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Family Fabaceae / Leguminosae
Purple milletia
Callerya atropurpurea (Wall.) Schot.

Scientific names Common names
Adinobotrys atropurpurea (Wall.) Dunn Chittagong balok (Phil.)
Adinobotrys atropurpureus (Wall.) Dunn Purple milletia (Engl.)
Callerya atropurpurea (Wall.) Schot  
Millettia atropurpurea (Wall.) Benth.  
Millettia atropurpurea "Ridl.,p.p." ..  
Padbruggea atropurpurea (Wall.) Craib Chittagong Balok (Milletia atropurpurea)
Padbruggea pubescens Craib  
Pongamia atropurpurea Wall.  
Whitfordiodendron atropurpurea (Wall.) Merr.  
Whitfordiodendron atropurpureum (Wall.) Merr.  
Whitfordiodendron pubescens (Craib) Burkill  
Callerya atropurpurea (Wall.) Schot. is an accepted name.. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BURMESE: Danyinnie, Kwe tanyin.
INDONESIAN: Kayu ujau, Meribugnan.
MALAYSIAN: Chicha Chika, Girah payah, Jenerek, Merbong, Tulang daing.
THAI: Kasae, Yee-ni-keh, Sae.
VIETNAMESE Mat tim sam, Than mat tia.
OTHER: Jenaris.

Gen info
- In Thailand, it is the provincial tree of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province. (2)

Callerya atropurpurea is an evergreen tree with a dense dome-like crown, growing up to 30 meters Trunk is cylindrical and slender, up to 45 centimeters in diameter, free of branches for about 13 meters, with steep buttresses 150 to 300 centimeters high, 20 centimeters thick and 4o to 60 centimeters out from the tree. Bark is grayish, smooth and thin. Leaves are alternate, imparipinnate, with 7 to 11 oblong-ovate leaflets, with entire margins and obtuse apex, 6 to 15 centimeters long and 2.5 to 5 centimeters wild, coriaceous, glossy and intense green in color. Inflorescences are compact terminal panicles, 12 to 20 centimeters long, bearing numerous papilionaceous flowers about 2 centimeters long, dark purple. Fruits are ovate to elliptic legumes, dehiscent, 8 to 15 centimeters long and 4 to 6 centimeters wide, initially purple red and brown on ripening, containing 3 to 4 lenticular seeds, about 3 to 4 centimeters in diameter and 2 to 2.5 centimeters thick; occasionally containing only one seed, up to 7 centimeters in diameter. (4)

- Introduced.
- Throughout Southeast Asia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malay Peninsula..

- Widely planted as an ornamental tree.

- Contains anti-tumor compound Millepurone. (see study below) (6)

Poison concerns
- Roots and seeds are poisonous due to the presence of cyanogenic glycosides
- Branches and roots contain rotenone, a broad-spectrum insecticide.

- Flowers emit an unpleasant odor.
- Toxicity of Millettia species. (see study below) (3)

Parts used
Leaves, twigs, roots.


- Tender young leaves are edible.
- In Thailand, called "Saw", fresh leaves are eaten with chili paste.
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- Fish poison: Plant is piscicidal; twigs and roots used to stupefy fish.

- Insecticide: Used as insecticide. Twigs and roots contain rotenone
- Wood: Suitable for medium construction, interior finishing, paneling, furniture, flooring, boxes and crates and ornamental items. (3)
- Fuel: Seeds have potential use as biodiesel fuel.

Millepurone / Anti-Tumor:
A screening study for anti-tumor promoters isolated fifteen isoflavonoids from the plants of the genus Millettia. M. atropurpurea yielded millepurone, an oxidized isoflavone analogue, showed marked inhibitory effect on mouse skin tumor promotion in a in-vivo two-stage carcinogenesis test. (6)
Muscarinic Receptor Binding Activity / Leaves: Study screened 234 extracts of Malaysian plant species for muscarinic receptor binding activity. Millettia atropurpurea leaves showed ± inhibitory activity (1-20%). (7).
Toxicity / Rotenone: Millettia species contain a range of toxic substances, especially isoflavones. The best known is rotenone., found especially in seeds and roots. Rotenone is classified by the WHO as moderately hazardous, mildly toxic to humans and mammals, while extremely toxic to insects. The lowest lethal dose for a child is 143 mg/kg, but human deaths are uncommon because it causes vomiting early after-ingestion. (3)


August 2020

                                                   PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Developing seedpods / techieoldfox / CC by NC-SA / Useful Tropical Plants
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Leaves / Cantiq Unique / CC by NC-SA / Useful Tropical Plants
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Callerya atropurpurea Gousse et graines / Patrice 78500 Unique / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Flowers: Callerya atropurpurea / click on image to go to source page / /© techieoldfox / iNaturalis.ca

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Callerya atropurpurea / Synonyms / The Plant List
Callerya atropurpurea / Wikipedia
Callerya atropurpurea / Ken Fern: Tropical Plant Database / Useful Tropical Plants
Callerya atropurpurea / Pietro Puccio, Mario Beltramini / Monaco Nature encyclopedia
PISCICIDAL PLANTS OF INDIA / Jawale C.S. / Trends in Fisheries Research, 2018; 17(2) / ISSN: 2319-474X

Anti-tumor-promoting effects of isoflavonoids on Epstein–Barr virus activation and two-stage mouse skin carcinogenesis / Chihiro Ito, Hiroshi Furukawa et al / Cancer Letters, May 2000, 152(2): pp 187-192 / https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3835(00)00331-1
Muscarinic Receptor Activity of Some Malaysian Plant Species / LY Chung, KF Yap, MR Mustafa, SH Goh, and Z Imiyabir / Pharmaceutical Biology, 2005; Vol 43, No 8: pp. 672–682

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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