Gouania Jacq.

Gouania obtusifolia Vent. ex Brongn.

This species is accepted, and its native range is S. China to W. Malesia.


Cahen, D., Stenn, K.S. & Utteridge, T.M.A. A revision of the genus Gouania (Rhamnaceae) in the Philippines and Sundaland. Kew Bull 75, 25 (2020).

Gouania obtusifolia is widespread in Sundaland and was collected several times in the Malay Peninsula since 2004. With an EOO of over 1,200,000 km2, it is assessed here as of Least Concern (LC), although its status in Java and Sumatra could be precarious. No Sundaland specimens collected outside of the Malay Peninsula since the 1960s were available for study nor were recent records found in GBIF (2018).
Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Java. Map 5.
Tropical moist broadleaf forests, specifically Tenasserim-South Thailand semi-evergreen rain forests, Peninsular Malaysian lowland and montane rain forests, Sumatran lowland and montane rain forests, Western Java lowland and montane rain forests, Eastern Java-Bali lowland and montane rain forests; alt. 0 – 1200 m.
Morphology Branches
Branchlets hollow in the centre, slender, subterete, smooth, with flush longitudinal striations
Morphology General Habit
Woody climber with circinnate tendrils, to at least 18 m long; girth to at least 2 cm
Morphology General Indumentum
Indumentum lacking on older branches to dense at distal end of branchlets; stem hairs 0.2 mm long, curved to tortuous, mostly spreading, almost all reddish-ferruginous, some whitish
Morphology Leaves
Leaves discolorous, dark green adaxially, paler abaxially, blade shape variable, narrow ovate to wide ovate or oblong, 3.2 – 12.0 cm long, 2.0 – 7.2 cm wide, chartaceous, apex rounded to acute, base rounded to cordate, cuneate to rounded in distal leaves, margins crenate-serrate, usually 15 – 20 serrations on either side, all along leaf margin, serrations getting closer towards leaf apex, leaf margin with one protruding gland at the apex of each serration, glands crowned with hairs, leaf margin often ciliate; primary vein densely hairy abaxially, hairs mostly appressed, antrorse; secondary veins 5 – 6 (– 7) pairs, densely hairy abaxially, venation eucamptodromous, basal secondary veins reaching margin at c. 60% of leaf height, angle of divergence from primary vein 25 – 40°; outer secondary veins branching off basal secondary veins conspicuous, 4 – 6; lamina glabrous to abundantly hairy adaxially, more densely along primary and secondary veins; indumentum sparse to abundant abaxially; domatia usually present in vein axils, a foliaceous appendage or tufts of hairs; petiole subterete, flattening distally, channelled, 7 – 21 mm long, densely hairy, with glands and foliaceous appendages, especially along edges of channel and near junction with leaf blade, similar to appendages found in domatia
Morphology Leaves Stipules
Stipules soon fugaceous, densely hairy, slightly asymmetric, lanceolate, acuminate, entire to pinnatifid, c. 6 mm long, medial undivided portion c. 1.5 mm wide, divisions narrow, c. 0.1 mm wide, to 0.5 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers odourless or faintly scented; hypanthium densely hairy adaxially, indumentum often paler than on inflorescence rachis, sepals triangular, c. 1.2 mm long, white-cream when fresh, glabrous and keeled adaxially; petals clawed, c. 1.1 mm long, rugulose adaxially, cream-pale yellow when fresh; stamen filaments flat, subulate, c. 0.9 mm long, anthers c. 0.2 mm long, enclosed by petals, nectary disk stellate, glabrous, smooth, diameter excluding lobes c. 1.5 mm, annulus glabrous, raised, tightly sheathing style, disk lobes narrow, tapering, apex entire to slightly notched, usually appressed to sepal lobe when dry, c. 0.9 mm long (¾ of sepal length); style arms 3, glabrous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit green when fresh, fruit body sparsely hairy, more densely near apex, drying darker brown than wings, c. 4 mm high, wings glabrous, 7 – 10 mm high, c. 1.2 × height of fruit body, distance between highest points of wings 4 (6) mm, mericarp width 9 – 12 mm, fruit body width 2.5 – 3.0 mm, 1/31/3 mericarp width.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence of congested cymes arranged along racemiform thyrses, the distal thyrses often arranged in a panicle, thyrses to 25 cm, with c. 5 flowers in each cyme; bracts narrow-lanceolate, acuminate, c. 4 mm long, entire to pinnatifid, densely hairy; cymes sessile, pedicels to 1 mm long, densely hairy
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 2 × 2 mm obovate, dorsally convex, ventrally concave, shiny brown.
Collected in flower in Jan., May, June and Aug. to Dec.; collected in fruit (mature, splitting) from Jan. to April and Aug. to Oct.
Akar Sibueh (Malay Peninsula, Ridley 1922); Kikoekoeran (Sundanese, fide Bakhuizen van den Brink Sr 1998); Sowagi-aroij (Sundanese, Filet 1876).

Native to:

Cambodia, China South-Central, China Southeast, Hainan, Jawa, Laos, Malaya, Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam

Gouania obtusifolia Vent. ex Brongn. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Horsfield, T. [s.n.], Jawa Gouania javanica K000732116
Horsfield, T. [874], Jawa Gouania javanica K000732115

First published in Mém. Fam. Rhamn.: 72 (1826)

Accepted by

  • Chayamarit, K. & Balslav, H. (eds.) (2020). Flora of Thailand 14(4): 511-669. The Forest Herbarium, Royal Forest Department.


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Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Chayamarit, K. & Balslav, H. (eds.) (2020). Flora of Thailand 14(4): 511-669. The Forest Herbarium, Royal Forest Department.
  • Wu, Z., Raven, P.H. & Hong, D. (eds.) (2007). Flora of China 12: 1-534. Science Press (Beijing) & Missouri Botanical Garden Press (St. Louis).

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    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
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