chrysobalanaceae : Maranthes corymbosa / Flowering twig / Copyright © 20124 by  P B Pelser & J F Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL52015] / Non-Commercial Use / click on image to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Maranthes corymbosa / Wikipedia
Maranthes corymbosa / Ken Fern: Tropical Plants Database / Useful Trppical Plants
Maranthes corymbosa / Synonyms / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Maranthes corymbosa (White Cloud Tree) / Territory Native Plants
Systematic analysis of in vitro photocytotoxic activity in extracts from terrerstrial plants in Peninsula Malaysia for photodynamic therapy / Cheng Yi Ong, Hong Boon Lee et al / Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, 2009; 96: pp 216-222

Maranthes corymbosa Blume / National Parks: FLORA & FAUNA WEB

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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