Flora of Thailand



42. Galearia


R. Pooma


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Genus description

Key to the Subgenera and Species

Species description




Zoll. & Moritzi, Syst. Verz: 19. 1846 (nom. cons.); Hook.f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 5: 377. 1887; Pax & K.Hoffm. in Engl., Pflanzenr. IV.147.iii: 97. 1911; Gagnep. in Lecomte, Fl. Indo-Chine 5: 456. 1926; Forman, Kew Bull. 26: 155. 1971; Airy Shaw, Kew Bull. 26: 362. 1972; Whitemore, Tree Fl. Malaya 2: 97. 1973; G.L.Webster, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 81: 68. 1994; Radcl.-Sm., Gen. Euphorbiacearum: 127. 2001; Pooma in Welzen & Chayam., Fl. Thailand 8, 2: 306. 2007; Welzen in Noot., Fl. Males. ser. 1, 20: 18. 2011; Kubitzki in Kubitzki, Fam. Gen. Vasc. Pl. 11: 271, Fig. 61b. 2014. Bennettia R.Br. in Benn., Pl. Jav. Rar. 249, t. 50. 1838. Cremostachys Tul., Ann. Sci. Nat. III, 15: 259. 1851.


Shrubs to small (to big in G. maingayi) trees, dioecious. Indumentum simple hairs. Stipules triangular, often thick, hairy outside, glabrous inside, entire, (late) caducaous. Leaves simple, distichous; petiole short, subglabrous to hairy, slightly pulvinate; blades asymmetric, one side broader, pergamentaceous to coriaceous, drying green to brown, often somewhat bullate; base asymmetric, margin entire, without glands, apex bluntly acuminate to caudate, venation pinnate, nerves looped and closed towares margin, veins and veinlets coarsely reticulate. Inflorescences terminal, pendulous, spike-like thyrses, seldom paniculate (generally after damage), up to 1 m long, staminate flowers in groups, pistillate flowers single (or sometimes in threes in G. fulva); bracts and (smaller) bracteoles triangular, completely hairy or glabrous inside. Flowers (4)5-merous; calyx 5-lobed, cupular, lobes basally attached, valvate, triangular, horizontally spreading, hairy outside, glabrous inside except for (partly) midrib in G. fulva, midrib inside thickened; petals (4)5, free, valvate, fleshy, two types, either type 1: convex or cucullate with thickened midrib inside, glabrous or apex hairy, latter often hook-like, or type 2: more or less straight, tomentellous on both sides, apex acute; disc absent. Staminate flowers: pedicel hairy, round, basally with an abscission zone; petals late caducous; stamens (8 or) 10 (or 15) in a single or two whorls, often of different lengths, short ones epipetalous, long ones episepalous, filaments thick, free or adnate to each other and pistillode, glabrous or hairy, straight or S-shaped, anthers 2-thecate, thecae parallel to separated and almost horizontal, opening latrors with lengthwise split; pistillode columnar to obovoid, glabrous to hairy, sealing bud together with petals in subgenus Galearia (in subgenus Orthopetalum the petals close the bud). Pistillate flowers generally on a short pedicel, elongating in fruit, round, hairy, usually with an abscission zone beneath the flower; calyx persistent; petals early caducous, straight, slightly cucullate or cucullate, glabrous to hairy; ovary ovoid, 26-locular, hirsute; ovules single per locule; style absent, stigmas completely split once and usually several times partly, in G. maingayi stigmas inside crater-like apex of fruit. Fruits latterally flattened to ovoid to subglobular drupes, often ridged or angular, 4- or 5-cornered, hairy, glabrescent, wall fleshy or bony, either thin and entire or thick with cavities, woody when dry; columella absent. Seeds flattened, triangular, ecarunculate.

    Five species in SE Asia, two in Thailand. Classification: Subfam.: Acalyphoideae, tribe Galearieae (in future possibly family Pandaceae).


Key to the Subgenera and Species



Petals convex or cucullate, glabrous except often for a few apical hairs. Fruits laterally flattened, wall thin, c. 0.4 mm thick, entire. Petioles flat above to round. Filaments and connectives glabrous. Ovaries 2-locular (subgen. Galearia)

1. Galearia fulva


Petals straight and flat, completely hairy. Fruits laterally flattened to 5-cornered to subglobular, wall 617 mm thick, with cavities. Petioles channelled above. Filaments and connectives hairy. Ovaries 26-locular (subgen. Orthopetalum)

2. Galearia maingayi


1. Galearia fulva (Tul.) Miq., Fl. Ind. Bat. 1: 430. 1859; Hook.f. Fl. Brit. Ind. 5: 378. 1885; Forman, Kew Bull. 26: 160. 1971; Airy Shaw, Kew Bull. 26: 362. 1972; Whitmore, Tree Fl. Mal. 2: 97. 1973; Pooma in Welzen & Chayam., Fl. Thailand 8, 2: 306, Fig. 1, Plate XVII: 1. 2007; Welzen in Noot., Fl. Males. ser. 1, 20: 23; fig. 1ou; 2a; 3ad; 46; map 3. 2011. Cremostachys fulva Tul., Ann. Sci. Nat. III, 15: 261. 1851 (for full synonymy see Forman, 1971).



Galefulv-photo6.jpg (153208 bytes)            Galefulv-photo7.jpg (59268 bytes)                Galefulv-photo8.jpg (67033 bytes)


Shrub or small trees, up to 10 m tall; twigs densely red brown pubescent.  Stipules small. Leaves: petiole stout, 0.410 mm long, more or less pubescent; blade oblong to elliptic or slightly obovate, 535 by 1.510 cm, length/width ratio c. 3.5, base asymmetrically obtuse to cuneate, apex shortly acuminate, both surfaces glabrous or pubescent below; venation distinct on both sides, especially below, but midrib slightly depressed above, nerves 6-11 pairs, curved strongly upward, looping near margin, veins scalariform-reticulate. Staminate inflorescences 1570 cm long, reddish-brown pubescent; pistillate inflorescences 10-15 cm long; bracts c. 1 mm long. Flowers greenish to white to yellowish. Staminate flowers c. 3 mm in diameter; pedicel 24 mm long, pubescent; sepals ovate, tomentose; petals  ciliate at the tips; staments 10; pistillode tomentose. Pistillate flowers c. 1.5 mm in diameter; pedicels 11.5 mm long, tomentose; sepals triangular, c. 0.7 mm long, tomentose; petals obovate, c 1 by 0.7 mm, apex aristate, glabrous; ovary subglobose, 2-locular, c. 1.5 mm in diameter, tomentose; stigmas apically split several times. Fruits ellipsoid, flattened, c.a 10 by 7 mm, greenish to white with reddish-brown tomentum. Seeds flat and ellipsoid.

    T h a i l a n d. SOUTH-EASTERN: Chanthaburi; PENINSULAR: Chumphon, Ranong, Krabi, Phangnga, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Satun, Narathiwat.

    D i s t r i b u t i o n. From Myanmar to Indo-China, Malay Peninsular (type), Sumatra, Borneo and Philippines.



    E c o l o g y. Common by streams or in evergreen forest in hills up to 900 m. Flowering and fruiting throughout the year.

    V e r n a c u l a r. Maeng mao khuay (แมงเม่าควาย) (Chanthaburi); ruang khao (รวงขาว) (Chumphon); ai bao (อ้ายเบ่า) (Nakhon Si Thammarat); taek na (แตกนา) (Surat Thani); miao (เมียว) (Trang); lin khwai (ลิ้นควาย) (Songkhla); lin krabue (ลิ้นกระบือ), mueai (เมื่อย) (Peninsular).

    U s e s. The fruits are edible and the roots are used locally to treat fever.


2. Galearia maingayi Hook.f.


    Galearia maingayi Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 5: 377. 1887; Ridl., Fl. Malay Penins. 3: 255. 1924; Forman, Kew Bull. 14: 31. 1960; Kew Bull. 20: 312, fig. 1.2. 1966; Kew Bull. 26: 158, fig. 1a, 2a1-2. 1971;  Whitmore, Tree Fl. Malaya 2: 98. 1973; Airy Shaw, Kew Bull. Add. Ser. 4: 221. 1975; Kew Bull. 36: 367. 1981; Welzen in Noot., Fl. Males. ser. 1, 20: 37; fig. 3np; 7ek; map 4. 2011.




    (Big) trees, up to 35 m high, bole up to 20 m high, dbh up to 80 cm; sometimes fluted or buttresses present, up to 3 m tall; twigs sericeous-tomentose, white to whitish green. Stipules small, very early caducous. Leaves: petiole 5.513 mm long, (sub)glabrous; blade ovate to elliptic, 5.220.5 by 2.16.7 cm, length/width ratio 2.53.1, base shortly attenuate to acute, apex bluntly acuminate, upper surface glabrous (to few hairs when young), lower surface glabrous to subsericeous when young, venation slightly raised above except for the slightly sunken midrib, nerves 911 per side. Inflorescences up to 18 cm long, sericeous; bracts up to 0.8 by 0.3 mm, thick. Flowers 5-merous; calyx c. 1.5 mm deep, glabrous inside, lobes 5, triangular, c. 0.2 by 0.2 mm, apex acute; petals 5, elliptic, 3.13.5 by 0.81 mm, apex acute, hook-like, bend inwards, tomentellous on both sides, greenish white to white. Staminate flowers c. 4 mm in diameter (young flower); pedicel up to 12 mm long; petals probably spreading horizontally; stamens 10, in two whorls; pistillode hairy. Pistillate flowers c. 2 mm in diameter; pedicel c. 1. 5 mm long, elongating up to 4.5 mm in fruit; ovary 4- or 5(6)-locular, c. 1.2 by 1.2 mm, ribbed, apically narrowing and with crater-like opening, stigmas only seen as split bands on inside of apical opening. c. 0.4 mm long. Fruits subglobular to ovoid to angular-subglobular, 1.53.8 cm high by 2.14.5 cm diameter, green when unripe, fleshy, woody when dry; wall very thick, 817 mm. Seeds flattened, boomerang-like in transverse section with hollow side extrors, c. 7.5 mm long.

    T h a i l a n d. PENINSULAR: Narathiwat.

    D i s t r i b u t i o n. Malay Peninsula (type), Sumatra, Borneo.


    dots = Galearia maingayi Hook.f.; squares = Galearia celebica Koord.


    E c o l o g y. Primary forest, pole dipterocarp forest, disturbed forest, alluvial zone, sandy peat swamp, belukar; soil: sandy loam, sandstone derived soil, shales, clayey soil; bedrock basalt. Altitude: 20800 m. Flowering: April, May, July; fruiting: January to November, eaten by animals.