Sphaerocoryne affinis

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Sphaerocoryne affinis
Rumdoul.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Magnoliids
Order: Magnoliales
Family: Annonaceae
Genus: Sphaerocoryne
Species: S. affinis
Binomial name
Sphaerocoryne affinis
(Teijsm. & Binn.) Ridl.[1]
Synonyms
  • Melodorum fruticosum
  • Mitrella mesnyi (Pierre) Bân
  • Popowia aberrans
  • Unona mesnyi Pierre

Sphaerocoryne affinis (notable synonyms: Mitrella mesnyi, Melodorum fruticosum)[1] is a species of flowering plant in the soursop family, Annonaceae. The fragrant flowers of Sphaerocoryne affinis are highly regarded in Cambodia and Thailand.

Description[edit]

This plant has a yellowish-white flower with a single alternate leaf. It has a height of 8–12 m and a stem diameter of 20–30 cm. It gives out an attractive smell in the late afternoon and evening, a distinctive fragrance that can be smelled from a long distance.[2]

Cultural significance[edit]

In Cambodia[edit]

The rumduol (Khmer: រំដួល), as it is known in Cambodia, is often planted in gardens and parks as it is valued for its fragrance. The flowers are used to make a scented lip wax called kramuon rumduol (Khmer: ក្រមួនរំដួល).[3] Several regions in Cambodia are named after this flower, such as Romdoul District and Ou Rumduol.

In a 2005 royal decree by King Sihamoni of Cambodia, the rumduol was proclaimed the national flower of Cambodia, however this decree references an invalid synonym for this taxon, Mitrella mesnyi.[3] The rumduol is often referred to as Popowia aberrans on botanical signs and as noted by Headley in the Cambodian-English dictionary.[4][5]

In Thailand[edit]

This plant is known as lamduan (Thai: ลำดวน) in the Thai language. It is often referred to by the synonym Melodorum fruticosum in Thai publications.[6] A Thai cookie, called khanom kleeb lamduan (Thai: ขนมกลีบลำดวน), is fashioned after the shape of the flowers. The Dok Lamduan Festival is held annually in Sisaket Province in observance of the blooming flowers.[7]

Labeled as Melodorum fruticosum at Nong Nooch Gardens

References[edit]

External links[edit]