Ailanthus triphysa (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Ailanthus triphysa (Dennst.) Alston

Protologue: Handb. Fl. Ceylon 4, Suppl.: 41 (1931).


  • Ailanthus malabarica DC. (1825),
  • Ailanthus imberbiflora F. v. Mueller (1862),
  • Ailanthus philippinensis Merr. (1906).

Vernacular names

  • White siris (En)
  • Indonesia: kayu langit (general), ki pahit, selangke (Java), kirontasi (Sulawesi)
  • Philippines: malakamias (general), kalauag (Bikol)
  • Burma (Myanmar): o-dein
  • Thailand: makkom (Chiang Mai), mayom-pa (central), mayom-hom (south-eastern)
  • Vietnam: bút, càng hom thơm.


India, Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, southern China, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Java, Borneo (Sabah, East Kalimantan), Sulawesi, the Philippines, and northern Australia (Queensland and northern New South Wales). It is planted in the arid zones of Africa.


The wood is used as white siris. The resin is used medicinally in India and as incense in India and Indo-China. The bark and leaves are renowned as a tonic and appetitive, especially in debility after childbirth, and possess febrifuge properties. The bark is employed in dyspepsia and diarrhoea as well as to relieve cough and bronchitis. In Vietnam, the leaves are recommended in cephalalgia and gastralgia. The leaves are also used to dye silk black.


  • A large tree up to 45 m tall, bole up to 75(-150) cm in diameter, bark surface greenish-brown with grey patches, dippled.
  • Leaves paripinnate with 6-17(-30) entire leaflets of (5-)9-15(-26) cm long, covered with velvety hairs below and with many glands scattered over the lower surface.
  • Petals glabrous, carpels (2-)3(-4).
  • Fruit a samara 4.5-8 cm long.

A. triphysa is comparatively rare and occurs in evergreen and seasonal forests up to 600 m altitude. The density of the wood is about 435 kg/m3 at 12% moisture content. See also the table on wood properties.

Selected sources

  • [74] Backer, C.A. & Bakhuizen van den Brink Jr, R.C., 1964—1968. Flora of Java. 3 volumes. Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands. Vol. 1 (1964) 647 pp., Vol. 2 (1965) 641 pp., Vol. 3 (1968) 761 pp.
  • [135] Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Revised reprint. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Vol. 1 (A—H) pp. 1—1240, Vol. 2 (I—Z) pp. 1241—2444.
  • [216] Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, 1985. The wealth of India: a dictionary of Indian raw materials & industrial products. Revised Edition. Vol. 1. Publications and Information Directorate, New Delhi, India. 513 pp.
  • Flora Malesiana (various editors), 1950-. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Boston, London.
  • [311] Flora of Thailand (various editors), 1970—. The Forest Herbarium, Royal Forest Department, Bangkok, Thailand.
  • [406] Hewson, H.J., 1985. Simaroubaceae. In: George, A.S. (Editor): Flora of Australia. Vol. 25. Melianthaceae to Simaroubaceae. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, Australia. pp. 188—197.
  • [465] Indira, E.P., 1996. Breeding systems in Ailanthus triphysa. Journal of Tropical Forestry 12(4): 194—198.
  • Kingston, R.S.T. & Risdon, C.J.E., 1961. Shrinkage and density of Australian and other South-West Pacific woods. Technological Paper No 13. Division of Forest Products, CSIRO, Melbourne. 65 pp.
  • Merrill, E.D., 1923-1926. An enumeration of Philippine flowering plants. 4 volumes. Bureau of Printing, Manila.
  • [739] Nguyen Van Duong, 1993. Medicinal plants of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Mekong Printing, Santa Ana, California, United States. 528 pp.
  • [746] Nooteboom, H.P., 1962. Simaroubaceae. In: van Steenis C.G.G.J. (Editor): Flora Malesiana. Series 1, Vol. 6. Wolters-Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands. pp. 193—226.
  • [788] Pételot, A., 1952—1954. Les plantes médicinales du Cambodge, du Laos et du Vietnam [The medicinal plants of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam]. 4 volumes. Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques et Techniques, Saigon, Vietnam.
  • Rai, S.N., 1985. Notes on nursery and regeneration technique of some species occuring in southern tropical wet evergreen and semi-evergreen forests of Karnataka (India) part II. Indian Forester 111(8): 645-657.
  • Reyes, L.J., 1938. Philippine woods. Technical Bulletin No 7. Commonwealth of the Philppines, Department of Agriculture and Commerce. Bureau of Printing, Manila. 536 pp. + 88 plates.
  • Smitinand, T., 1980. Thai plant names. Royal Forest Department, Bangkok. 379 pp.
  • Smitinand, T. & Larsen, K. (Editors), 1970-. Flora of Thailand. The Forest Herbarium, Royal Forest Department, Bangkok.
  • [949] Soepadmo, E., Wong, K.M. & Saw, L.G. (Editors), 1995—. Tree flora of Sabah and Sarawak. Sabah Forestry Department, Forest Research Institute Malaysia and Sarawak Forestry Department, Kepong, Malaysia.
  • Troup, R.S., 1921. Silviculture of Indian trees. 3 volumes. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
  • Whitmore, T.C. & Ng, F.S.P. (Editors), 1972-1989. Tree flora of Malaya. A manual for foresters. 2nd edition. 4 volumes. Malayan Forest Records No 26. Longman Malaysia SDN. Berhad, Kuala Lumpur & Petaling Jaya.

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