If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Tropical Plants

Litsea cubeba

(Lour.) Pers.

Lauraceae


Many plants on the Malay Peninsula, formerly identified as Litsea pipericarpa, have been found to belong to this species. The true Litsea pipericarpa is confined to Sumatra[
1025
Title
The Gardens' Bulletin Vol. 57
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
National Parks Board; Singapore
Year
2005
ISBN
0374-7859
Description
A botanical publication containing a range of articles including one of the genera Lindera, Litsea and Neolitsea. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

+ Synonyms

Benzoin citriodorum Siebold & Zucc.

Benzoin cubeba (Lour) Hatus.

Laurus cubeba Lour.

Lindera citriodora (Siebold & Zucc.) Hemsl.

Lindera dielsii H.Lév.

Litsea dielsii (H.Lév.) H.Lév.

Actinodaphne citrata (Blume) Hayata

Aperula citriodora (Siebold & Zucc.) Blume

Daphnidium cubeba (Lour.) Nees

Laurus piperita Meisn.

Lindera citrata (Blume) Koidz.

Litsea citrata Blume

Litsea citriodora (Siebold & Zucc.) Hatus.

Litsea mollifolia Chun

Litsea mollis glabrata Diels

Litsea piperita Mirb.

Malapoenna citrata (Blume) Kuntze

Malapoenna cubeba (Lour.) Kuntze

Omphalodaphne citriodora (Siebold & Zucc.) Nakai

Persea cubeba (Lour.) Spreng.

Tetranthera citrata (Blume) Nees

Tetranthera cubeba (Lour.) Meisn.

Tetranthera polyantha Wall. ex Nees

Aperula formosana Nakai

Common Name: Litsea

Litsea cubeba
Flowering branches
Photograph by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/plj/
Creative Commons License
Litsea cubeba Litsea cubeba Litsea cubeba Litsea cubeba

General Information

Litsea is a deciduous to evergreen shrub or small tree growing from 4 - 15 metres tall. The short bole is straight[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
The plant is often used in traditional medicine, and is also a source of food flavourings, essential oil and timber[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. It is cultivated commercially, particularly in China, Japan, Indo-China and Java, for its essential oil[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. This essential oil is traded internationally[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The tree can be used as a pioneer species when restoring native woodland and, with its range of uses, would be a good choice when establishing a woodland garden[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

E. Asia - China, Japan, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia.

Habitat

Sunny slopes, thickets, sparse forests, roadsides, watersides at elevations of 300 - 3,200 metres[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitDeciduous Tree
Height8.00 m
Growth RateFast
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details



A fast-growing tree[
998
Title
Forest Restoration Planting in Northern Thailand
Publication
Proceedings of the Southeast Asian Moving Workshop on Conservation, Management and Utilization of Forest Genetic Resources No. 31/2002
Author
Pakkad G.; Elliott S.; Anusarnsunthorn V. Et al
Website
http://www.fao.org/
Publisher
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Bangkok
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
A report on reforestation in northern Thailand by using specific pioneer species. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Trees produced from cuttings can commence bearing fruit when just 2 - 3 years old[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
All parts of the plant have a pleasant, lemon-like aroma[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
,
443
Title
Biotik, Laos
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://biotik.org/species_list_laos.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on more than 100 species of Laotian trees.
].
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required[
443
Title
Biotik, Laos
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://biotik.org/species_list_laos.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on more than 100 species of Laotian trees.
]. There are also forms of the plant with functioning hermaphrodite flowers[
1025
Title
The Gardens' Bulletin Vol. 57
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
National Parks Board; Singapore
Year
2005
ISBN
0374-7859
Description
A botanical publication containing a range of articles including one of the genera Lindera, Litsea and Neolitsea. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Edible Uses

The fragrant flowers are eaten or used as a flavouring for tea[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
,
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

The fruits are eaten as a vegetable side dish, and are a common substitute for cubeb pepper (Piper cubeba)[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
,
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].
The fruit, bark and leaves are often used by the Karen people of N. Thailand as a curry ingredient in a dish called 'Kaeng Nuea'[
931
Title
Thai Forest Bulletin (Botany) No. 39
Publication
 
Author
Thawatchai Santisuk (Editor)
Publisher
The Forest Herbarium (BKF); Chatuchak, Bangkok.
Year
2011
ISBN
0495-3843
Description
A botanical journal, publishing papers on taxonomy (especially vascular plants), nomenclature, phylogeny, systematics, plant geography, and floristics; also morphology, palynology, cytotaxonomy, chemotaxonomy, anatomy and other relevant disciplines.
].

The roots are cooked as a flavouring in foods[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Medicinal

The roots, branchlets, leaves, and fruits are all used in traditional medicine for treating internal health problems, such as swelling and pain[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. Research has shown the presence of several alkaloids in various parts of the plant[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Among those recently isolated and identified are laurotetanine, O-methyloblongine, oblongine, xanthoplanine and magnocararineu. Bioassay studies have indicated termicidal, antiasthmatic and antianaphylactic activities[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Recent studies have found that the essential oil may be useful in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The essential oil has demonstrated antifungal properties against several pathogens including Alternaria alternata; Aspergillus niger; Candida albicans; Fusarium spp; Helminthosporium spp[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

All plant parts of Litsea cubeba are applied medicinally and have antiparalytic, anticephalalgic, antihysteric, carminative, spasmolytic and diuretic properties[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The fruit is used in decoction for the treatment of vertigo, paralysis and in post-partum preparations[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Traditionally the Dayak Kenyah people of East Kalimantan use the fruits and bark as oral and topical medicine for babies as well as for adults. It is applied in cases of fever, stomach-ache, chest pain and as a tonic. It is also an antidote to treat drunkenness[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The leaves are used for treating skin diseases[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

In aromatherapy, the oil is applied as a cooling agent against acne and dermatitis, and to relieve anxiety and stress[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Grown as shade tree in plantations[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. It is planted as a wind-break in tea plantations[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
A fast growing pioneer species, usually gregarious in open areas, found along the edge of tropical rain forests and the edges of both lower and upper montane forests[
931
Title
Thai Forest Bulletin (Botany) No. 39
Publication
 
Author
Thawatchai Santisuk (Editor)
Publisher
The Forest Herbarium (BKF); Chatuchak, Bangkok.
Year
2011
ISBN
0495-3843
Description
A botanical journal, publishing papers on taxonomy (especially vascular plants), nomenclature, phylogeny, systematics, plant geography, and floristics; also morphology, palynology, cytotaxonomy, chemotaxonomy, anatomy and other relevant disciplines.
]. It can be used at the early stages in reforestation projects, and would make a good choice when establishing a woodland garden[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
The tree is planted as a pioneer species in northern Thailand in reforestation projects to restore native woodland - it is planted in degraded woodland and open areas in a mix with various other species that all have the ability to grow fast; produce dense, weed-suppressing crowns; and attract seed-dispersing wildlife, particularly birds and bats[
998
Title
Forest Restoration Planting in Northern Thailand
Publication
Proceedings of the Southeast Asian Moving Workshop on Conservation, Management and Utilization of Forest Genetic Resources No. 31/2002
Author
Pakkad G.; Elliott S.; Anusarnsunthorn V. Et al
Website
http://www.fao.org/
Publisher
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Bangkok
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
A report on reforestation in northern Thailand by using specific pioneer species. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Other Uses

The flowers, leaves, and fruit walls are all sources of essential oils[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. These oils are processed for citral and are also used for their fragrance and medicinal properties[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. Citral is used for the production of ionones and formerly vitamin A and in essences for cosmetics, foodstuffs and tobacco products[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Because of its pleasant citrus-like smell and taste it is a modifier for lemon and lime flavours and a general freshener in fruit flavours[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]
The main essential oil, known as 'may-chang oil' is obtained from the fruit[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. (Though one report says it is obtained from the flowers[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].) This oil is used in perfumery and is also the main source of citral, for which it is commercially cultivated[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. In perfumery, may chang oil is used as an alternative for verbena oil and lemongrass oil in colognes, household sprays, soaps and air-fresheners[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The seed contains a fatty oil, from which lauric acid and capric acid are produced[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The wood is used for general furniture-making and construction[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Propagation

Seed -

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.