Family • Hernandiaceae - Hernandia ovigera Linn. - CHINESE LANTERN TREE - Lianxietong

Scientific names

Hernandia ovigera Linn.
Hernandia peltata Meissn.
Hernandia sonora Blanco
Hernandia nymphaeifolia Presl.

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: LIian ye tong.
COOK ISLANDS: Puka, Puka tavovo, Pukaama.

Common names

Banung-kalauai (Tagb.) Pantog-lubo (Tag.)
Habag (C. Bis.) Taba-taba (Bik.)
Kolon-kogon (Bik.) Chinese lantern-tree (Engl.)
Kolonkogun (Bik.) Hernandia (Engl.)
Kolung-kolung (Sul., Tag.) Jack-in-the-box tree (Engl.)
Koron-koron (Bik.) Sea cups (Engl.)
Kung-kung (Ak.) Sea hearse (Engl.)
Malat-antangan (Tag.) Lianxietong (Chin.)

Koron-koron is a small tree, growing to a height of 40 feet. Leaves are smooth, somewhat leathery, broadly ovate, peltate, 15 to 18 centimeters long, 8 to 10 centimeters wide, pointed at the tip, broad and rounded at the base, with petioles up to 7 to 12 inches long. Blade is 5- to 9-nerved. Inflorescence is terminal or at the axils of the leaves, 10 to 20 centimeters long. Flowers are hairy, whitish and about one centimeter in diameter. Fruit is ellipsoid or somewhat rounded and 1.5 to 3 centimeters long. Involucre is greatly enlarged.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Constituents of the twigs of Hernandia ovigera that inhibit the transformation of JB6 murine epidermal cells. / Gu JQ, Park EJ et al / J Nat Prod. 2002 Jul;65(7):1065-8.

(2) Alkaloids: Chemistry and Pharmacology / Arnold Brossi

(3) Studies on the Constituents of the Seeds of Hernandia ovigera L. VI. Isolation and Structural Determination of Three Lignans (Pharmacognosy,Chemical) / Chemical & pharmaceutical bulletin • 35(10) pp.4162-4168 1987102

(4) STUDIES ON THE CONSTITUENTS OF THE ROOT-BARK OF HERNANDIA OVIGERA L. / TsANG-.Hsiu No YANG et al / J. Chinese Chem. Soc., 23, 29-34 (1976)

(5) Constituents of the seeds of Hernandia ovigera with inhibitory activity against cyclooxygenase-2 / Dae Sik Jang, Muriel Cuendet, Bao-Ning Su, Steven Totura, Soedarsono Riswan, Harry H. S. Fong, John M. Pezzuto, A. Douglas Kinghorn / Planta Med 2004; 70(10): 893-896 / DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-832612

– Found along the seashore, occasionally extending inland on slopes at low altitudes from central Luzon (Zambales and Quezon) to Palawan, Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.
– Also occurs in Sri Lanka to tropical East Africa and Madagascar, and through Malaya to tropical Australia and Polynesia.

– Fruit contains an alkaloid, 0.7 per cent, resembling berberine.
– Seeds contain an oil, 51%, used in the same way as those of Aleurites in some parts of the Dutch Indies in making candles.
– Oil is red brown; feebly drying, which contains stearin. It is inedible.
– Study of root-bark led to the isolation of eight compounds: desoxypodophyllotoxint , thalicarpine, dehydrothalicarpine, ovigerine, hemanger-ine, hemando-nine and two unknown substances. , mp. 219-220″ and mp. 269-270°. Desoxypodop-hyllotoxin(I) and thalicarpineflll) exhibited a distinctively cytotoxic activity againstnasopharynx carcinoma was reported by S.M. Kupchan er. aI.*»°>. Dehydrothalicarp-ine(IV) is merely a dehydro product of thalicarpine(III) at C-6a and C-7 of aporphinemoiety. The isolation of dehydrothalicarpine(IV) made the first instance fromHemandia ovigera L. Comparison of their components distribution in each part ofHemandia ovigem was shown in Table 1.


Bark and leaves considered cathartic and depilatory.

Parts utilized
Leaves, oil, roots.

In the Philippines, the oil is used as a hair restorer; also used for dandruff.
The root is chewed to counter the effects of eating poisonous crabs or fish.
Leaves and seeds, when eaten, cause purging and dizziness.
In the Moluccas, the heartwood at the base of the trunk used for treating hemorrhages.
The bark and leaves used as cathartic and depilatory.

In the Dutch Indies, oil used to make candles.

Study Findings
• Twigs Constituents: Fractionation of ethyl acetate extract of HO twigs isolated two new naturally occurring aryltetralin lignans along with 8 known compounds. Two exhibited significant inhibition of the transformation of murine epidermal JB6 cells.
• Antitumor: HO reported to possess alkaloid possessing inhibitory activity against the Walker intramuscular carcinosarcoma 256 test system.
• Seed Constituents / Lignans: Study isolated a new lignan, hernolactone from the seeds of HO besides six previously reported lignans.
• Deoxypodophyllotoxin / Anticancer: The seeds of HO contain 2.4% DPT (deoxypodophyllotoxin). DPT is a form of epipodophyllotoxin, a basic skeleton of the anticancer drug etoposide. HO presents a possible source for the mass production of etoposide.
• Antiplatelet Aggregation / p-Quinonoide Aporphine Alkaloids: Study isolated 3 minor p-quinonoid aporphine alkaloids (sonodione, demethysonodione and norsonodione) and ovigerine, hernangerine, N-methylhernangerine, (+)-malekulatine and isovanillin from the stem bark of Hernandia sonora. Compounds 4-8 showed moderate antiplatelet aggregation activity in vitro.
• Tumor-Inhibitor / Thalicarpine: A tumor-inhibitor thalicarpine, the first dimeric benzylisoquinoline-aporphine alkaloid, had been isolated from the stem-bark of Hernandia ovigera.
• Cytotoxicity: Study (1975) of root-bark led to the isolation of eight compounds: desoxypodophyllotoxint , thalicarpine, dehydrothalicarpine, ovigerine, hemanger-ine, hemando-nine and two unknown substances. , mp. 219-220″ and mp. 269-270°. Desoxypodophyllotoxin and thalicarpine exhibited a distinctively cytotoxic activity againstnasopharynx carcinoma.
• Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitory Activity: Study isolated a new dibenzylbutyrolactone lignan, (2 R,3 R)-5′-methoxyguayarol, from an ethanol extract of seeds, together with three nown fatty acid derivatives and seven known lignans. (S)-coriolic acid and (+/-)-glycerol 1-monolinolate were shown to have selective inhibitory activity with cyclooxygenase 2.