Common Bulang (Gmelina Elliptica)

ITS–F-37-1-GEMLINA-ELIPTICAThis spiny shrub or small tree is sometimes used as a living fence. This plant cangrow 2 to 7 m high. The Common Bulang is widely spread throughout the tropical countries of South East Asia.

This species’ botanical name is Gmelina elliptica, and it belongs to the Verbenaceae family. The plant has auxiliary spines with a length of 0.5-2.5 cm. As a result of these spines, the Common Bulang is frequently used as a living barrier or fence in front of a house. Indonesian name for this plant is “bulang” or “wareng.” The plants are easy to find in many regions of the Indonesian archipelago.

The leaves of the Common Bulang are oval, elliptical, or ovate with the pointed or blunt tips. The leaves are dark-green. The flower’s sepals are bright-yellow, and its shape is like a bell. The fruits are yellow and round, and pointed at the tips. The fruit contains some seeds. The Common Bulang can be cultivated or propagated by seeding or cloning.

In its natural habitat, the plant grows in the secondary forest, river banks, or open areas. And people often grow it as a living fence in their yards. Today, the Common Bulang is also artificially made into a bonsai “dwarf tree.” People traditionally use the plant wood for sticks. The extracted liquid or essence from the leaves and fruit is traditionally used for healing ear diseases, and the water from the boiled leaves is also believed to have a medical power to remedy the stomach ache.

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