We have included Antidesma dallachyanum as a synonym of this species, though some botanists consider Antidesma dallachyanum to be a distinct species, found only in Australia[
Antidesma andamanicum Hook.f.
Antidesma ciliatum C.Presl
Antidesma collettii Craib
Antidesma cordifolium C.Presl
Antidesma crassifolium (Elmer.) Merr.
Antidesma dallachyanum Baill.
Antidesma floribundum Tul.
Antidesma glabellum K.D.Koenig ex Benn.
Antidesma glabrum Tul.
Antidesma retusum Zipp. ex Span.
Antidesma rumphii Tul.
Antidesma stilago Poir.
Antidesma sylvestre Lam.
Antidesma thorelianum Gagnep.
Sapium crassifolium Elmer
Stilago bunius L.
Common Name: Bignay
Bignay is an attractive, undemanding, evergreen, ornamental plant. Occasionally a shrub, it is more commonly a tree that can grow up to 30 metres tall, though is usually smaller. In larger specimens the bole can be up to 1 metre in diameter and unbranched for 10 metres. It is usually straight, but is often fluted or with buttresses that can be up to 3 metres tall and 10cm out[
The edible fruit is highly regarded in many areas of Asia, where it is both harvested from the wild and also often cultivated in villages and home orchards. The fruit is sometimes sold in local markets[
]. The tree is sometimes grown as an ornamental[
The bark contains a toxic alkaloid[
E. Asia - China, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea, northern Australia to the Pacific Islands.
Wet evergreen forest, dipterocarp forest and teak forest; on river banks, at forest edges, along roadsides; in bamboo thickets; in semi-cultivated and cultivated areas; in shady or open habitats; usually in secondary but also in primary vegetation[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Bignay grows best in the hot, humid tropical lowlands[
]. It thrives at elevations up to 1,200 metres in Java[
]. The tree is not strictly tropical for it has proved to be hardy up to central Florida[
]. Plants can tolerate occasional light frosts[
Grows best in a sunny position or light shade in a fertile, moisture-retentive soil[
]. Plants can succeed in a variety of soil conditions[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7, tolerating 5.5 - 8[
]. Wind-protection is desirable when the trees are young[
An abundant and invasive species in the Philippines[
Trees can start producing fruit in 5 - 6 years from seed, or as little as 2 - 3 years from grafted plants[
The heavy fragrance of the flowers, especially the male, is very obnoxious to some people[
Plants are dioecious - there are separate male and female forms. However, female forms fruit freely even when there is no male present for pollination[
]. One male tree should be planted for every 10 to 12 females to provide cross-pollination[
The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked and used in jellies, preserves etc[
]. When fully ripe, the thin but tough-skinned fruit is juicy and slightly sweet[
]. The fruit is likened by some people to cranberries and is eaten mainly by children[
]. The fruit staines the fingers and mouth[
]. The round fruit is up to 8mm in diameter with a relatively large seed, it is used mainly for jams and jellies, though it needs extra pectin added for it to jell properly[
]. The fruit is carried in redcurrant-like clusters of 20 - 40 near the shoot tips[
]. Some tasters detect a bitter or unpleasant aftertaste, unnoticeable to others[
]. If the extracted bignay juice is kept under refrigeration for a day or so, there is settling of a somewhat astringent sediment, which can be discarded, thus improving the flavour[
Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads or steamed and used as a side dish with rice[
]. A slightly sour flavour, the leaves turn brown when cooked but retain their texture well[
]. They can be cooked with other foods in order to impart their sour flavour[
The leaves are sudorific and employed in treating snakebite in Asia[
]. The leaves and roots are used as medicine for traumatic injury[
A natural pioneer species, often common in the early stages of secondary forest succession and also invading marginal grassland[
]. The tree has occasionally been employed in reforestation projects[
]. This species seems to be an excellent choice as a pioneer for establishing a woodland, preferably used within its native range because of its tendency to invade habitats[
The bark yields a strong fibre for rope and cordage[
]. The timber has been experimentally pulped for making cardboard[
The timber is reddish and hard. If soaked in water, it becomes heavy and hard[
]. Valued for general building, even though it is not very durable in contact with the soil and is also subject to attacks from termites[
Seed - Whenever the seeds are used, they need about one month of after-ripening and can then be sown under shade without pre-treatment[
]. Fresh seeds need pre-treatment with sulphuric acid for 15 min followed by soaking in water for 24 hours[
]. The viability is about 3 - 70%[
]. Depulped and dried fruits of A.bunius may be stored for 2 - 5 years in airtight containers without a serious decrease in seed viability[
Vegetative propagation is preferred because seedlings are of uncertain sex and they do not commence cropping for a number of years[
Air layering. Plants can begin producing when three years old[