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Xanthophyllum flavescens, India
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Polygalaceae
Tribe: Xanthophylleae
Genus: Xanthophyllum

See text

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Xanthophyllum is a genus of about 109 species of trees and shrubs, of the plant family Polygalaceae;[3][2] (under the Cronquist system it was previously placed in the monotypic family Xanthophyllaceae). The generic name is from the Greek meaning "yellow leaf", referring to how the leaves are often yellow when dry. In Borneo it is known as minyak berok in Malay or nyalin in the Iban language.[4]



Xanthophyllum species grow as trees or shrubs. Their twigs are often smooth and are coloured green or yellow. Leaves, when not drying yellow, dry green or dark brown. Flowers feature five petals. The mostly roundish fruits are not winged and measure up to 15 cm (6 in) in diameter. Fruits of some species are considered edible, e.g. X. ecarinatum, X. obscurum and X. stipitatum.[4]

Distribution and habitat


Xanthophyllum grows naturally from India in tropical Asia to northern Australia. The majority of species grow in lowland rainforest. Some species grow at higher altitudes in hill or montane forests. Others occur in peatswamp or kerangas forests.[4]



As of February 2021, the following is a list of accepted species:[3]


  1. ^ Roxburgh, William (1819). Plants of the Coast of Coromandel (Digitised, online). Vol. 3. East India Company. pp. 81–2. Retrieved 3 Nov 2013 – via biodiversitylibrary.org.
  2. ^ a b Meijden, R. van der (1988). "Xanthophyllum". In Adema, F.; Leenhouts, P. W.; van Welzen, P. C. (eds.). Flora Malesiana (Digitised, online). Series I, Spermatophyta : Flowering Plants. Vol. 10 pt. 3: Polygalaceae. Leiden, The Netherlands: Rijksherbarium / Hortus Botanicus, Leiden University. pp. 493–539. ISBN 90-247-3736-2. Retrieved 3 Nov 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Xanthophyllum Roxb". Plants of the World Online (POWO). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  4. ^ a b c De Wilde, W. J. J. O.; Duyfjes, Brigitta E. E. (March 2007). "Xanthophyllum Roxb." (PDF). In Soepadmo, E.; Saw, L. G.; Chung, R. C. K.; Kiew, Ruth (eds.). Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak. (free online from the publisher, lesser resolution scan PDF versions). Vol. 6. Forest Research Institute Malaysia. pp. 221–235. ISBN 978-983-2181-89-7. Retrieved 18 March 2014.