Mycetia malayana (G.Don) Craib (Rubiaceae)
by Mrs. Sarah Nabila Binti Rosli
© Cheah Yih Horng

Coffee, fondly loved worldwide, and the lesser-known gambier, are from the Rubiaceae family. This ‘coffee family’ is the fourth biggest flowering plant family comprised of 611 genera and more than 13,150 species around the world. According to Wong (1989), species from the Rubiaceae play an important role in the lower story in the forest because most of the species are shrubs and small trees and hence this contributes to forest floor density and soil fertility. In Peninsular Malaysia, only four endemic genera were recognised. Species from the Rubiaceae are easily distinguished through several characteristics such as the simple and opposite leaves, leaves margin entire and intrapetiolar stipules with joined, wholly or partly petals with an inferior ovary.

Mycetia is one of the genera in Rubiaceae which is easily distinguished by the shape of its fruit and flower. One of the species, Mycetia malayana, is native to Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo (Wong et al., 2019). This species also grows in lowland to hill forests, and can also be found in limestone forests.

Mycetia malayana is usually a shrub but can grow up to 4 meters in height. This species can be recognised by its hairy leaves, inflorescences at the terminal and the main branches of inflorescences in a zig-zag arrangement. The flowers are cream to whitish with the calyx lobes fringed and tiny gland on the stalk (Ridley, 1923).


  1. Ridley, H.N. (1923). The Flora of the Malay Peninsula, Volume 2. L. Reeve & co, ltd, London. pp. 63.
  2. Wong, K.M. (1989). Rubiaceae. In Ng, F.S.P (Ed.), Tree Flora of Malaya. A Manual for Foresters, Volume 4. Longman Malaysia, Petaling Jaya. pp. 325.
  3. Wong, K.M., Turner, I.M. & Wang, R.J. (2019). Rubiaceae. In Middleton, D.J. (Ed.), Flora of Singapore, Volume 13. Singapore Botanic Gardens. pp. 197.
QR Code
Scan QR code for mobile experience

Other articles

Phrynoidis asper (Gravenhorst, 1829)

Ms. Nurfarhana Hizan Binti Hijas   •   15 Aug 2022   •   121 views

Aonyx cinereus (Illiger, 1815)

Ms. Anis Zafirah Binti Zam Beri   •   29 Jul 2022   •   256 views

Luffa acutangula (L.) Roxb. (Cucurbitaceae)

Ms. Munira Mohd Sazali   •   30 Jun 2022   •   420 views

Sitta frontalis (Swainson, 1820)

Mrs. Manoshini A/p Appanan   •   15 Jun 2022   •   396 views

Betta livida Ng & Kottelat, 1992

Mr. Tan Kok Kiat   •   31 May 2022   •   643 views
Get updates and an exclusive news when you sign up to our free newsletter.
Malaysia Biodiversity Information System (MyBIS)   by   Malaysia Biodiversity Centre (MBC)

Copyright © 2022, Malaysia Biodiversity Centre (MBC), Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (KeTSA). All rights reserved. DISCLAIMER - The Malaysian Government, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (KeTSA), Malaysia Biodiversity Centre (MBC) and Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) shall not be liable for any loss or damage caused by the usage of any information obtained from this website. By entering this site, you acknowledge and agree that no portion of this site, including but not limited to names, logos, trademarks, patents, sound, graphics, charts, text, audio, video, information or images are either MyBIS property or the property permitted by third-party and shall not be used without prior written approval from the owner(s).
Best viewed using latest Mozila Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 10 with Resolution 1024 x 768px or above. Version 2.0 / 2016
Website Citation: MyBIS (2022). Malaysia Biodiversity Information System. Published on the Internet, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Malaysia Biodiversity Centre & Forest Research Institute Malaysia. [Retrieved 16 August 2022].