Manihot glaziovii (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Manihot glaziovii Müll.Arg.

Protologue: Euphorbiaceae

Vernacular names

  • Ceara rubber tree (En). Caoutchoutier de Céara (Fr)
  • Indonesia: singkong karet (Indonesian), sampeu karet (Sundanese), tela karet (Javanese)
  • Malaysia: pokok chat.


M. glaziovii originates from north-eastern Brazil between the southern degrees of latitude 0-10. It is occasionally cultivated pantropically, including South-East Asia.


In the early 1900s the latex was collected commercially to produce rubber, but eventually para rubber from Hevea ousted all other rubber sources. In Africa the leaves are used as a vegetable. In Indonesia M. glaziovii scions are grafted on cassava rootstocks ( M. esculenta Crantz) to increase the yield of storage roots (Mukibat method). The plant is also planted as an ornamental. In breeding work in cassava, M. glaziovii has been used as a source to improve vigour and resistance to drought, to mosaic virus disease and to bacterial disease.


Deciduous, monoecious shrub or small tree, up to 15 m tall, trunk 20-30 cm in diameter at base, containing copious latex, bearing tuberous roots. Leaves alternate, peltate, often with a bluish-white bloom; petiole 20(-45) cm long; blade palmately 3(-5) lobed, median lobe obovate about 15(-25) cm × 7(-10) cm, entire, lateral lobes prominently asymmetrical and curved upwards. Inflorescence a terminal panicle, about 30 cm long, profusely branched, many flowered, with setaceous bracts and bracteoles; female flowers restricted to the base of the upper 2/3 of the inflorescence, pedicel up to 2 cm long, flowers large, tepal 1.5 cm long, cleft to the base into 5 strap- shaped lobes, greenish-yellow with purplish tinge, disk prominent, stigma trifid and many-lobed; male flowers in the apical part of the inflorescence, large, tepal 1.5 cm long, cleft 1/3 way down into 5 lobes, green-yellow with purplish pigmentation, disk prominent, stamens 10 in 2 whorls of 5. Fruit a capsule, 2 cm long, dehiscing septicidally. Seed rounded, 1.5 cm in diameter, with trapeziform caruncle. In its native area M. glaziovii occurs up to 750 m altitude in a pronounced seasonal climate with a half year rainy season and a half year dry season. The latex is harvested in the dry season, when the plant is leafless and older than 5 years. In South-East Asia it only grows well in the driest areas. In large-scale experimental plantings in East Africa around 1900, a 4-year-old tree yielded about 0.1 kg rubber per year, and about 0.4 kg when 7 years old. In general, the rubber had a high resin content. In Java M. glaziovii has been tried on a large scale as well, but the soils and climate were much better suited for Hevea rubber.

Selected sources

11, 23, 27, 37, 38, 41, 42.