Xanthophyllum arnottianum, India
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Polygalaceae
Genus: Xanthophyllum

See text

Xanthophyllum is a genus of about 94 species of trees and shrubs, of the plant family Polygalaceae.[2] 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.[3]


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.[3]

Distribution and habitat

Xanthophyllum grows naturally from 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.[3]


As of March 2014, the following is a (currently incomplete) list of species:[2][4][5]


  1. Roxburgh, William (1819). Plants of the Coast of Coromandel (Digitised, online, via biodiversitylibrary.org). 3. East India Company. pp. 81–2. Retrieved 3 Nov 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 Meijden, R. van der (1988). "Xanthophyllum". In Adema, F.; Leenhouts, P. W.; van Welzen, P. C. 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. 1 2 3 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. Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak. (free online from the publisher, lesser resolution scan PDF versions). 6. Forest Research Institute Malaysia. pp. 221–235. ISBN 983-2181-89-5. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  4. Meijden, R. van der (1982). Systematics and evolution of Xanthophyllum (Polygalaceae). Leiden Botanical Series. 7. pp. 1–159. ISBN 90-04-06594-6. Retrieved 24 Aug 2015.
  5. "Xanthophyllum". The Plant List. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
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