Dracaena angustifolia (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Introduction
List of species


Dracaena angustifolia Roxb.


Protologue: Fl. ind. (Carey ed.) 2: 155 (1832).

Synonyms

Pleomele angustifolia (Roxb.) N.E.Br. (1914).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: suji (Sundanese), semar (Javanese), pendusta utan (Ambon)
  • Philippines: malasambal, taligbuhuk (Tagalog), pasiu (Ibanag)
  • Thailand: khon maa khaao (central), phak kon maa (Lampang), phraao phan lam (Chiang Mai)
  • Vietnam: phất dủ hẹp, bồng bồng.

Distribution

India, Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, southern China, Thailand, Java, the Philippines, Sulawesi, the Moluccas, New Guinea and northern Australia.

Uses

In the Moluccas a decoction of the roots is used to treat gonorrhoea, the leaves are applied externally to treat beri-beri and the leaf-sap to promote hair growth. The leaves are also used to colour vegetable oils and food green, and the leaf-sap as a dye for painting. Cooked tips of D. angustifolia plants are eaten as a vegetable. D. angustifolia is commonly planted as an ornamental and hedge plant.

Observations

An erect shrub or small tree up to 6(-8) m tall, often much-branched; leaves linear-lanceolate, narrowed above the sheathing base, very acute; inflorescence paniculate, branched, up to 75 cm long; flowers yellowish-white, with perianth c. 2.5 cm long; fruit globose to 3-lobed, 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter, bright orange, 1-3-seeded. D. angustifolia is a variable species that occurs in open forest, forest borders and on rocky coasts, up to 1000 m altitude; it is also cultivated in gardens and hedges.

Selected sources

62, 121, 334, 689.

Main genus page

Authors

R.H.M.J. Lemmens