Herbs & Plants

Finlaysonia obovata

Botanical Name: Finlaysonia obovata
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Periplocoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales
Genus: Finlaysonia

*Atherolepis Hook.f.
*Gongylosperma King & Gamble
*Gurua Buch.-Ham. ex Wight
*Meladerma Kerr
*Stelmacrypton Baill.
*Stelmocrypton H.E.Baillon, 1889

Common Names: Kalak Kambing, Oyod Kambing

Habitat: Finlaysonia obovata grows in mangrove forest fragments.This climber with distinctive horn-like fruits is rarely seen. According to Hsuan Keng, it is found in mangroves and tidal river banks including at Kranji and Geylang. Ang et al have found it in some of our remaining mangroves. Generally uncommon in global distribution, but where they occur, they can be common. Usually found in mangroves and on borders of tidal creeks and fishponds.

Finlaysonia obovata is a slender, woody climber with papery bark. White latex exudes from the injured plant parts. Foliage. Its opposite, thickly stalked leaves have fleshy leaf blades that are usually drop-shaped, 5–13 by 2.5–6.4 cm, and borne on drooping branchlets.ts fetid flowers are dull yellow with or without a purplish tinge in the centre and covered with white hair. The flowers are found on shortly-stalked, branched clusters up to 7.6 cm long at the leaf axils.It has ribbed fruits are fleshy green pods, and 7.6 by 5 cm, with hooked tips. Each fruit contains numerous brown seeds that are flat, oblong-drop-shaped, slightly covered with hair along the edges, with a short tuft of hair at one end, and about 2 cm long. Its flowers are probably pollinated by insects such as beetles or flies.


Cultivation & propagation:
The plant neesd Full Sun, Semi-Shade to grow properly. Moderate watering is required. It is propagatede through seeds.

Edible Uses:
Fruits are eaten – raw or cooked. The flesh around the seeds has a sweetly acid and mildly peppery flavour. They can be cooked to make a rich, red, acid jelly, stewed, or fermented to make wine. The bright scarlet-red, cylindrical fruits are about 7cm long, hanging from the branches in bunches of 3 – 8 and looking rather like sausages or fingers. When ripe, the fruit can hang for a long time on the tree. The fruit can also be stored by drying it in the sun, then soaking it in warm water before eating it.

Medicinal Uses:
The roots are boiled and the decoction used for treating stomach-ache, infertility in women and as an antidote for snakebite.

Other Uses:
The wood is hard. It is used for making walking sticks, clubs, tool handles, withies, grain stores etc.
The wood is used for fuel.

Known Hazards:: This climber is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the Red List of threatened plants of Singapore. This is because it is estimated that there are fewer than 50 mature individuals left in the wild with some evidence of decline and fragmentation of its natural habitat.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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