Flora of Thailand



39. Falconeria


H.-J. Esser & P.C. van Welzen


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Genus description

Species description




Royle, Ill. Bot. Himal.: 354, tab. 84. 1839; Esser, Blumea 44: 161. 1999; in Radcl.-Sm., Gen. Euphorbiacearum: 372. 2001; Esser & Welzen in Chayam. & Welzen, Fl. Thailand 8, 1: 298. 2005; G.L.Webster in Kubitzki, Fam. Gen. Vasc. Pl. 11: 203. 2014 Excoecaria L. Sect. Falconeria (Royle) Müll.Arg. in DC., Prod. 15, 2: 1211. 1866  Sapium Jacq. Sect. Falconeria (Royle) Hook.f., Fl. Br. India 5: 471. 1888; Pax & K.Hoffm. in Engl., Pflanzenr. IV.147.v: 241. 1912.


Trees, monoecious, deciduous, flowering and fruiting when leafless, distal branches whorled, branches soft, spongy, longitudinally shrivelled and grooved when dry. Indumentum absent. Stipules divided into 2 or 3 ciliae, caducous. Leaves alternate, apically whorled, simple, symmetric; petiole apically with a pair of cup-shaped glands; blades basally attached, margin serrate with glandular teeth, lower surface with a marginal row of a few glands; venation pinnate, nerves looped but not closed near margin, veins and veinlets reticulate. Inflorescences terminal thyrses, either with staminate or pistillate flowers. Flowers actinomorphic, bracts of staminate flowers with pair of large glands; petals and disc absent. Staminate flowers: calyx 2-lobed; stamens 2, free; pistillode absent. Pistillate flowers: calyx 3-lobed; ovary 2- or 3-locular, 1 ovule per locule; style short; stigmas not split. Fruits capsular, but tardily and irregularly dehiscing, fleshy when young, dry and thin when mature. Seeds with a thin, fleshy aril.

    Monotypic, from India and Sri Lanka to Indo-China, China, Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia. Classification: Subfam. Euphorbioideae, tribe Hippomaneae, subtribe Hippomaninae.


1. Falconeria insigne Royle, Ill. Bot. Himal.: 354, tab. 84a or 98 fig. 2. 1839; Esser, Blumea 44: 162, fig. 2, map 2. 1999; Esser & Welzen in Chayam. & Welzen, Fl. Thailand 8, 1: 299, fig. 74. 2005 Excoecaria insignis (Royle) Müll.Arg. in DC., Prod. 15, 2: 1212. 1866 Falconeria wallichiana Royle, Ill. Bot. Himal.: 354, tab. 84a or 98 fig. 3 Carumbium insigne (Royle) Kurz, Fl. Burm. 2: 412. 1877 Sapium insigne (Royle) Trim., Syst. Cat. Ceylon Pl.: 83. 1885; Pax & K.Hoffm. in Engl., Pflanzenr. IV.147.v: 241. 1912; Gagnep. in Lecomte, Fl. Indo-Chine 5: 394. 1926; Airy Shaw, Kew Bull. 26: 330. 1972; Whitmore, Tree Fl. Malaya 2: 128. 1973; Y.C. Tseng, Fl. Reipubl. Pop. Sin. 44(3): 20. 1997.


Falcinsi-habit.gif (74368 bytes)    Falcinsi-male.gif (92798 bytes)    Falcinsi-fruit.gif (108823 bytes)


Trees up to 40 m high. Stipules c. 0.75 by 1 mm. Leaves: petiole 0.6-6 cm long; blade elliptic, (4.5-)8-33 by (2-)4-11 cm, length/width ratio 2-3, symmetric, base attenuate to acute, apex acuminate; nerves (13-)16-23 pairs. Inflorescences up to 17 cm long. Bracts c. 0.75 mm long, glands 1.75-3.5 by c. 1 mm. Staminate flowers: pedicel 0.25-0.5 mm long; calyx 0.75-1 mm long; stamens with filaments 0.75-1 mm long, anthers 0.4-0.6 mm long. Pistillate flowers: pedicel 0-1 mm long; calyx 1.5-2 mm long; style c. 0.5 mm long; stigmata 0.5-1 mm long. Fruits c. 7 by 4.5-6 mm. Seeds c. 5 by 4.5 mm.

    T h a i l a n d NORTHERN: Mae Hong Son (Tham Nam Lot), Chiang Mai (Doi Suthep, Gnai-Tintok, Mae Hiya Nai, Mae Sai), Lampang (Doi Chae Son), Lamphun; NORTH-EASTERN: Sakon Nakhon (Phu Phan), Khon Kaen (Pu Wiang); EASTERN: Chaiyaphum (Phu Khiao), Nakhon Ratchasima (Huai Thaleng); CENTRAL: Saraburi (Sam Lan); SOUTH-EASTERN: Sa Kaeo (Roi Pi Botanical Garden), Chon Buri (Khao Khiao); PENINSULAR: Satun (Ko Tarutao).

    D i s t r i b u t i o n S. and N.W. India (type) and Nepal to Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, (Yunnan), southern limit in Peninsular Malaysia.

Falconeria-map.gif (3967 bytes)

    E c o l o g y Occasional to locally common in deciduous forest, on slopes, in rocky places, in full sun; soil: limestone, granitic bedrock. Altitude: 100-900 m. The flowers are visited by Melipona bees.

    V e r n a c u l a r Seng-blo-mi (ล่ี้) (Karen-Mae Hong Son); tang kuam (าง), tong kuam (, Shan-Mae Hong Son) (Northern); rak pa (่า) (Southwestern); ta tum bok (ุุ), ta tum nam (ุุน้) (Central); tang ta bot (ัง), ten pet pa (ีน่า) (Southeastern); klet raet (เ) (Peninsular).

    U s e s The latex is toxic to skin and eyes. Plant is used to stupefy fish.