Dillenia serrata (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Dillenia serrata Thunb.

Protologue: Trans. Linn. Soc. 1: 201 (1791).
Family: Dilleniaceae


  • Dillenia elliptica Thunb. (1791).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: dengen, dongi bolusu, songi (Sulawesi), dengilo, dongi (Menado), menampa (Tembuku).


Endemic to Indonesia (Sulawesi), sometimes cultivated.


The timber is used for house building, e.g. for planks and posts, but is reportedly not durable; it is also used for boats. The fruits are edible, acidic, and sometimes used fresh or pickled as a substitute for lemon.


  • A medium-sized evergreen tree up to 30 m tall, with bole branchless for up to 16 m and up to 70 cm in diameter, bark surface smooth, scaling off with thin flakes, reddish-grey.
  • Leaves oblong to lanceolate, (20-)25-35(-45) cm × (8-)10-14(-19) cm, margin dentate to nearly entire, petiole up to 6.5 cm long, with 5-30 mm broad wings, broadest near apex, amplexicaul at base and completely caducous.
  • Flowers 2-6 together in racemes, c. 7.5 cm in diameter, sepals 5, yellow, petals absent, stamens all of about the same length, anthers emarginate at apex, opening by apical pores.
  • Fruit berry-like, indehiscent, depressed-globose, 3.5 cm high, 6 cm diameter, carpels enclosed by the sepals. Ripe carpels 25 mm × 16 mm, up to 5-seeded.
  • Seeds black, without aril.

D. serrata is closely related to D. celebica but differs in its larger flowers, more numerous carpels and petiolar wings broader at apex. It occurs in primary and secondary forest up to 100 m altitude. The heartwood is reddish-brown.

Selected sources

  • Heyne, K., 1927. De nuttige planten van Nederlandsch Indië [The useful plants of the Dutch East Indies]. 2nd ed. 3 Volumes. Departement van Landbouw, Nijverheid en Handel in Nederlandsch Indië. 1953 pp.
  • van Steenis, C.G.G.J. et al. (Editors), 1950-. Flora Malesiana. Series 1. Vol. 1, 4-10. Centre for Research and Development in Biology, Bogor, Indonesia, and Rijksherbarium, Leiden, the Netherlands. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Boston, London.

162, 234, 243, 673. timbers


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