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Litsea glutinosa - (Lour.) C.B.Rob.

Common Name Indian Laurel. Brown bollygum, Maida lakri
Family Lauraceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Forest margins, streamsides, sparse forests or thickets at elevations of 500 - 1,900 metres[266 ]. Mixed primary and secondary forest and thickets[303 ].
Range E. Asia - southern China, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines to Australia.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Litsea glutinosa Indian Laurel. Brown bollygum, Maida lakri

Litsea glutinosa Indian Laurel. Brown bollygum, Maida lakri


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Litsea glutinosa is an evergreen Tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 12 m (39ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Litsea laurifolia (Jacq.) F.M.Bailey Litsea sebifera Pers. Sebifera glutinosa Lour. Tetranthera laurifolia Jacq.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses:

The fruits have a sweet creamy edible pulp[303 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

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The root bark and leaves are used medicinally to reduce fever, reduce swelling, and treat diarrhoea[266 ]. They also may be used for treating furunculosis[266 ]. The leaves, and the mucilage in the gum from the bark, have been used for making poultices[303 ]. The bark also acts as a demulcent and mild astringent in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery[303 ]. The pounded seeds are applied externally against boils[303 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses


The bark and wood contain gluten and may be used as binders[266 ]. The seed core contains around 50% of oil, which is used to make soap[266 ]. The seeds contain an aromatic oil which has been used to make candles and soap[303 ]. Although it says aromatic oil, it probably refers to a fixed oil[K ]. The roots yield fibres that are used for rope manufacture and for paper pulp[303 ]. The yellow-brown wood is moderately hard, moderately heavy, the grain is slightly crossed in narrow bands; the texture fine and dense. It is used for making furniture[266 , 721 ]. There are a number of tree species (including this one) from southeast Asia that are in the family Lauraceae and produce a useful timber that is either not distinct enough in itself, or is in insufficient supply, to warrant being traded individually. These various species have been lumped together under the trade name ‘medang’[467 , 895 ]. We do not have any more specific information of the wood from this species, but a general description of medang timber is as follows:- The heartwood is very variable, from light-straw to red-brown and olive brown; the sapwood is ill-defined. The texture is moderately fine but even; the grain interlocked or wavy; the surface dull. The wood is soft to moderately hard, not very durable. It is easy to slightly difficult to resaw, and easy to moderately easy to cross-cut; easy to plane and the surface produced is smooth to moderately smooth. It is suitable for decorative work such as interior finishing, panelling, furniture and cabinet making. It is also suitable for plywood manufacture, whilst the heavier species are suitable for medium construction under cover[467 , 895 ]. The use of Litsea glutinosa as a fodder tree is particularly developed in Mayotte (Indian Ocean) where it has been reported that 93% of the cattle farmers were using Litsea glutinosa forage (Aubriot, 2011).

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Fodder: Bank  Industrial Crop: Oil  Management: Standard  Regional Crop

Not known

Carbon Farming

  • Fodder: Bank  Fodder banks are plantings of high-quality fodder species. Their goal is to maintain healthy productive animals. They can be utilized all year, but are designed to bridge the forage scarcity of annual dry seasons. Fodder bank plants are usually trees or shrubs, and often legumes. The relatively deep roots of these woody perennials allow them to reach soil nutrients and moisture not available to grasses and herbaceous plants.
  • Industrial Crop: Oil  Materials, chemicals and energy include bioplastics, biomass, glycerin, soaps, lubricants, paints, biodiesel. Oilseed crop types.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - germination is not very rapid, approximately 85% germination is achieved in 15 - 45 days[303 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Bagnara, Bolly beach, Chandra, Elumpurukki, Garbijaur, Garur, Heluka, Huru tangkalak, Jaisanda, Kawala, Kukur chita, Maeda lakari, Maida lakadi, Maida lakri, Mai-mi-myen, Mai-ong-tong, Malai, Malek, Meda lakri, Meda sak, Medh, Menda, Mushaippeyetti, Naramamidi, Narra alagi, Ondon,Pohon medang tangkalak, Ratun, Soft bollygum, Suppatnyok, Tagu-shaw,Tulan,Uralli, Wuru lilin

Asia, Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, East Timor, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Northeastern India, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Philippines, SE Asia, South Africa, Southern Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

The environmental status of Litsea glutinosa differs between countries. In the Northern Philippines, it is considered as a disappearing useful multipurpose tree and is subject to a conservation program (Rabena, 2008). Globally, Litsea glutinosa is not considered as invasive (Jacq et al., 2005). However, it has a high invasion potential and displaces regenerating native plant species in disturbed environments (GISD, 2012). It is considered as opportunistic in the eastern coastal region of China, and invasive in KwaZulu-Natal and several islands of the Indian Ocean (Mauritius, Réunion, Mayotte), though not in the Seychelles. In Mayotte, its utilization as fodder somewhat alleviates its pest status. The invasive properties of Litsea glutinosa can also be used for reforestation of damaged soils (Jacq et al., 2005).

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Litsea calophyllaTagutuganTree15.0 10-12 MLMHNM303
Litsea citrata Tree0.0 -  LMHSNM10 
Litsea cubebaMountain Pepper, LitseaShrub7.0 10-12  LMHSNM224
Litsea umbrosa Tree0.0 -  LMHSNM013
Neolitsea sericea Tree6.0 8-11  LMHSNM101

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


(Lour.) C.B.Rob.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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