Family • Meliaceae - Toona calantas Merr. & Rolfe. - PHILIPPINE CEDAR - Hong chun

Scientific names

Cedrela calantas Merr. & Rolfe.
Cedrela febrifuga C. DC.
Cedrela odorata Blanco
Cedrela toona F.-Vill
Toona cilliata Merr.

Common names

Anipla (Iv.) Lanigpa (Bik., S.L. Bis., C. Bis.)
Danigga (Ibn.) Porak (Ilk.)
Danupra (Ilk.) Philippine mahogany (Engl.)
Kantingen (Ilk., Sbl.) Philippine cedar (Engl.)
Lanigda (Bik.) Red cedar (Engl.)
Lanigpa (Bik.) Hong chun (Chin.)


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Limonoids from the Leaves and Stems of Toona ciliata / Shang-Gao Liao et al / J. Nat. Prod., 2007, 70 (8), pp 1268–1273 / DOI: 10.1021/np070146c

(2) LECTINS FROM TWO PHILIPPINE MEDICINAL PLANTS / Marivic Lacsamana, Ana Christina Opina et al / Abstracts / 17th Philippine Chemistry Congress May 23-25, 2001 / Cagayan de Oro City

Kalantas is a large forest tree. Leaves are alternate, oddly pinnate, 30-50 centimeters long or longer. Leaflets are smoothy or hairy along the nerves below, oblong or broadly lanceolate, 12 centimeters long and 5 centimeters wide. Panicles are profuse, lax, equal to or shorter than the leaves. Fruit is 3 to 4 centimeters long, with a 5-ridged central column. Seeds are distinctly but unequally winged on each side.


– In primary forests at low and medium altitudes in the Batan Islands, Cagayan to Sorsogon Provinces in Luzon; Mindoro, Samar, Negros, Leyte, Cebu and Mindanao.
– Also reported in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea.



– Wood contains 0.3 to 1.2 % essential oil; caninene is one of the principal constituents.
– Study yielded three new norlimonoids, toonaciliatins A, F, and G; four new limonoids and five known compounds.

– Considered astringent, antiseptic and antispasmodic.
– Heartwood is reddish brown, while the narrow sapwood is pale red in color.


Parts used
Bark, flowers.

– Decoction of bark is astringent and used for cleaning wounds.
– Powder of the bark is considered antiseptic and is dusted over gangrenous ulcers.
– Decoction of flowers used as an antispasmodic.

– Wood: Used in the manufacture of cigar boxes. Also used for decorative applications such as timber veneers, paneling, joinery and furniture. Also used for building boats, piano cases and carving.

Study Findings
• Anti-Ulcer / Gastroprotective: Study of ethanol extract of Toona ciliata showed gastroprotective effect in ethanol-induced and stress-induced ulcers in rats.
• Analgesic: In a study of Indian medicinal plants, the ethanolic extract of Toona ciliata showed the most significant analgesic activity.
• Anti-tumor / Cytotoxicity: Crude extract study yielded a major isolate, siderin. T ciliata was found to exhibit significant cytotoxicity and mild to moderate antitumor activity. Results were compared to those produced by vincristine sulphate.
• Lectins: In a screening of twelve Meliaceae species for the presence of lectins, Toona calantas was one of eight that tested positive for lectin activity. Studies on lectins show its possible participation in the wound healing process.