What is the plant
Broussonetia luzonica is a deciduous tree usually growing up to 10 metres tall with reports of specimens up to 30 metres. The bole up to 60cm in diameter.
The tree is harvested from the wild as a local source of food and fibre. The plant is sometimes cultivated around villages.
Himbabao is a medium-sized shed tree growing to a height of 15 meters with a trunk diameter of 30 centimeters. Bark is smooth. Leaves are alternate with a pointed apex and rounded base. Lower leaf surface is hairy. Flowers are very small, borne on long, slender, spike-like flowering branches. Inflorescences are pistillate and staminate borne on separate plants.
While reportedly rare in the Northern Luzon, Himbabao is common in the Quezon area. Local describe two species by flowering and fruiting characteristics: Himbabao, with its long slender, spike-like flowers) and Himbabaong-lalaki, with its gray, puckered and wrinkled fruit. There is disagreement on whether it is a flower or fruit. There is also differing opinions on blogs: some referring to the fruit-bearing tree as male alukon and the spike flowering variety to alukon, and vice-versa. Or, perhaps, they are separate species.
- Found throughout the Philippines, in thickets and second growth forests, at low and medium altitudes.
- Also found in Indonesia.
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