Mallotus philippensis

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Mallotus philippensisFamily: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Mallotus
Common name: Red kamala
ALA reference

This small tree is quite common here and scattered through the reserve. It is dioecious and bears male and female flowers on separate plants in terminal racemes. As I have previously observed, the ratio of male to female plants is disproportionately high and may even be as high as 10 to 1! However this year one of the few female plants is carrying a heavy crop of fruit. The three-lobed capsules contain three small black seeds.

That Mallotus philippensis and the related species Mallotus claoxyloides should have evolved to have such a high male to female plant ratio is possibly due to apomixis, which I have described in relation to Alchornea ilicifolia. (December 2010)

This small tree is quite common and scattered through the reserve. It seems to lose most of its leaves at the end of winter and is now looking very attractive with the reddish flush of new leaves. It is another dioecious species and bears male and female flowers on separate plants in terminal racemes. The photo below is of male flowers. While there seemed to be lots of male plants, I found it very difficult to find any female flowers. (October 2007)

Mallotus philippensis

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