Pisonia grandis (PROSEA)

From PlantUse English
Jump to: navigation, search
Logo PROSEA.png
Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Pisonia grandis R.Br.

Protologue: Prodr. fl. Nov. Holl. 1: 422 (1810).


Pisonia alba Span. (1841), Pisonia sylvestris Teijsm. & Binnend. (1852), Ceodes grandis (R.Br.) D.Q. Lu (1996).

Vernacular names

  • Cabbage tree, lettuce tree, Moluccan cabbage (En, "Alba")
  • Indonesia: wijaya kusuma (Javanese, wild type), kol bandang (Javanese, Sundanese, "Alba"), dagdag see (Balinese, wild type), sayur putih pulu (Moluccas, "Alba" and wild type)
  • Philippines: maluko, koles-maluko (Tagalog, "Alba")
  • Thailand: saeng chan (Bangkok).


From the islands in the Indian Ocean, the coasts of India and Sri Lanka (introduced and cultivated) to the islands in the southern Chinese sea, throughout South-East Asia (not in Sumatra, rare in Kalimantan and Sulawesi), to some islands at the northern Australian coast, and further throughout Micronesia and Polynesia (except Hawaii).


In Indonesia, the leaves of the cultivar "Alba" are crushed or heated and applied to swellings or open ulcers, corns, calluses, or applied for oedema of the legs. In Rotuma, the leaves are used for dysentery. Young leaves of "Alba" are a popular vegetable, rich in calcium.


An irregularly branched tree, 13(-30) m tall, smooth, twigs pale brown, deeply furrowed when dry; leaves opposite, elliptical, oblong or ovate, 10-20(-30) cm × 6-10(-15) cm, base acute to cordate, apex acute or acuminate, veins red or dark coloured, petiole 1-6 cm long; thyrse terminal, 1.7-3.5 cm × 3-4.5 cm, peduncle 1.5 cm long, accrescent to 3 cm, bracteoles 2-4; flowers bisexual, pedicel 1-1.5 mm long, perianth funnel-shaped, 4 mm long, 5-lobed, with 5 rows of black glands, stamens 6-10, exserted for 2 mm, stigma fimbriate, included; anthocarp elongate to club-shaped, 12 mm × 2.5 mm, 5-ribbed, each bearing a row of viscid prickles, 1 mm long, hairy between the ribs. P. grandis occurs in open, dry to semi-dry localities along sandy or rocky coasts, or on limestone, from sea-level up to 1200 m altitude, often dominant on atolls and other small islands. The bright green-yellow-leaved cultivar of P. grandis , "Alba", and sometimes the wild type, are cultivated in Bali and Java around houses and in hedges. It is rarely flowers in Bali and neighbouring islands.

Selected sources


  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, 1948-1976. The wealth of India: a dictionary of Indian raw materials & industrial products. 11 volumes. Publications and Information Directorate, New Delhi, India.407, 696, 804.


G.H. Schmelzer & N. Bunyapraphatsara