The Inflorescence and Infructescence Morphology of Phaleria macrocarpa (Boerl.) Scheff
The importance of Phaleria macrocarpa fruits is well known in traditional medicine to treat cancer, high blood pressure, impotency, insomnia, influenza, rheumatism, allergies, heart disease, bladder complaints, uric acid and liver problems. This led to studies on its phytochemicals and their functions, but very few were focused on the structures of flower and fruits. Hence, this study aims at determining the development of the structure of Phaleria macrocarpa’s flowers and fruits including the seeds. Tagging methods and observation of the anatomy and morphology of the flowers and fruits were carried out at Taman Herba Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris. Phaleria macrocarpa’s flower is tubular shaped, whitish, fragrant, perfect flower with four sepals, four or five petals, 8 stamens and a carpel with floral formula K4 br C(4) br A8 G1. The inflorescences are umbel type, borne from all over the tree, down the trunk and the branch axils. The development of the fruit took 80 – 90 days after flowering. The colour of matured fruit is green and turns to brightly red or maroon when it ripens. The fruit is round or elliptical in shape, 3 – 5 cm in diameter of matured fruit, simple fleshy fruit in drupe form with one or two seeds. It is dicotyledonous with exalbuminous seeds type.