HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Thymelaeaceae
Aquilaria cumingiana (Decne) Ridl.

Scientific names  Common names
Aquilaria cumingiana (Decne) Ridl. Alahan (Tag.) 
Aquilaria pubescens (Elmer) Hallier f. Bago (Mbo.)
Decaisnella cumingiana (Decne) Kuntze Binukat (Ak., Bis.)
Gyrinopsis cumingiana Decne Butlo (Neg.)
Gyrinopsis cumingiana var. pubescens Elm. Dalakit (S. L. Bis.)
Gyrinopsis pubifolia Quisumb. Maga-an (Tag.)
  Palisan (Tag.)
  Pamaluian (Bag.)
Gyrinopsis cumingiana Decne. is a synonym of Aquilaria cumingiana (Decne.) Hallier f. The Plant List
Aquilaria cumingiana (Decne.) Ridl. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
INDONESIAN: Giba kolano.

Palisan is a shrub or small tree, growing to a height of 5 meters. Bark is ashy gray, mottled, and smooth. Leaves are alternate, smooth, elliptically oblong, about 15 centimeters long and 6 centimeters wide at the largest, with pointed tip and a blunt or rounded base. Flowers are yellowish, about 1.5 centimeters long, borne in fairly small, rounded clusters. Fruit is pendant and orange-red, containing a single seed and two locules across which it splits upon opening, slightly obovoid or broadly ellipsoid and about 1.5 centimeters long. Seeds are ovoidly compressed, about 7.5 millimeters long.

- Found in primary forests at low and medium altitudes in Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Quezon, Laguna, Camarines, and Albay Provinces in Luzon; and in Catanduanes, Samar, Sibuyan, Leyte, Panay, Mindanao, and Jolo.
- Also occurs in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
- Classified as "vulnerable" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

- The species is considered a source of agarwood.
- Agarwood is the resinous hardwood that is formed in Aquilaria and Gyrinop trees when they are invaded by mould. First-grade agarwood is one of the most expensive natural raw materials in the world. In 2010, the price for superior pure material was as high as $100,000/kg.
- The production of resinous compounds is associated with wounding by insects that probably assist fungal invasion. (3)

- Hemostatic.
- Agarwood considered carminative, heart stimulant, and tonic.

Parts used
Bark, wood, fruit

• Bark and roots used for stopping the flow of blood from wounds.
• Bark, wood and fruit used as substitute for quinine.

• In Malaysia, agarwood used to treat jaundice and body pains. Also used as tonic during pregnancy and after childbirth.
• Incense from wood considered aphrodisiac, carminative and sedative. Used in the treatment of cancer.,
Rituals: Incense and essential oil used in Buddhist, Hindu and Confucian ceremonies. (5) (6)
Essential oil: Essential oil from heartwood used in oriental perfumery. (5) (6)
Bark / Wood: Used for making paper, ropes and cloth.
Wood used for wood carving and for light indoor construction, veneer, and making boxes. (5) (6)
• Agarwood: In wood 15-20 years old or older, deposits pf dark brown, aromatic resin may devolop in the vascular tissue. Wood patterned with this resin constitute the valuable agar wood. Since antiquity, wood has been burned in religious rituals and as incense sticks to release the fragrance. (9)

Info on Agarwood
Agarwood / Agar / Oleoresin:
Agarwood is a dark resinous heartwood that forms in Aquilaria and Gyrinops trees in the family Thymelaeaceae. There are 17 species of Aquilaria known to produce agarwood. The best known among them are A. agollocha, a. malaccensis, and A. crassna. Agarwood-producing Aquilaria species found in the Philippines are A. apicultina (Mindanao), A. acuminata, A. cumingiana, and A. filarial. A dark aromatic resin is produced in response to induction/infection. The yield of agar, an oleoresin, is dependent on the plant species and the infection/induction involved. Phaeoacremonium parasitica, a dermatiaceous fungus has been identified as one of the known fungi associated with agarwood formation.
(2) (3)
Used of Agarwood:
Agarwood is highly valued by luxury perfume, fragrance, and soap manufacturers. Agarwood fragrances are used in soaps and shampoos. It is also used in traditional medicine to relieve pain, asthma, and nausea. In Malaysia, agarwood is mixed with coconut oil as liniment, and used as decoction for rheumatism and other body pains. Pure agarwood is used as incense. (2)

No studies found.
Search yielded no reports on Philippine cultivation of Aquilaria species for agarwood.


Last Updated January 2017

IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo / Image of Thymelaeaceae Aquilaria / Fruiting twig / Copyright © 2011 by Leonardo L. Co (contact: benctan@berkeley.edu) [ref. DOL27026] / Non-Commercial Use / click on photo to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Line Drawing /Image ID: 402626 / Gyrinopsis Cumingiana / (1840-1864) / NYPL Digital Gallery / NYPL

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Gyrinopsis cumingiana Decne / The Plant List
AGARWOOD PRODUCTION- A MULTIDISCIPLINARY FIELD TO BE EXPLORED IN BANGLADESH / Selina Akter*, Md. Tanvir Islam, Mohd Zulkefeli, Sirajul Islam Khan / International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 1: January 2013
OVERVIEW OF THE AGARWOOD OIL INDUSTRY / Dr. Pakamas Chetpattananondh / Paper presented at the IFEAT International Conference in Singapore, 4 - 8 November 2012 'Essential Asia' Pages 131-138 in the printed Conference Proceedings
Aquilaria cumingiana / Synonyms / The Plant List
Aquilaria cumingiana (Decne.) Ridl. / Useful Tropical Plants
Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak Vols 1 - 6 / Author Soepadmo E.; Saw L.G.; Chung R.C.K. (Editors) /
Forest Research Institute Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur.
Aquilaria cumingiana / IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Aquilaria / Google Books

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.

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT