Crateva religiosa (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Crateva religiosa Forster f.

Protologue: Diss. pl. esc.: 45 (1786).
Family: Capparaceae


  • Crateva macrocarpa Kurz (1874).

Vernacular names

  • Sacred barma (En)
  • Indonesia: jaranan (Javanese), barunday (Sundanese), sibaluak (Sumatra)
  • Malaysia: kepayan, kemantu, kemantu hitam, dangla
  • Philippines: salingbobog (Tagalog), balai-lamok (Iloko), banugan (Bisaya)
  • Cambodia: tonliëm
  • Laos: kumz
  • Thailand: kum-bok, kum nam
  • Vietnam: bún thiêu, bún lợ


From India throughout South and South-East Asia to Micronesia and Polynesia, wild and occasionally cultivated. Frequent in Borneo, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.


Leaves are used as a vegetable in Indo-China and India. Fruits are edible; in West Borneo they serve as fish bait. The juice from the bitter stem bark or root is used in decoction as a laxative against colic and as a febrifuge in Malesia and Thailand. In India, the flower is considered astringent and cholagogue. The bark and the leaves are pounded and applied as a poultice against rheumatism. In the Solomon Islands the leaves are heated and applied to treat earache.


  • A tree, 5-15(-30) m tall, bark grey, wood yellowish-white, turning light-brown when old.
  • Leaves trifoliolate; petiole (3.5-)6.5-10 cm long, on sterile twigs often much longer, stipules subulate, 0.5-1 mm long, leaflets very variable, asymmetrically oblong to ovate, 8.5-27 cm × 3-10.5 cm, central leaflet oblong to obovate, base narrowly decurrent, apex shortly acuminate, often mucronulate, veins 7-11 pairs, subsessile, thin-herbaceous.
  • Flowers 2-14, rachis 3-5(-14) cm long, lower flowers inserted above the axil of normal leaves, the others subtended by an early caducous bract, 10 mm √ó 1-1.5 mm, pedicel 2-9 cm long, sepals ovate, obtuse to acute, 4-7 mm × 1.5-3 mm, petals broadly ovate to elliptical, 2-4 cm × 1-2.3 cm, narrowed base 5-20 mm long; stamens (10-)13-18(-30), filaments 4.5-11.5 cm long, pink or purple towards the top, anthers 2.5-6 mm long, gynophore 4-7 cm long.
  • Berry subglobose to subovoid, 6-15 cm × 5.5-9.5 cm, whitish-grey.
  • Seed dorsally keeled, sparsely to densely tuberculate.

C. religiosa is often found in periodically inundated forest, usually below 100 m altitude, but also occurring up to 700 m altitude. In India and Polynesia often planted around temples.

Selected sources

13, 20, 27, 84, 91. vegetables


  • 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.

215, 810, 914. medicinals


  • G.H. Schmelzer