Aglaia odoratissima (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Aglaia odoratissima Blume

Family: Meliaceae


  • Aglaia affinis Merrill,
  • A. diepenhorstii Miquel,
  • A. heterophylla Merrill.

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: pancal kidang (Javanese), tanglu (Lampung), pi-kopijan (Madurese)
  • Malaysia: kasai, telur belangkas hutan, merlimau
  • Thailand: prayong paa (central), sangkhriat (peninsular).


Nicobar Islands, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, the Philippines, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi and possibly the Lesser Sunda Islands.


In Java the fragrant flowers are used to flavour tea. In India, Indonesia and China an essential oil is distilled from the seed but not on a commercial scale. Several parts of the tree are used medicinally. The wood is strong and fairly durable but only available in small sizes.


  • Dioecious tree, up to 25 m tall, trunk up to 20 cm in diameter; bark grey to red-brown, wood whitish-brown, exuding pale white latex when cut; twigs slender, often almost horizontal, with dense red-brown peltate scales and pale yellow stellate hairs.
  • Leaves arranged spirally, imparipinnate, 10-40 cm × 5-30 cm; leaflets 1-7, elliptical, 4-24 cm × 2-8 cm, acuminate-caudate at apex.
  • Inflorescence paniculate or racemose, male one up to 35 cm long, female one up to 12 cm long; flowers unisexual, 5-merous, small, up to 2 mm in diameter, yellow, fragrant of citronella.
  • Fruit a 1-seeded, ellipsoid berry, 1.5-2 cm × 1-1.5 cm, yellow to orange-red, with pinkish-orange stellate scales.
  • Seed with yellow-pink, edible, sweet-tasting aril which covers the seed completely.

A. odoratissima is common in primary, secondary and periodically inundated swamp forest, along roadsides and on various soil types, up to 1900 m altitude.

Selected sources

  • Arctander, S., 1960. Perfume and flavor materials of natural origin. Published by the author, Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States. 736 pp.
  • Burkill, I.H., 1935. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. 2 volumes. Crown Agents for the Colonies, London, United Kingdom. 2402 pp. (slightly revised reprint, 1966. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 2444 pp.).
  • Corner, E.J.H., 1988. Wayside trees of Malaya. 3rd edition. 2 volumes. The Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 774 pp.
  • Heyne, K., 1927. De nuttige planten van Nederlandsch Indië [The useful plants of the Dutch East Indies]. 2nd edition. 3 volumes. Departement van Landbouw, Nijverheid en Handel in Nederlandsch Indië. 1953 pp. (3rd edition, 1950. W. van Hoeve, 's-Gravenhage/Bandung, the Netherlands/Indonesia. 1660 pp.).
  • van Steenis, C.G.G.J. et al. (Editors), 1950- . Flora Malesiana. Series 1. Vol. 1, 4- . Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, the Netherlands.
  • Whitmore, T.C. & Ng, F.S.P. (Editors), 1972-1989. Tree flora of Malaya. A manual for foresters. 4 Volumes. 2nd Edition. Malayan Forest Records No 26. Longman Malaysia Sendirian Berhad, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


P.C.M. Jansen