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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Magnoliids
Ordo: Magnoliales

Familia: Annonaceae
Subfamilia: Malmeoideae
Tribus: Miliuseae
Genus: Polyalthia
Species: P. angustissima – P. barenensis – P. borneensis – P. bracteosa – P. bromantha – P. brunneifolia – P. bullata – P. castanea – P. cauliflora – P. celebica – P. charitopoda – P. chinii – P. chrysotricha – P. cinnamomea – P. clemensiorum – P. corticosa – P. debilis – P. dictyoneura – P. dolichopoda – P. dumosa – P. elegans – P. elliptica – P. endertii – P. evecta – P. flagellaris – P. fruticosa – P. gamopetala – P. gracilicolumnaris – P. gracilipes – P. guabatuensis – P. guamusangensis – P. heteropetala – P. hirtifolia – P. hispida – P. ichthyosma – P. igniflora – P. insignis – P. intermedia – P. johnsonii – P. kanchanaburiana – P. khaoyaiensis – P. kinabaluensis – P. lanceolata – P. lancilimba – P. lasioclada – P. lateritia – P. longirostris – P. luzonensis – P. malabarica – P. meghalayensis – P. microsepala – P. microtus – P. miliusoides – P. mindorensis – P. miniata – P. minima – P. minutiflora – P. monocarpioides – P. montis-silam – P. moonii – P. motleyana – P. myristica – P. novoguineensis – P. obliqua – P. oblonga – P. pakdin – P. parviflora – P. persicifolia – P. pisocarpa – P. polyphlebia – P. praeflorens – P. pumila – P. rufescens – P. saprosma – P. sessiliflora – P. socia – P. spathulata – P. stellata – P. stenopetala – P. stenophylla – P. subcordata – P. suberosa – P. submontana – P. sympetala – P. tipuliflora – P. trochilia – P. venosa – P. watui – P. xanthocarpa – P. yingjiangensis

Polyalthia Blume, Fl. Javae 28–29: 68. (1830)

Type species: Polyalthia subcordata (Blume) Blume


Haplostichanthus F. Muell. Vict. Naturalist 7: 180. (1891)
Type: Haplostichanthus johnsonii F. Muell.
Papualthia Diels in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 49: 138. (1912)
Type: Papualthia pilosa Diels [= Haplostichanthus longirostris (Scheff.) Heusden]
Monostichanthus F.Muell.
Sphaerothalamus Hook.f.
Tabraca Noronha


Blume, C.L. von 1830. Flora Javae, 68.
Chaowasku, T. & Van Der Ham, R.W. 2013. Integrative systematics supports the establishment of Winitia, a new genus of Annonaceae (Malmeoideae, Miliuseae) allied to Stelechocarpus and Sageraea. Systematics and Biodiversity 11(2): 195–207. DOI: 10.1080/14772000.2013.806370 Reference page.
Chaowasku, T., Johnson, D.M., van der Ham, R.W.J.M. & Chatrou, L.W. 2015. Huberantha, a replacement name for Hubera (Annonaceae: Malmeoideae: Miliuseae). Kew Bulletin 70(2)-23: 1–4. DOI: 10.1007/S12225-015-9571-Z ResearchGate Reference page.
Chatrou, L.W. & Pirie, M.D., Erkens, R.H.J., Couvreur, T.L.P., Neubig, K.M., Abbott, J.R., Mols, J.B., Maas, J.W., Saunders, R.M.K. & Chase, M.W. 2012. A new subfamilial and tribal classification of the pantropical flowering plant family Annonaceae informed by molecular phylogenetics. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 169(1): 5–40. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8339.2012.01235.x Open access Reference page.
Christenhusz, M.J.M. 2010. Index to new taxa and nomenclatural acts in Phytotaxa 8. Phytotaxa, 8 : 65. PDF
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Polyalthia in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Aug. 4. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2016. Polyalthia. Published online. Accessed: July 20 2016.
Turner, I.M. & Utteridge, T.M.A. 2016. Whither Polyalthia (Annonaceae) in Peninsular Malaysia? Synopses of Huberantha, Maasia, Monoon and Polyalthia s.s. European Journal of Taxonomy 183: 1–26. DOI: 10.5852/ejt.2016.183 Reference page.
Mols, J.B., Kessler, P.J., Rogstad, S.H. & Saunders, R.M. 2008. Reassignment of six Polyalthia species to the new genus Maasia (Annonaceae): molecular and morphological congruence. Systematic Botany 33(3): 490–494. DOI: 10.1600/036364408785679752 Full text from ResearchGate Reference page.
Saunders, R.M.K., Su, Y.C.F. & Xue , B. 2011. Phylogenetic affinities of Polyalthia species (Annonaceae) with columellar-sulcate pollen: enlarging the Madagascan endemic genus Fenerivia. Taxon 60: 1407–1416. Full text PDF from ResearchGate Reference page.
Turner, I.M. 2015. A conspectus of Indo‐Burmese Annonaceae. Nordic Journal of Botany 33(3): 257–299. DOI: 10.1111/njb.00689 Reference page.
Xue, B., Su, Y.C., Mols, J.B., Kessler, P.J. & Saunders, R.M. 2011. Further fragmentation of the polyphyletic genus Polyalthia (Annonaceae): molecular phylogenetic support for a broader delimitation of Marsypopetalum. Systematics and Biodiversity 9(1): 17-26. DOI: 10.1080/14772000.2010.542497 Full text PDF from ResearchGate Reference page.
Xue, B., Su, Y.C.F., Thomas, D.C. & Saunders, R.M.K. 2012. Pruning the polyphyletic genus Polyalthia (Annonaceae) and resurrecting the genus Monoon. Taxon 61(5): 1021–1039. DOI: 10.1002/tax.615009 Paywall JSTOR Hybrid open access journal ResearchGate Open access Reference page.

Polyalthia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Annonaceae. There are approximately 90 species distributed from Africa to Asia and the Pacific.[1]

These are trees and shrubs. The flower has six petals in two whorls, the inner petals curving inward over the centre.[1]

The name Polyalthia is derived from a combination of Greek words meaning ‘many cures’ with reference to the medicinal properties of certain species.[2]


This large genus was known to be polyphyletic, with many species having been separated and reassigned to other genera.[3][4] Species have also been transferred into this genus (e.g. P. malabarica from Phaeanthus).

Plants of the World Online[5] currently includes the following as accepted:

Polyalthia angustissima Ridl.
Polyalthia barenensis Bân
Polyalthia borneensis Merr.
Polyalthia bracteosa Bân
Polyalthia bromantha I.M.Turner
Polyalthia brunneifolia J.Sinclair
Polyalthia bullata King
Polyalthia castanea Ridl.
Polyalthia cauliflora Hook.f. & Thomson
Polyalthia celebica Miq.
Polyalthia charitopoda I.M.Turner
Polyalthia chinii I.M.Turner & Utteridge
Polyalthia chrysotricha Ridl.
Polyalthia cinnamomea Hook.f. & Thomson
Polyalthia clemensiorum Jovet-Ast
Polyalthia consanguinea Merr.
Polyalthia corticosa (Pierre) Finet & Gagnep.
Polyalthia debilis (Pierre) Finet & Gagnep.
Polyalthia dictyoneura Diels
Polyalthia dolichopoda I.M.Turner
Polyalthia dumosa King
Polyalthia elegans K.Schum. & Lauterb.
Polyalthia elliptica (Blume) Blume
Polyalthia endertii D.M.Johnson
Polyalthia evecta (Pierre) Finet & Gagnep.
Polyalthia flagellaris (Becc.) Airy Shaw
Polyalthia fruticosa (Jessup) B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders
Polyalthia gamopetala Boerl. ex Koord.-Schum.
Polyalthia gracilicolumnaris H.Okada, Tsukaya & Suleiman
Polyalthia gracilipes Merr.
Polyalthia guabatuensis I.M.Turner & Utteridge
Polyalthia guamusangensis I.M.Turner & Utteridge
Polyalthia heteropetala (Diels) Ghesq.
Polyalthia hirtifolia J.Sinclair
Polyalthia hispida B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders
Polyalthia ichthyosma I.M.Turner
Polyalthia igniflora D.M.Johnson
Polyalthia insignis (Hook.f.) Airy Shaw (synonym Polyalthia elmeri Merr.)
Polyalthia intermedia (Pierre) Bân
Polyalthia johnsonii (F.Muell.) B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders
Polyalthia kanchanaburiana Khumch. & Thongp.
Polyalthia kinabaluensis I.M.Turner
Polyalthia lanceolata S.Vidal
Polyalthia lancilimba C.Y.Wu ex P.T.Li
Polyalthia lasioclada I.M.Turner
Polyalthia lateritia J.Sinclair
Polyalthia longirostris (Scheff.) B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders
Polyalthia luzonensis B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders
Polyalthia malabarica (Bedd.) I.M.Turner
Polyalthia meghalayensis V.Prakash & Mehrotra
Polyalthia microsepala Diels
Polyalthia microtus Miq.
Polyalthia miliusoides I.M.Turner
Polyalthia mindorensis Merr.
Polyalthia miniata Teijsm. & Binn.
Polyalthia minima Jovet-Ast
Polyalthia minutiflora Elmer
Polyalthia monocarpioides I.M.Turner
Polyalthia montis-silam D.M.Johnson
Polyalthia moonii Thwaites
Polyalthia motleyana (Hook.f.) Airy Shaw
Polyalthia myristica I.M.Turner
Polyalthia novoguineensis (H.Okada) B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders
Polyalthia obliqua Hook.f. & Thomson
Polyalthia oblonga King
Polyalthia pakdin I.M.Turner & Utteridge
Polyalthia parviflora Ridl.
Polyalthia persicifolia (Hook.f. & Thomson) Bedd.
Polyalthia pisocarpa (Hassk.) I.M.Turner
Polyalthia polyphlebia Diels
Polyalthia praeflorens Bân
Polyalthia pumila Ridl.
Polyalthia rufescens Hook.f. & Thomson
Polyalthia saprosma I.M.Turner
Polyalthia sessiliflora (Ast) Bân
Polyalthia socia Craib
Polyalthia spathulata (Teijsm. & Binn.) Boerl.
Polyalthia stellata (Heusden) B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders
Polyalthia stenopetala (Hook.f. & Thomson) Finet & Gagnep.
Polyalthia stenophylla I.M.Turner
Polyalthia subcordata (Blume) Blume - type species
Polyalthia suberosa (Roxb.) Thwaites
Polyalthia submontana (Jessup) B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders
Polyalthia sympetala I.M.Turner
Polyalthia tipuliflora D.M.Johnson
Polyalthia trochilia I.M.Turner
Polyalthia venosa Merr.
Polyalthia verrucipes C.Y.Wu ex P.T.Li
Polyalthia watui K.M.Wong
Polyalthia xanthocarpa B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders
Polyalthia yingjiangensis Y.H.Tan & B.Xue

Reassigned to other genera

According to Plants of the World Online, species have been placed in the following genera:

Polyalthia pingpienensis P.T.Li is a synonym of Disepalum plagioneurum (Diels) D.M.Johnson
Huberantha Chaowasku
Polyalthia cerasoides (Roxb.) Bedd. is a synonym of Huberantha cerasoides (Roxb.) Chaowasku[6]
Polyalthia korinti (Dunal) Benth. & J. Hk. ex J. Hk. & Thoms is a synonym of Huberantha korinti (Dunal) Chaowasku
Polyalthia nitidissima is a synonym of Huberantha nitidissima (Dunal) Chaowasku
Polyalthia palawanensis Merr. is a synonym of Huberantha palawanensis (Merr.) I.M.Turner
Polyalthia laddiana A.C.Sm. is a synonym of Meiogyne laddiana (A.C.Sm.) B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders
Monoon Miq.
Polyalthia coffeoides (Hook.f. & Th.) is a synonym of Monoon coffeoides (Thwaites ex Hook.f. & Thomson) B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders[7]
Polyalthia fragrans (Dalz.) Bedd.
Polyalthia glabra (Hook.f. & Th.) James Sincl.
Polyalthia hookeriana King
Polyalthia hypogaea King
Polyalthia longifolia (Sonn.) Thwaites is a synonym of Monoon longifolium (Sonn.) B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders[8]
Polyalthia pachyphylla King is a synonym of Monoon pachyphyllum (King) B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders
Polyalthia shendurunii Basha & Sasi. is now Monoon shendurunii (Basha & Sasidh.) B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders
Polyalthia simiarum (Buch.-Ham. ex Hook.f. & Thomson) Hook.f. & Thomson is a synonym of Monoon simiarum (Buch.-Ham. ex Hook.f. & Thomson) B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders
Polyalthia macropoda King is a synonym of Phaeanthus ophthalmicus (Roxb. ex G.Don) J.Sinclair
Polyalthiopsis Chaowasku
Polyalthia floribunda Jovet-Ast is a synonym of Polyalthiopsis floribunda (Jovet-Ast) Chaowasku (Vietnam)
Wuodendron B.Xue, Y.H.Tan & Chaowasku (monotypic)
Polyalthia litseifolia C.Y.Wu ex P.T.Li is a synonym of Wuodendron praecox (Hook.f. & Thomson) B.Xue, Y.H.Tan & X.L.Hou


Polyalthia. Flora of China.
McCann, Charles (1959). 100 Beautiful Trees of India: A Descriptive and Pictorial Handbook. D.B. Taraporevala Sons & Co. Private Ltd. p. 32.
Xue, B., Su, Y. C., Mols, J. B., KEßLER, P. J., & Saunders, R. M. (2011). Further fragmentation of the polyphyletic genus Polyalthia (Annonaceae): molecular phylogenetic support for a broader delimitation of Marsypopetalum. Systematics and Biodiversity, 9(1), 17-26.
Xue, B., Su, Y. C. F., Thomas, D. C., & Saunders, R. M. K. (2012). Pruning the polyphyletic genus Polyalthia (Annonaceae) and resurrecting the genus Monoon. Taxon, 61(5), 1021-1039.
Plants of the World Online (POWO): Polyalthia Blume (retrieved 3 April 2020)
Plants of the World Online (POWO): Huberantha cerasoides (Roxb.) Chaowasku (retrieved 4 April 2020)
Plants of the World Online (POWO): Monoon coffeoides (Thwaites ex Hook.f. & Thomson) B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders (retrieved 4 April 2020)
Plants of the World Online (POWO): Monoon longifolium (Sonn.) B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders (retrieved 4 April 2020)

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