Homalium tomentosum (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Homalium tomentosum (Vent.) Benth.

Protologue: Journ. Linn. Soc., Bot. 4: 34 (1860).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: delingsem, gerinseng (Java), kaladdo (Flores), neku (Timor)
  • Burma (Myanmar): myauk chaw
  • Cambodia: phloeuo niëng
  • Laos: 'khên nang
  • Thailand: kha nang (central), chang phuek luang (Chiang Mai), puei khang hai (Lampang).


From north-eastern India through Burma (Myanmar) and Indo-China towards central Thailand and in western Sumatra (rare), central and eastern Java and the Lesser Sunda Islands.


The wood is used as malas and for the manufacture of matches. H. tomentosum might be useful for afforestation.


  • A deciduous medium-sized tree up to 30(-40) m tall, bole well-shaped, up to 40 cm in diameter, buttressed.
  • Leaves broadly obovate to obovate-oblong, (7.5-)10-15(-25) cm × 4-7(-13) cm, shallowly glandular-crenate, obtuse to apiculate, dull, glabrescent above, tomentose below.
  • Racemes simple or rarely 1-2-partite near the base, yellowish tomentose.
  • Flowers in 2-3(-5)-flowered glomerules, 5-6-merous, sessile or nearly so, sepals and petals woolly, stamens solitary, inserted before each petal.

H. tomentosum is locally common but not gregarious in mixed deciduous forest, sometimes with bamboo, and in teak forest. It usually occurs where the dry monsoon is well pronounced, not seldom on calcareous soil, at low elevation or rarely up to 700 m altitude. It is reported to be fairly fire-resistant and its wood is hard and heavy with a density ranging from 840-1120 kg/m3at 15% moisture content. See also the table on wood properties.

Selected sources

115, 140, 162, 163, 218, 219, 331, 386, 474, 573, 574, 648.

E. Boer (general part),

M.S.M. Sosef (general part, selection of species),

W.G. Keating (properties),

J. Ilic (wood anatomy)