Family • Meliaceae - Aglaia odorata Lour. - CHINESE PERFUME PLANT - Mi zi lan

Scientific names

Aglaia odorata Lour.
Aglaia duperreana Pierre
Aglaia pinnata Druce

Common names

Sinamomong-sungsong (Tag.)
Chinese perfume plant (Engl.)
Chinese rice flower (Engl.)
Mi zi lan (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

BURMESE: Thanat-ka-wa.
CHINESE: Shu lan, Sui mi lan, Shan hu jiao, Xian huo lua.
INDONESIAN: Pacar cina, Bunga maniran, Pacar culam.
LAOTIAN: ‘Khai pou.
MALAYSIAN: Me shui lan, Chulan, Pokok telur belangkas.
SPANISH: Cinamomo, Cinamomo de China.
THAI: Homklai, Khayong, Prayong.
VIETNAMESE: Ngau tau, Boa ng[aa]u.


Sinamomong-sungson is a small, much-branched, smooth tree growing from 4 to 7 meters high. Leaves are 5 to 12 centimeters long, with the rachis slightly winged. Leaflets are five, obovate to oblong, 2 to 7 centimeters long, the lower ones being smaller than the upper. Flowers, borne on axillary, lax panicles, 5 to 10 centimeters long, numerous, yellow, very fragrant, and about 3 millimeters in diameter. Fruit is ovoid or subglobose, about 12 millimeters long.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Cyclopentabenzofuran Lignan Protein Synthesis Inhibitors from Aglaia odorata / Takuhito Ohse, Shigeru Ohba,Takashi Yamamoto et al / J. Nat. Prod., 1996, 59 (7), pp 650–652 / DOI: 10.1021/np960346g

(2) An insecticidal rocaglamide derivatives and related compounds from Aglaia odorata (Meliaceae) / B W Nugroho, R A Edrada, V Wray et al / Phytochemistry, Vol 51, No 3, June 1999, Pp 367-376 /

(3) A Study on the Chemical Constituents of the Essential Oils of the Flowers of Aglaia odorata Lour / Lin Zheng-hui, Hun Ying-fang and Gu Yu-hong / Acta Botanica Sinica Volume 23 Issue 3

(4) Aglaia odorata Lour. / Chinese medicine / Medicinal Plant Images Database

(5) Herbicidal Efficiency of Aglaia odorata Extracts Against Mimosa pigra / L. Kritchaya Issakul / American Journal of Research Communication, 2013: Vol 1(5).

(6) Cyclopentabenzofuran Lignan Protein Synthesis Inhibitors from Aglaia odorata / Takuhito Ohse , Shigeru Ohba, Takashi Yamamoto, Takashi Koyano, and Kazuo Umezawa / J. Nat. Prod., 1996, 59 (7), pp 650–652
DOI: 10.1021/np960346g

(7) Insecticidal active constituents from twig of Aglaia odorata / CHINESE TRADITIONAL AND HERBAL DRUGS, Volume 35, Issue 11, 2004

(8) Aglaia odorata Lour. / Vernacular names / BLOBinMED

– Cultivated as an ornamental tree for its fragrant flowers.
– Introduced from southeastern Asia.

– Branches and leaves yield triterpenoids (aglaiol, aglaiondiol, aglaitrioland aglaione), alkaloids (odorine and odorinol). Flowers yield volatile oil consisting of a-humulene, ß-caryophyllene, ß-cubebene, ß-gurjunene.
– Essential oils from the flowers of Aglaia odorata yielded 21 components: hendecane, linalool, decyladehyde, copaene, β-caryophyllend, β-humulene, β-elemene, β-selinene, humuladienone, humulene epoxide Ⅰ, tridecanic acid methyl ester, β-humulene-7-ol, β-humu- lene-7-ol acetate, juniper camphor, heptadecane, khusol acetate, oetadecane, nonadecane, eicosane, heneicosane and docosane, among which β-humnlene-7-ol is expressive of a graceful odor of Aglaia odorata

– Roots and leaves considered pectoral, stimulant, febrifuge, tonic and anti-convulsive.
– Flowers are very fragrant in the evening.

Sinamomong-sungsong4Parts used
Roots, flowers, leaves.

– In the Philippines, decoction of roots and leaves used as a tonic.
– Infusion of flowers given as a cooling drink for eruptive fevers.
– Sino-Annamites used the roots and leaves as pectoral, febrifuge, and tonic; also used for convulsions.
– In China, flowers, leaves, and roots used as a tonic. Branches and leaves used for rheumatic pains, toxic swelling, and superficial infections.
– In Java, infusion of leaves taken as tonic for excessive menses and for venereal diseases.

Herbicide: Flower pellets show potential as organic herbicide for control of barnyard grass weed.
Perfume: Dried flowers are used to perfume clothes and cigarettes, and to scent teas.

Study Findings
• Cyclopentabenzofuran Lignan Protein Synthesis Inhibitors: Study isolated rocaglaol, known compound pyrimidinone and the novel compound aglaiastatin from the CHCl3 extract of leaves. The three were potent inhibitors of the growth of K-ras-NRK cells.
• Dolabellane Diterpenoids / Cytotoxicity: Study yielded 5 dolabellane diterpenoids; two showed weak cytotoxicity against human myeloid leukemia HL-60, hepatocellular carcinoma, and lung cancer A-549 cells.
• Anti-Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1: Of 20 Thai medicinal plants evaluated for anti-herpes simplex virus 1 activity, eleven, including A odorata, inhibited plaque formation of HSV-1 more than 50%. AO was also effective against thymidine-kinase-deficient HSV-1 and phosphonoacetate-resistant HSV-1 strains. It showed a potential as anti-HSV1 agent.
• Elemene & Cisplastin Synergy / Anti-Cancer: Elemene (1-methyl-1-vinyl-2.4-diisopropenylcyclohexane) has been extracted from numerous plants, including the flowers and leaves of Aglaia odorata. Article describes the synergy of the combination of cisplastin with b-elemene in in vitro assays against androgen-insensitive prostate cancer cells. B-elemene as an anticancer drug has anti-tumor activity against a broad spectrum of cancers, with low level of toxicity.
• Insecticidal / Rocaglamide Derivatives: Organic extracts of the twigs and leaves of Aglaia odorata yielded eight insecticidal cyclopentatetrahydrobenzofuran rocaglamide derivatives. The isolated rocaglamide derivatives exhibited strong insecticidal activity towards neonate larvae of the polyphagous pest insect Spodophera littoralis when incorporated into artificial diet.
• Herbicidal Efficiency: Study evaluated eighteen species of Thai local plants as botanical herbicides for reducing the use of harmful herbicides in agricultural pest management. Aglaia odorata leaf extracts demonstrated the highest germination inhibitory effect against Mimosa seedling. Results suggest A. odorata eaf extract may be a potential natural resource as a botanical herbicide to reduce the use of harmful ones.
• Cyclopentabenzofuran / Lignan Protein Synthesis Inhibitors: A CHCl3 extract of leaves yielded Ras function inhibitors, rocaglaol and related compounds, pyriidinone and the novel aglaiastatin. The three compounds were potent inhibitors of growth of K-ras-NRK cells. They also specifically inhited protein synthesis. Aglastatin reduced the amount of Ras, possibly through inhibition of de novo synthesis.
• Insecticidal Active Constituents / Twigs: Study evaluated the insecticidal active constituents from twigs. Seven compounds were isolated: desmethyl rocaglamide, 8-methoxymarikarin, 7-hydroxy-6-methoxy-coumarin , 3′-hydroxy-methylrocaglate, 3′-hydroxyrocaglamide, and marikarin.