HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Myrtaceae
Decaspermum parviflorum (Lam.) A.J.Scott
Wu ban zi lian shu

Scientific names Common names
Decaspermum parviflorum (Lam.) A.J.Scott Patalsik (Tagalog)
Eugenia parviflora Lam. Silky myrtle (Engl.)
Myrtus parviflora (Lam.) Spreng.  
Nelitris parviflora (Lam.) Blume  
Accepted Infraspecifics  
Decaspermum parviflorum subsp. parviflorum  
Decaspermum parviflorum subsp. quadripartitum J.Parn. & NicLugh  
Decaspermum parviflorum (Lam.) Scott is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online
Some compilations and sites consider Decaspermum parviflorum and Decaspermum fruiticosum J.R. Forst & G. Forst as synonyms, some list them as separate species. This site deals with the issue as separate species until evidence definitely indicates otherwise.
Silky myrtle as common name is shared by Decaspermum parviflorum and D. humile.
Patalsik as local common name is also shared by Decaspermum  fruticosum and D. parviflorum.

Other vernacular names
CHINA: Wu ban zi lian shu.
INDONESIA: Andolok pakal, Kayu demang, Tembagan.
MYANMAR: Taung-thabye.
THAILAND: Khee tai, Krim.

Gen info
- Decaspermum is a genus of the botanical family Myrtaceae, first described as a genus in 1776. It is native to China, Southeast Asia, and various islands in the Pacific Ocean. (6)
- Etymology: The genus name Decaspermum refers to "ten seeds", which is often seen with the plant.

Decaspermum parviflorum is a shrub or tree, to 20 m tall. Branchlets terete, grayish tomentose or sericeous. Petiole 3-7 mm, pubescent or glabrous; leaf blade elliptic, ovate, oblong, or lanceolate, 4-13 × 1.2-6 cm, glabrous or sparsely pubescent, midvein abaxially slightly raised, secondary veins inconspicuous, intramarginal veins 1-2 mm from margin, base cuneate to obtuse, apex usually acuminate with a 0.5-2 cm acumen. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, when axillary then thyrses or rarely some flowers in racemes in more basal axils, when terminal then paniculately arranged and to 9 cm; bracts ovate-lanceolate, 0.5-2 cm, usually caducous. Flowers bisexual or staminate, (4 or)5-merous; bracteoles lanceolate, 1-1.5 mm, caducous. Hypanthium sericeous, 1-1.5 mm. Calyx lobes to 1-2 × 1-2 mm, unequal, ± glabrous, margin ciliate, apex obtuse to sometimes truncate or acute. Petals white or pink, orbicular, 3-4 mm, margin ciliate. Stamens 3-4 mm; filaments pink or white. Ovary 4-6-loculed. Style 3-6 mm; stigma peltate. Fruit 3-5 mm in diam., sparsely pubescent. Seeds 3-12 per fruit. (Flora of China)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Also native to Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Borneo, Cambodia, Caroline Is., China, Fiji, Hainan, Jawa, Malaya, Maluku, Marianas, Myanmar, New Guinea, Samoa, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam.

- GC-FID and GC-MS study for essential oil yielded 35 components. accounting for  97.3% and comprising mainy of monoterpene hydrocarbons (52.5%), with major components of α-pinene (40.5%), ß-pinene (9.2%), ß-eudesmol (8.0%), globulol (7.5%), and ß-caryophyllene (5.1%). (see study below) (4)
- Hydrodistillation study and GC-FID and GC-MS of various parts of D. parviflorumm  for essential oils yielded main constituents of β-elemene (1.68–4.14%), caryophyllene (14.53–43.98%), humulene (3.99–10.74%), eudesma-4(14),(11)-diene (4.83–17.46%), α-selinene (3.65–13.60%), cadina1(10),4-diene (1.0–3.17%), and seline-3,7(11)-diene (1.13–3.20%). Caryophyllene oxide (2.38–3.63%), ylangene (1.22–3.20%), guaia-3,9- diene(1.46–4.50%), eudesma-4(14)-en-11-ol (2.07–2.24%), neointermedeol (1.39–3.25%), aromadendrene oxide-(2) (1.05–1.65%), and naphthalene, 1,2,3,4,4a,5,6,7-octahydro-4a,8-dimethyl-2-(1-methylethenyl)- (0.73–2.47%) were identified only in the flower and fruit. Ocimene (11.87%) and γ-elemene (37.02%) were identified only in the flower. Copaene (8.27%) was identified only in the leaf.

- Studies suggest cytotoxicity and anticancer properties.

Parts used
Leaves, roots.


- Fruit is edible, raw or ripe. Ripe fruit has a sweet flavor.
- Terminal shoots used as seasoning.


- Decoction of roots mixed with leaves and root of Ixora ellipitica taken to treat fever and fatigue.

Cytotoxicity / Three Cancer Cell Lines / Essential Oil:
Study for essetia oil yielded 35 components. accounting for  97.3% and comprising mainy of monoterpene hydrocarbons (52.5%).  The oil exhibited potent cytotoxicity with IC50s of 68.5-70.2 µg/mL against three human cancer cell lines viz., HepG2 (liver), MCF-7 (breast), and A549 (lung). Results suggest potential for development of anticancer chemotherapeutic agents. (see constituents above) (4)


March 2023

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Myrtaceae : Decaspermum parviflorum / Fruiting and flowering twig / Copyright © 2013 by P B Pelser & J F Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL77183] / Non-Commercial Use  / click on image to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Myrtaceae : Decaspermum parviflorum / Floower / Copyright © 2016 by P B Pelser & J F Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL113374] / Non-Commercial Use  / click on image to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Decaspermum parviflorum (PROSEA) / Pl@ntUse

Decaspermum parviflorum / Flora of China
Decaspermum parviflorum / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Essential oil composition and cytotoxicity of Decaspermum parviflorum (Lam.) A.J.Scott from Malaysia / Wan Mohd Nuzul Hakimi Wan Salleh, Nurunajah Ab Ghani, Abu-Baker M Abdel-Aal El-Sayed / Bulletin of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2022; 45(2): pp 679-684 / DOI: 10.21608/BFSA.2022.271589
Constituents of essential oils from the leaf, fruit, and flower of Decaspermum parviflorum (Lam.) J. Scott / Tran Hau Khanh, Pham Hong Ban, Tran Minh Hoi / Arch Pharma Pract, 2020; 11(1): pp 88-91
Decaspermum / Wikipedia


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

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT