Ehretia acuminata (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Ehretia acuminata R. Br.

Family: Boraginaceae


  • Ehretia polyantha A. DC.
  • Ehretia serrata Roxb.,
  • Ehretia ovalifolia Hassk.

Vernacular names

  • Silver ash, silky ash (En).
  • Indonesia: kendal kebo, kendal maesa, sembung ijo (Java)
  • Philippines: tanaua (general), balulai (Laguna), kalibuning (Zambales) opa (Cagayan), bangag (Albay).
  • Burma (Myanmar): taw-petsut.
  • Laos: sang2.
  • Thailand: kaai kom, kom (northern).
  • Burma (Myanmar): petthin.


E. acuminata s.l. has a wide distribution. From India, Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China and Thailand north to China and Japan and in the Philippines, Java, the Lesser Sunda Islands, the Moluccas, New Guinea and northern Australia.

Var. pyrifolia (Don) I.M. Johnston is restricted to the area from eastern India and southern Indo-China to Java. Var. polyantha (A. DC.) I.M. Johnston is indigenous in the Philippines.


The fruit is edible. The wood of var. polyantha is used in the Philippines for furniture, household utensils and other items requiring a strong tough wood.

The leaves are pounded and applied to swellings.


  • Tree, 3-15 m tall.
  • Fruit a globose drupe, 3-4 mm in diameter, orange-yellow to red, rugose.

Var. pyrifolia is the tropical variety with smaller leaves. Var. polyantha tends to have larger pubescent inflorescences and smaller flowers. In total 7 varieties have been distinguished.

Selected sources

  • Backer, C.A. & Bakhuizen van den Brink, R.C., 1963 1968. Flora of Java. 3 Volumes. Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands.
  • Johnston, I.M., 1951. Studies in the Boraginaceae 20. Journal of the Harvard Arboretum of Harvard University 32: 1-26.
  • Reyes, L.J., 1938. Philippine woods. Department of Agriculture and Commerce. Technical Bulletin No 7. Manila, Bureau of Printing. 536 pp. + 88 plates.
  • Sagwal, S.S., 1986. Pre-sowing treatment of puna (Ehretia acuminata) seed. Indian Forester 112: 261-263.
  • The Wealth of India, Raw materials (various editors), 1948-1976. 11 Volumes. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.


P.C.M. Jansen, J. Jukema, L.P.A. Oyen, T.G. van Lingen