Family • Anonaceae - Alphonsea arborea (Blanco) Merr.

Scientific names

Alphonsea arborea Blanco
Alphonsea philippinensis Merr.
Platymitra arborea (Blanco) P. J. A. Kessler

Common names

Bolon (Bik.) Lanutan (Tag., Bik.)
Kalai (Tag.) Malatambon (Bik.)
Kalay (Tag.) Palokalai (Tag.)
Lanotan (S. L. Bis.) Sapiro (C. Bis.)


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Medicinal Plants Research in Asia – Volume I / Batugal PA, Kanniah J, Sy L, Oliver JT

(2) Investigation of some Philippine plants for antimicrobial substances. / Edna V. Ramos, Roseanna M. De La Cruz, Victoria A. Masilungan, Flora B. Beloy / Philippine Journal of Science, Dec 1978, Vol 105, Issue 4, pp 205-214

(3) Alphonsea arborea (Blanco) Merr. / The Plant List

Kalai is a tall forest tree growing to a height of 40 meters with a diameter of 70 centimeters. Leaves are ovate-oblong, 10 to 15 centimeters long, 2 to 3 centimeters wide, with a pointed base and tip. Inflorescence is lateral on short hairy stalks. Flowers are small, yellow and odorless. Sepals are short, with petals about 6 millimeters long. Fruit is brown, usually single, large, hard and woody, ellipsoid or subglobose, 6 to 9 centimeters long.

In forests at low and medium altitudes.


Considered febrifuge, emmenagogue and anti-dysenteric.

Parts utilized
Fruit, leaves and bark.


Ripe fruit is edible; eaten raw.
– Boiled fruit used for fevers.
– Decoction of fruit used for amenorrhea.
– Decoction of bark with dried leaves of garlic used for urticaria.
– Decoction of fruit used as antidysenteric.
– Decoction of bark used for diabetes.

Ornamental cultivation.
Wood: Used for making baseball bats and bowling pins.

Study Findings
• Antimicrobial: Study evaluated 848 extracts from 108 species of Philippine plants from 44 families using eight solvents. Sixty-two or 58% showed inhibitory activity to Bacillus subtilis, Micrococcus aureus, E. coli, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Alphonsea arborea was one of nine plants that showed exceptionally high values of antimicrobial activity.