Fagraea auriculata (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Fagraea auriculata Jack

Protologue: Loganiaceae


Fagraea borneensis Scheff., F. curranii Merr., F. imperialis Miq.

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: birabira, terentang langit (Sumatra), ki terong (Sundanese)
  • Malaysia: pelir musang, sagam (Peninsular)
  • Philippines: nato, tumakos (Manobo), nonok (Bisaya).


Southern Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Cambodia, southern Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Bali, Kalimantan, the Moluccas, Sumbawa, Flores), Brunei, the Philippines.


The clear, very sticky fluid present under the rind of the fruit has been used as a good quality glue, but also as a birdlime. Plant forms with large flowers are grown as ornamentals.


Epiphytic, more rarely terrestrial, very variable shrub or climber, sometimes becoming a tree up to 20 m tall when older; twigs often sharply quadrangular and each ridge crowned by a small acute spine. Leaves opposite, simple, entire, thickly coriaceous; petiole 2-8 cm long, at the base with 2 suborbicular auricles that are appressed to the twig and provide shelter to ants; blade oblanceolate to oblong or obovate, 940(60) cm × 425 cm, base broadly cuneate to narrowly acute, almost decurrent, apex rounded to acute. Flowers solitary or 27 in a terminal cyme, bisexual, actinomorphic, 5merous; pedicel up to 5 cm long with 12 pairs of appressed bracteoles; calyx campanulate, 2-7.5 cm long, usually divided to near the base; corolla wide trumpet-shaped, tube 515 cm long, lobes contorted, overlapping to the right, rounded, the whole up to 30 cm in diameter, fleshy, leathery, creamywhite; stamens inserted in the throat, alternating, not or hardly exserted, anthers thick, 1-2 cm long, bifid to about the middle; pistil with superior, ellipsoidal ovary, tapering into the quadrangular style, stigma discoid and subconcave. Fruit a berry dehiscing with 4 lobes, oblongellipsoidal to ovoid, 6-15 cm long, yellow-brown, pulp orange to red with many seeds. Seed irregularly angular, minutely warty, brown. F. auriculata is found in primary and secondary rain forest, often along clearings, river banks, sometimes in mangrove swamps, from sealevel up to 1900 m altitude. It flowers throughout the year and the flowers are protandrous; pollination is by insects and birds. Seed is dispersed by birds and ants. The species has been subdivided into 3 subspecies, mainly on the basis of size of the flowers and the auricles.

Selected sources

5, 11, 23, 29.