Indian Rambai

Indian Rambai

Scientific name: Baccaurea courtellensis
Family name: Phyllanthaceae (Euphorbiaceae)

Indian Rambai trees in Taman Tugu
The Indian Rambai tree is an indigenous rainforest tree that are amongst the 4,100 trees added to the Taman Tugu site, selected in collaboration with Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (“FRIM”) and Malaysian Nature Society (“MNS”).

Physical features:
In more detail, the Indian Rambai tree is an evergreen tree to 15m high with an uneven bole with tubercles. Its bark greyish-yellow has a rough surface. Its branchlets are terete and rough. Its young shoots are brown-puberulous and furfuraceous. Its leaves are simple, alternate, often clustered towards the tip of branchlets. Its stipules are 3-5mm long, lateral, lanceolate and cauducous. Its petiole is 10-60mm long, slender, glabrescent or puberulous. It has a lamina that is 5.5-30 x 1.5-8.5cm, oblanceolate or elliptic-oblanceolate, base acute, attenuate or cuneate, apex acuminate or caudate-acuminate, margin entire, membranous to chartaceous, scattered white furfuraceous, often scattered puberulous on midrib beneath. It has lateral nerves in 4-7 pairs, pinnate, slender, faint, intercostae reticulate and obscure. It has unisexual flowers which are dark crimson, in densely clustered slender racemes on old stem. The male flowers are bracts lanceolate, linear-lanceolate or triangular, free, conduplicate, encircling the base of lateral branches; tepals 4-5, 1.5-2 x 1mm, linear, oblong, elliptic, suborbicular or oblanceolate, glabrous or sparsely puberulous, with 4-8 stamens, basifixed anthers and clavate pistillode . Its female flowers are bracts 1-1.5 mm long, lanceolate; tepals 4-5, 2.5-3 x 0.6-1.5mm, linear, oblong or oblong-elliptic, sparsely puberulous to glabrous, ciliated. Its ovary is superior, at about 2.5 x 2-3mm, ovoid or subglobose, 3-locular, 2 ovules in each cell, 3-angled, tomentose; with 3 stigmas and flabellate. The crimson-red edible fruits produced are sour to sweet in taste when fully ripe. The fruits are encapsulated in 15-30 x 15-25mm capsules, subglobose, ovoid, ellipsoid or obovoid, 3 locular, thick walled, often with 6 longitudinal ribs, pale yellow when ripe, brown when dry, often verrucose, pubescent, and tardily dehiscent. It has 3 seeds which are oblong and arillate.

Usage:
This trees used as a lubricant and an additive in industrial preparations because of the presence of palmitic and oleic acids in the seed oil.
Village folk of Western Ghats of India eat the fruits, and use them in folk medicine besides making pickles out of them.

Habitat:
It usually grows in tropical forests and are indigenous to Malaysian forests.