Hernandia nymphaeifolia

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Hernandia nymphaeifolia
Hernandia nymphaeifolia.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Magnoliids
Order: Laurales
Family: Hernandiaceae
Genus: Hernandia
Species: H. nymphaeifolia
Binomial name
Hernandia nymphaeifolia
(Presl.) Kubitzki 1970

Hernandia nymphaeifolia is a species of plant in the Hernandiaceae family. Its common name is lantern tree.


Hernandia nymphaeifolia is a tree with 5–22 m high. The leaves are narrowly or broadly ovate or subcircular. The 5-9 veins are palmate. The flowers are white or greenish, hermaphrodite, with fragant odour; male and female are separated. The fruit is fleshy, waxy red or white.[1]

H.nymphaeifolia shrub

Distribution and Ecology[edit]

This species occurs throughout the tropics (Duyfjes 1996) exclusively in coastal areas: along the sea-shore in littoral forest and in coastal swamps. Fujita (1991) lists H. nymphaeifolia as being seed dispersed by the Marianas flying fox in the Mariana Islands.[2]


Hernandia nymphaeifolia has a light, perishable wood. It has been used in South Pacific islands for fishing rods, fish net floats, wooden sandals, fan handles, drawing boards, canoe accessories, furniture and firewood, etc. A woody layer surrounds the seed of the lantern tree fruit. The Tahaitians polish the round brown seeds to a high gloss and fashion them into necklaces. The Marshallese bathe children in a healing bath made from H. nymphaeifolia leaves and relieve headaches with a preparation from other tree parts. The effect of lignanes from this species on Ca2+ signaling in human neutrophils has been studied.[3]


  1. ^ THREATENED SPECIES OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY. Hernandia nymphaeifolia [1]
  2. ^ http://batplants.co.uk/lantern.htm
  3. ^ Novel action of lignans isolated from Hernandia nymphaeifoliaon . Archives of Toxicology Volume 75, Numbers 11-12, 695-702, doi:10.1007/s00204-001-0294-6

External links[edit]

  • Bhavatu Sabba Mangalam [2]