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(Sabia family)


• Medicinal / Folk-medicinal aspects: The use of one species in the treatment of wounds and itchy skin has been documented. •
• Adverse effects: Spines are a feature of at least one species. •
• Veterinary aspects: •

According to Plants of the World Online [accessed June 2021], the family comprises 3 genera of trees, climbing shrubs, and woody vines, namely Meliosma Blume (125 spp.), Ophiocaryon Endl. (10 spp.), and Sabia Colebr. (26 spp.), which are found in tropical and eastern Asia, and in Central and South America. Some authorities have previously segregated Ophiocaryon Endl. and Meliosma Blume into a separate family, namely the Meliosmaceae (see Willis 1973).

Certain Meliosma Blume species may be found in cultivation as ornamental trees or shrubs (Hunt 1968/70).

Meliosma sumatrana Walp.
(syns Meliosma elmeri Merr., Meliosma nitida Blume, Meliosma philippinensis Merr. & L.M.Perry, Millingtonia sumatrana Jack)

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Sabia japonica Maxim.
(syn. Sabia spinosa Stapf ex Koidz.)

The older branches of this woody climbing shrub are armed with short spines (Guo & Brach 2007).


  • Guo L, Brach AR (2007) SABIACEAE. In: Wu Z, Raven PH, Hong D (Eds) Flora of China. Hippocastanaceae through Theaceae, Vol. 12, pp. 25-42. St Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden Press [WorldCat] [url] [url-2]
  • Hunt P (Ed.) (1968/70) The Marshall Cavendish Encyclopedia of Gardening. London: Marshall Cavendish [WorldCat]
  • Willis JC (1973) A Dictionary of the Flowering Plants and Ferns, 8th edn. (Revised by Airy Shaw HK). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press [WorldCat]
  • [ + 1 further reference not yet included in database]

Richard J. Schmidt

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