Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Gmelina asiatica L.f. var. parvifolia (Roxb.) Moldenke

Frost tender, often spiny shrub with ovate leaves, to 6cm, and slightly pendant terminal racemes of yellow flowers.  To 10m.  [RHSD].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1792.  [JD].  ‘This comes very near to Gmelina asiatica; the chief differences are: it is always a smaller plant, with much smaller leaves, although growing together (which is not unusual) on the same ground; its thorns are more numerous, and always present; the racemes are terminal; its leaves have the quality of thickening cold water like those of Pedalium murex and Menispermum hirsutum.  The flowers and fruit are alike in both plants.  The plant is common in every forest and uncultivated place on the coast.  Flowering time October and November.  The natives employ the water impregnated with the gelatinous quality of the leaves, as a remedy for the heat of urine in gonorrhoea.  Water, stirred with the branches and leaves of the Pedalium murex, becomes in like manner mucilaginous, and is used for the same purpose, but soon, losing its consistency, returns to its original state: whereas the leaves of Gmelina parviflora, being gently bruised by the hand in stirring, the water remains mucilaginous till decomposed by fermentation.’  [Roxburgh pl.162/1795-19].

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1850 catalogue.


Published Feb 15, 2010 - 04:46 PM | Last updated Aug 01, 2010 - 03:08 PM

Figured is a gorse-like spiny shoot with ovate leaves and small yellow flowers.  Roxburgh pl.162, 1795-19.

Gmelina asiatica L.f. parvifolia (Roxb.) Moldenke | Roxburgh pl.162/1795-19 | BHL

Family Verbenaceae
Region of origin

India, Sri Lanka

  • Gmelina parviflora Pers.
  • Gmelina parvifolia Roxb. 
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Gmelina parviflora  

Confidence level high