Family • Coriariaceae - Coriaria intermedia Matsum. - JAPANESE FALSE BLUEBERRY

Scientific names

Coriaria intermedia Matsum.
Coriaria japonica subsp. intermedia (Matsum) T. C. Huanh

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Tai wan ma sang

Common names

Buakat (Ig.)
Baket (Ig.)
Bikit (Ig.)
Japanese false blueberry (Ig.)
Ma sang ye (Chin.)


Additional Sources and Coriaria intermedia Matsum. Suggested Readings

(1) Coriaria intermedia Matsum. / Synonyms / The Plant List

(2) Studies on the Components of Coriaria japonica A. GRAY. XIV. Two New Compounds isolated from Old Stem and Seed / Okuda Takuo / Chemical & pharmaceutical bulletin 9(3), 178-181, 1961-03-25

(3) Investigation of the possible biological activities of a poisonous South African plant; Hyaenanche globosa (Euphorbiaceae) / Saeldeh Momtzaz, Namrita Lall et al / Pharmacognosy Magazine, 2010, Vol 6, No 21, Page : 34-41

(4) The isolation and structure elucidation of a new sesquiterpene lactone from the poisonous plant Coriaria japonica (Coriariaceae). / Takeshi Kinoshita, Nao Itaki, Maho Hikita, Yutaka Aoyagi, Yukio Hitotsuyanagi, Koichi Takeya / CHEMICAL & PHARMACEUTICAL BULLETIN 09/2005; 53(8):1040-2. / DOI:10.1248/cpb.53.1040


Baket is a shrub that grows from 1 to 3 meters high. Young branches are four-angled, reddish or pinkish. Leaves are ovate or ovate-lanceolate, 4 to 8.5 centimeters in length, 2 to 4 centimeters in width, blunt or rounded at the base and pointed at the tip. Flowers are small, about 2 millimeters long, greenish to reddish, borne on simple racemes 6 to 15 centimeters long. Fruit is composed of five very small cocci surrounded by fleshy, persistent petals and sepals of a bluish-black color, giving it a berrylike appearance.

– Found in ravines, at an altitude of 1,400 to 2000 meters in Bontoc, Lepanto and Benguet in the Mountain Province.
– Also reported in Taiwan.

– Poisonous glucoside isolated from the leaves and fruit.
– Study yields coriamyrtin 0.176 % in the fruit, 0.009% in the leaves and 0.041 % in the stems.
– Coriamyrtin is the same toxin found in high concentration in the berries of Coriaria myrtifolia, recognized as one of the most neurotoxic plants in the western Mediterranean area.
– Seeds of C. japonica yielded coriarin, a sesquiterpene lactone, together with tutin, dihydrotutin, and coriarin.

– Plant known to be toxic and poisonous.

– No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
– Igorots reported to be acquainted with the toxicity of the plant.
– In Taiwan, used as folk medicine for gastrointestinal and uterine cancer.
– Decoction of leaves and fruits known to be deadly poisonous.
– Common in pasture in the Mountain Province, has caused the death of cattle.

Coriamytrin: Coriamyrtin is the same toxin found in high concentration in the berries Coriaria myrtifolia, recognized as one of the most neurotoxic plants in the western Mediterranean area – a few berries may induce digestive and neurologic manifestations including seizures, coma and apnea.
Coriatin: Coriatin, isolated from the fruit juice is considered to be an analog of coriamyrtin.
Tutin: Several studies have reported tutin as a major neurotoxin in the New Zealand shrubs of the genus Coriaria. Tutin has been isolated from the acetone extracts of achenes from the Coriaria japonica berries.

Study Findings
• Phytochemicals: Study yielded phytosterols, ellagic acid 3,3′-dimethyl ether, coriamyrtin, b-tutin, naringenin, ursolic acid and a new triterpenoic acid, 20-epibryonolic acid. Further studies of roots and fruits yielded corianin, 7-hydroxycoumarin, ursolic acid, coriamyrtin, tutin, angustiloin, quercetin and kaempferol.
• Toxic Principle / Coriatin: Coriatin, isolated from the fruit juice, was considered to be an analog of coriamyrtin. The relationship between coriatin and coriamyrtin is considered to be analogous to that between picrotin and picrotoxinin.
• Sesquiterpene Lactone / Coriarin: A sesquiterpene lactone, coriarin, was isolated from the achenes (seeds) of Coriaria japonica, along with known constituents tutin, dihydrotutin, and coriarin.