Kleinhovia hospita L.
Sp. pl., ed. 2: 1365 (1763).


2n = 20

Vernacular names Guest tree (En). Indonesia: (ka)timaha, (ka)timanga (Javanese), tangkele (Sundanese). Malaysia: temahai. Papua New Guinea: maroai, matakara, metakek (Bismarck Archipelago). Philippines: tanag (Tagalog), bignon (Ilokano), hamitanago (Bikol). Thailand: chomphu-phuang, hatsakhun-thet, po-farang. Vietnam: tra d[or], c[aa]y tr[af].

Origin and geographic distributionKleinhovia hospita occurs naturally throughout tropical Asia, from the Mascarene Islands to Polynesia. It is more common in Central and East Java than in West Java. In Peninsular Malaysia Kleinhovia hospita is naturally distributed along river banks, especially in Perak and in coastal areas near Melaka.

Uses In the Solomon islands Kleinhovia hospita provides fuelwood. Its branches which are often twisted, are favoured for ornamental pieces such as knife handles. Straight branches are used for house rafters. Poles are used as stakes for yams (Dioscorea spp.). The fibrous bark is used for rough cordage. The young leaves are eaten as a vegetable. The juice from the leaves makes a good eye wash. In Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands a preparation from the cambium is used to treat pneumonia. The leaves are also used as a hair-wash to get rid of lice. The attractiveness of the pink-coloured panicles accounts for its spread as an ornamental.

Properties The wood shows a pinkish buff, is moderately fine in texture, soft, light, easy to season, work, and finish. Its energy value is about 19 000 kJ/kg. The leaves and bark of Kleinhovia hospita contain cyanogenic compounds that are assumed to help to kill ectoparasites such as lice. Extracts of the leaves have shown anti-tumour activity against sarcoma in mice. A number of fatty acids with a cyclopropenylic ring (scopoletin, kaempferol, and quercetin) have been isolated from the leaves.

Ecology Kleinhovia hospita is commonly found in abandoned clearings, grassland and secondary forest from 0200(500) m altitude. In Indonesia and Malaysia Kleinhovia hospita is restricted to areas with a pronounced dry season. In Indonesia it is common in teak forest. In Malaysia it occurs mainly along river banks of the northern part of the Peninsula. It is associated with riverside settlements where it is a vigorous component of secondary forest.

Prospects Kleinhovia hospita warrants further testing as a reforestation species, as it is common in abandoned clearings and secondary forest. It is also a promising ornamental, similar in habit to Hibiscus tiliaceus L.

  • Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. p. 1302.
  • Corner, E.J.H., 1988. Wayside trees of Malaya. 3rd ed. Vol. 2. The Malaysian Nature Society. United Selangor Press, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. p. 708.
  • Henderson, C.P. & Hancock, I.R., 1989. A guide to the useful plants of Solomon Islands. Research Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Honiara, Solomon Islands. pp. 158-160.
  • Kochummen, K.M., 1973. Sterculiaceae. In: Whitmore, T.C. (Editor): Tree Flora of Malaya. A manual for foresters. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Malayan Forest Records No 26. Longman Malaysia Sendirian Berhad, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. pp. 364-365.
  • Sultanul Abedin & Abdul Ghafoor, 1976. Sterculiaceae. In: Nasir, E. & Ali, S.I. (Editors): Flora of West Pakistan No 99. Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan. pp. 15-16.

Author: A. Latiff

Source of This Article:
Latiff, A., 1997. Kleinhovia hospita L.In: Faridah Hanum, I & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (Editors). Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 11: Auxiliary plants. Backhuys Publisher, Leiden, The Netherlands, pp. 166-167

Recommended Citation:
Latiff, A., 1997. Kleinhovia hospita L.[Internet] Record from Proseabase. Faridah Hanum, I & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (Editors).
PROSEA (Plant Resources of South-East Asia) Foundation, Bogor, Indonesia. http://www.proseanet.org.
Accessed from Internet: 28-Nov-2020