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Family Verbenaceae
Callicarpa candicans (Burm.f.) Hochr.

Scientific names Common names
Callicarpa adenanthera R.Br. Alalui (C. Bis.)
Callicarpa bicolor Juss. Alayo-ti-manok (Pang.)
Callicarpa cana L. Anobrang (Ilk.)
Callicarpa candicans (Burm.f.) Hochr. Anuyup (Ibn., Ilk.)
Callicarpa heynei Roth. Palis (Tag.)
Callicarpa rheedei Kostel. Papalsis (Tag.)
Callicarpa sinensis Steud. Tambalasi (Tag.)
Callicarpa sumatrana Miq. Tambulbasi (Sul.)
Callicarpa tomentosa Lam. [Illegitimate] Tigau (Bis., Bik., Tag.)
Urtica candicans Burm.f. Tigau-na-itim (Tag.)
  Tigaw (Tag.)
  Tubang-dalag (Tag.)
  Great woolly Malayan lilac (Engl.)
  Malabar hoary (Engl.)
  Purple-berried Malayan lilac (Eng.)
Palis, in Dr. E. Quisumbing's compilation, is a local name shared by (1) Callicarpa cana Linn. (2) Callicarpa formosana Rolfe (3) Callicarpa erioclona (4) Abutilon indicum, malbas, palis (Bis).
Callicarpa cana is a species of beautyberry found in southeast Asia.
Tubang-dalag is a local name shared by (1) Tigau, Callicarpa cana (2) Callicarpa erioclona (3) Callicarpa formosana
Callicarpa cana L. is a synonym of Callicarpa candicans (Burm.f.) Hochr. The Plant List
Callicarpa candicans (Burm.f.) Hochr. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
INDONESIAN: Kembu-kembu.
JAPANESE: Kuroshikibu, Uotorishikibu.

- Callicarpa means "beautiful fruit" from the Greek words words kalios (beauty) and carpos (fruit), Candicans is Latin for "whitish." (7)

Tigau is a shrub, 2 to 4 meters high. Young branches, inflorescences, petioles, and lower surface of the leaves are densely covered with short, grayish or whitish, stellately arranged hairs. Leaves are oblong-ovate, 6 to 14 centimeters long, 2.5 to 5 centimeters wide, sharply toothed at the margin, and pointed at both ends. Cymes are short-stalked, borne in the axils of the leaves, and 2 to 4 centimeters long. Flowers are pale purplish or lavender, and about 3 millimeters long. Fruit is fleshy, pale lavender, rounded and 4 to 5 millimeters in diameter.

C. cana differs from C. americana in having stems and leaf undersides more tomentose, and especially in the racemes being more lax, the berries in the latter crowded together to look like one fruit.

- In thickets and secondary forests at low altitudes from northern Luzon to Palawan and Mindanao, in most or all islands and provinces.
- Also occurs in the Malay Peninsula and Archipelago to the Bismarck Archipelago, and in the Marianne, Caroline, and Palau Islands.

- Fruit is said to be poisonous to chickens. Also, used as poison for fishing.
- Leaves considered emmenagogue, depurative, and vulnerary.

Parts used
Leaves, roots.


- Roots sometimes used to make herbal medicinal drinks.
- In Yap, fruits reportedly sometimes eaten raw. (9)
- In the Philippines, leaves are smoked to relieve asthma.
- Fresh leaves applied externally as plaster for gastralgia.
- In India, root decoction is given for fever and to remove hepatic obstruction. Also used for skin diseases and as a wash for aphthae in the mouth.
- In Malaya, leaf decoction used for abdominal problems.
- In Java, decoction of leaves used for bringing on menstruation. Leaves used for poulticing boils and wounds.
- In Indonesia, used for skin rash and skin inflammation caused by bacteria. (8)
- Infusion of leaves used as depurative.
- Use of the plants similar to those of Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry). C. americana is used as a folk remedy. As insect repellent, the leaf is rubbed on the skin to deter ticks, ants, and mosquitoes. Root bark is used as diuretic, and as treatment for dysentery and stomachaches. Decoction made from berries and roots used to treat colic.
- In Yap, flowers, bark, and leaves used as medicine. (9)
- Fish poison
: In the Philippines the leaves are pounded and used as to stupefy fish, particularly for mud fish (dalag). In Palau, also used to stupefy fish.
- Fruit is reported to be poisonous to chickens.
- Shoots used in arrow poisons.
- After drying, used as bait for prawns.

- Bark chewed as substitute for betel nut. (7)

Callicarpone / Fish Killing Component / Leaves:
Study isolated a fish-killing component, callicarpone, C20H28O4, from the leaf of Callicarpa candicans. The toxicity to fish was reported to be as strong as rotenone and ten times stronger than sodium pentachlorophenoxide. (5)
• Antibacterial / Leaves:
Study showed the leaf extracts of C. candicans (kembu-kembu) showed antibacterial activity against Bacillus sp., Escherichia coli, Serratia marcescens, and Staphylococcus aureus. (8)


Updated May 2017 / January 2014

© Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
IMAGE SOURCE: Callicarpa candicans (Burm.f.) Hochr. [as Callicarpa cana L.] / Curtis's Botanical Magazine, vol. 47: t. 2107 (1820) [n.a.] / Plant Illustrations
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / File:Callicarpa formosana Blanco2.427b.jpg / Plate from book / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Lamiaceae Callicarpa / Plants For Use
Callicarpa Cana / Malabar Hoary / Curtis's botanical magazine, or, flower-garden ..., Volume 47; Volume 1820 / John Sims / Google Books
AMERICAN BEAUTYBERRY / Callicarpa americana L. / USDA NRCS NRCS East Texas Plant Materials Center / USDA NRCS
Callicarpa candicans / Synonyms / The Plant List
Studies on Fish-killing Components of Callicarpa candicans: Part I. Isolation of Callicarpone and its Toxicity to Fish; Part II. Structure of Callicarpone / Kazuyoshi Kawazu, Makoto Inaba & Tetsuo Mitsui / Agricultural and Biological Chemistry, Vol 31, Issue 4, 1967 / http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00021369.1967.10858825
/ WILLIAM P. JONES and A. DOUGLAS KINGHORN * / Curr Bioact Compd. 2008 Jun 1; 4(1): 15–32. / doi: 10.2174/157340708784533393
Callicarpa candicans / Some Magnetic Island Plants

Antimicrobial Activity of Endemic Herbs from Tangkahan Conservation Forest North Sumatera to Bacteria and Yeast / KIKI NURTJAHJA, TATA BINTARA KELANA, DWI SURYANTO, NUNUK PRIYANI, GINTA RIO, DEDI PRIMA PUTRA, DAYAR ARBAIN / HAYATI Journal of Biosciences, Volume 20, Issue 4, December 2013, Pages 177–181
EDIBLE PLANTS AND POISONOUS PLANTS IN MICRONESIA (1) POISONOUS PLANTS IN YAP / Takeomi ETOH / Kagoshima University Research Center for the Pacific Islands, Occasional Papers No.34, 141-144, 2001, Part 2, Section 2, Report 1

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.

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