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

162, 233, 297, 426, 521, 527, 574, 575, 648, 705. (Timbers)


  • 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, 311, 406, 465, 739, 746, 788, 949.(Medicinals)

Main genus page


  • J.L.C.H. van Valkenburg (Medicinals)
  • M.S.M. Sosef (selection of species, Timbers)