Catunaregam spinosa (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Catunaregam spinosa (Thunberg) Tirveng.

Protologue: Bull. Mus. Nation. Hist. Nat., 3e sér., no. 521, Bot. 35: 13 (1978).


Randia dumetorum (Retz.) Poir. (1811), Randia spinosa (Thunberg) Blume (1826), Xeromphis spinosa (Thunberg) Keay (1958).

Vernacular names

  • Laos: may ngieng pa
  • Thailand: khet khaang (Chanthaburi), khlet (Ratchaburi), ma khwet (northern)
  • Vietnam: găng tu hú, găng trâu.


Eastern and southern Africa, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Indo-China, Thailand and Java (rare).


In Indo-China, powdered and roasted fruits (without seeds) are used externally to treat ulcers, and the bark is used internally against diarrhoea and dysentery and to regulate menses. In India, the bark is used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery; the plant is also used there in traditional medicine to treat bronchitis, asthma, leucoderma and diseases of the brain, and the fruit pulp for poulticing sores. In Africa, C. spinosa is a much used medicinal plant. A decoction of the powdered root is applied directly on melanomas, and the infusion is administered orally as an emetic and to relieve fever, nausea, general coughs, toothache, pains during pregnancy, dizziness, menorrhagia, depressed fontanelle, snakebites and gonorrhoea. The fruits are used as a substitute for soap. Bark and fruits are used in India, Nepal and Africa as a fish poison. In Indo-China, it is often planted in fences, whereas the wood is commonly used in India as fuelwood.


A spiny, much-branched large shrub or small tree up to 7.5 m tall; leaves glabrous or pubescent on veins only; flowers 5(-8)-merous, white becoming yellowish; fruit ellipsoid to globose, 2-3.5 cm long, yellowish. C. spinosa occurs on dry, bare soils, also on the beach.

Selected sources

62, 121, 224, 650, 665, 671, 810, 822, 823, 852, 884.

Main genus page


R.H.M.J. Lemmens