Garcinia merguensis (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Garcinia merguensis Wight

Protologue: Guttiferae


Garcinia lanceolata Ridl.

Vernacular names

  • Malaysia: lulai, kandis burong (Peninsular)
  • Thailand: nuan (northern), yaang khao (south-eastern), ka nuan (peninsular).


Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia (Peninsular), Singapore.


In Malaysia the latex is collected and mixed with twice its volume of turpentine and boiled 3 times to make a pale brown-yellow varnish. Melipona and Trigona bees collect the latex to line their nests. The latex contains a large proportion of free resin acids and a comparatively small amount of resin esters and is quite different from gamboge obtained from G. morella (Gaertn.) Desr. It is not available in commercial quantities. The fruit is edible. The wood is red-yellow, flexible and light, but is little used.


Dioecious shrub or small tree up to 12 m tall, exuding whitish-yellowish latex from the inner bark when wounded. Leaves opposite; petiole about 0.5 cm long; blade lanceolate to elliptical, 5-15 cm × 1-5 cm, base long tapering, apex acuminate, secondary veins prominent, parallel, 4-6 mm apart. Inflorescence a short axillary raceme with 3-6 flowers; flowers 4-merous, small, about 3 mm in diameter on a stout pedicel 5 mm long; male flowers with stamens in 4 bundles round a central mushroom-like pistillode. Fruit a subglobose, thinly woody berry, 13 mm in diameter, tipped by a conspicuous disk-like stigma 3 mm wide and with a subpersistent calyx. G. merguensis is common in lowland to lower montane forest, sometimes on limestone, up to 1500 m altitude.

Selected sources

11, 23, 36, 45.