Clausena anisata (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Clausena anisata (Willd.) Hook.f. ex Benth.

Protologue: in W.J. Hook., Niger fl.: 256 (1849).


Amyris anisata Willd. (1799), Clausena willdenowii Wight & Arn. (1834), Clausena dentata (Willd.) M. Roem. (1846), Clausena dunniana H. Lév. (1912).

Vernacular names

  • Vietnam: hồng bì núi, dã hồng bì.


C. anisata occurs from central and southern China, through Indo-China, Thailand to eastern and southern India and Sri Lanka, also in tropical Africa, southern Africa and the Cape Coast, but excluding Namibia. Cultivated in Malaysia and Indonesia.


In Vietnam the leaves and roots are taken for colds, rheumatism, and arthritis. Externally, they are prescribed in sprain, contusion and fractures. In Africa a decoction of the leaves is drunk to cure gastro-intestinal disorders, fever, headache and sinusitis, and as an anthelmintic. The crushed leaves are considered antiseptic and analgesic and applied on wounds, for toothache and other mouth infections, sores and burns. A root decoction is taken to control convulsions in children and as a tonic by pregnant women.

Bundles of the plant are widely used as an insect repellent. The powdered root is known to be lethal to snails. The twigs are widely used for toothbrushes and the stems for walking sticks. The fruits have a sweet taste and are locally eaten.


A shrub, 1-2(-10) m tall; rachis 15-50 cm long, 9-27 leaflets, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 2-15 cm × 1-6.5 cm, base oblique, apex rounded to acuminate, sometimes emarginate, margin entire or obscurely toothed, glabrous to densely hairy; panicle axillary, lax, 10-35 cm long, hairy; flowers usually 4-merous, pedicel 2-7 mm long, calyx minute, teeth triangular to filiform, petals ovate-elliptical, 3-6 mm long, pale green to yellowish-white, glandular, stamens 8, filaments 1-3 mm long, thickened at base, gynophore saddle-shaped, 0.5-1 mm long, ovary 4-lobed, glabrous to densely hirsute, glands at apex, style 0.8-1.5 mm long; berry ovoid, 8-15 mm long, red or dark violet, usually glabrous, 1-3-seeded. C. anisata occurs in savanna, thickets and secondary forest, from sea-level up to 3000 m altitude.

Selected sources

12, 134,

  • 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.


  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, 1948-1976. The wealth of India: a dictionary of Indian raw materials & industrial products. 11 volumes. Publications and Information Directorate, New Delhi, India.376, 731, 739, 756, 767.


G.H. Schmelzer