Flora of Thailand



10. Balakata


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


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Genus description

Species description




Esser, Blumea 44: 154. 1998; in Radcl.-Sm., Gen. Euphorbiacearum: 378. 2001; Esser & Welzen in Chayam. & Welzen, Fl. Thailand 8, 1: 119. 2005; G.L.Webster in Kubitzki, Fam. Gen. Vasc. Pl. 11: 199. 2014 Sapium Jacq. Sect. Pleurostachya Pax & K.Hoffm. in Engl., Pflanzenr. IV.147.v: 243. 1912; in Pflanzenfam. ed. 2, 19c: 202: 1931.


Trees, monoecious. Indumentum absent. Stipules triangular, caducous. Leaves alternate, simple, symmetric, basally attached or peltate when juvenile, margin entire, without glands, lower surface with a row of several marginal to submarginal glands, basal ones usually conspicuously larger and visible as a black dot; venation distinct, pinnate, nerves looped and usually not closed near margin, veins scalariform to reticulate. Inflorescences terminal and axillary thyrses, once to twice branched, each branch with a sterile basal region; staminate part apical, cymules 5-9-flowered; pistillate flowers (0-)3-13 below staminate flowers. Flowers actinomorphic; petals, disc, and pistillode absent. Staminate flowers: calyx 2-lobed; stamens 2, filaments slightly longer than anthers; pistillode absent. Pistillate flowers: sepals 2; ovary 2-locular; ovules 1 per loculer; stigmata 2, undivided. Fruits fleshy berries, indehiscent, smooth, glabrous. Seeds with a thin sarcotesta and a stony seed coat.

    Two species, from N.E. India to Vietnam and China, throughout Malesia but unknown from Java, the Lesser Sunda Islands, and parts of New Guinea; 1 species in Thailand. Classification: Subfam. Euphorbioideae, tribe Hippomaneae, subtribe Hippomaninae.


Balakata baccata (Roxb.) Esser, Blumea 44: 155, map 1. 1998; Esser & Welzen in Chayam. & Welzen, Fl. Thailand 8, 1: 119, plate IV: 4. 2005 Sapium baccatum Roxb., Fl. Ind. ed. 2, 3: 694. 1832; Müll.Arg., Linnaea 32: 121. 1863; Hook.f., Fl. Br. India 5: 470. 1888; Gagnep. in Lecomte, Fl. Indo-Chine 5: 395, 400. 1926; Airy Shaw, Kew Bull. 26: 329. 1972; Whitmore, Tree Fl. Malaya 2: 129. 1973; Verheij & Coronel, PROSEA 2: 382. 1991; Y.C. Tseng, Fl. Reipubl. Pop. Sin. 44(3): 19, pl. 4 fig. 1-3. 1997 Sapium populifolium Wight, Icon. Pl. Ind. Orient. 5, 2: tab. 1950, fig. 2. 1853 Excoecaria affinis Griff., Not. Pl. As. 4: 486. 1854, nom. superfl Stillingia paniculata Miq., Fl. Ned. Ind., Eerste bijv.: 183, 461. 1861 Excoecaria baccata (Roxb.) Müll.Arg. in DC., Prodr. 15, 2: 1211. 1866 Carumbium baccatum (Roxb.) Kurz, Fl. Burm. 2: 412. 1877.



Trees up to 26 m high. Stipules c. 1.5 by 0.5 mm. Leaves: petiole (2.5-)3.5-9.5 cm long; blade ovate (to elliptic), (8-)10-22 by 4-11 cm, length/width ratio 2-2.5, leathery, base obtuse to acute, margin flat, apex acuminate, pale papillate beneath, basal glands 1.5-2.25 mm in diameter, usually 4-10 mm above base of blade and sometimes touching midrib; nerves 10-16 pairs till apex. Staminate flowers: pedicel 0.5-1.5 mm long; calyx 0.5-1 mm long; filaments 0.4-0.6 mm long, anthers 0.25-0.5 mm long. Pistillate flowers: pedicel 0.6-1 mm long; calyx c. 1 mm high; ovary c. 1.5 mm long; style 0.1-0.5 mm long; stigmata 0.75-2 mm long. Fruits flattened globular, 8-9 by 9-11 by 4-5 mm thick; sulcate when 2-seeded. Seeds c. 5 by 4.5 mm.

    T h a i l a n d NORTHERN: Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phrayao, Nan, Lamphun, Lampang, Phrae, Sukothai, Phitsanulok; NORTH-EASTERN: Loei, Kalasin, Khon Kaen; EASTERN: Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima; SOUTH-WESTERN: Utai Thani, Kanchanaburi, Phetchaburi; CENTRAL: Saraburi, Nakhon Nayok; SOUTH-EASTERN: Prachin Buri, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Chanthaburi, Trat; PENINSULAR: Chumphon, Ranong, Phangnga, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Satun, Songkhla, Yala, Narathiwat.

    D i s t r i b u t i o n E. Himalaya, India (Sikkim) and Bangladesh (type) to Indochina and China (Yunnan), Andamans, in Thailand and W. Malaysia: Malay Peninsula (excl. Singapore), Sumatra, Borneo (W. and E. Kalimantan).

Balakata-map.gif (81897 bytes) (dots in W. Malesia; squares: B. luzonica (S.Vidal) Esser)

    E c o l o g y Primary and disturbed dipterocarp forest, bamboo forest, secondary forest, mixed deciduous forest, also along streams and on slopes; soil: brown and yellow clay and loam, sandy loam, over limestone, granitic and volcanic bedrock. Altitude: 15-1800 m.

    V e r n a c u l a r Kradat (ดาด), khao yen (้า) (Phrae); khloe-poh (าะ) (Karen-Mae Hong Son); madi khwai (ดี),   sali dong (ลีดง), sali nok (ลีน) (Chiang Mai); miang nok kho (ี่งนค้) (Udon Thani); ma-ma (มะมะ), ma-mu (มะมุ), mae-mae (มะ) (Malay-Pattani); ma-ma (มะมะ), mak-mak (หม) (Malay-Yala); pho bai () (Surat Thani); yuea chong () (Peninsular).

    U s e s Used as a timber and as a wayside plant. The wood is not very durable. The fruits are mealy and sweet and in Sumatra sometimes used for flavouring food.