Common name: Malapapaya
Local name: Malapapaya (Visayas, Pangasinan, Tagalog); bongliw (Camarines Sur)
Scientific name: Polyscias nodosa (Blume) Seemann
Malapapaya is a tall tree reaching a height of about 25 m and a diameter of about 50 cm. Leaves are crowded on twig-apices, widely spreading-downward, simple pinnate, 1-2 mm long; petiole is one third of the length of pinnate leaf; leaflets ovate-oblong, lanceolate from a rounded base, narrowed or shortly acuminate, rounded scallop to saw-tooted edge, 10-25 cm long, and 4-10 cm wide; petiole is very short, more or less 1 cm long. Leaf-blade on the upper surface has distinct fine soft spine in the seedling stage.
Inflorescences in panicles ( sometimes with additional flowering branches in the axils of the upper leaves); primary axils stout, about 1.5 m; bearing secondary axils along its length, bract triangular, about 5 mm long; secondary axils about 20 to 40 cm; capitula borne racemosely along the secondary branches on peduncles about 6-15 cm long.
Flowers are attached directly to a branch, capitate, 8-12 in capitulum. Petals are broadly oblong, valvate, acute, yellowish green, usually 2 mm. Fruits are subglobose, ridged and yellowish red when dry.
The wood is primarily used for fancy woodwork, native wooden shoes, matchsticks, pencil slats, lollipops and Popsicle sticks, toothpicks, chopsticks, ice cream spoons,
boxes and crates. It is also a good material for plywood making.
Malapapaya can be found in Benguet, Pangasinan, Zambales, Rizal, Bulacan, Laguna, Quezon, Sorsogon, Mindoro, Palawan, Leyte, Surigao, and Basilan. It also occurs in
Solomon Island, in Malesia; Sunda Straits, Java, Lesser Sunda Island, Celebes, Moluccas and Papua New Guinea.
Malapapaya grows in open thickets and second growth forests at low and medium altitudes. It also grows in moist areas along gullys and creeks.
Malapapaya is propagated by seeds.
Fruits of malapapaya are gathered from superior mother trees by using a pruner with long handle, a ladder or by climbing up the tree.
Seed processing and storage
Fruits with pulpy covering are placed in a can filled with water for 24 hrs in order to soften the covering. As soon as the pulpy covering is soft, the fruits are macerated. Then, the seeds are taken and spread on a dry surface under a shade and allowed to dry for 2 to 3 days. A moisture content of 4 to 6% is most favorable for long storage.
1. Prepare seedboxes measuring 60 cm long, 45 cm wide and 14 cm deep.
2. Fill the first bottom inch of the seedboxes with gravel and the second and third inches with sifted sand. The rest should be filled with clay-loam soil which should be one
inch lower than the rim of the box. Before sowing, the surface soil is lightly pressed to make the soil firm.
3. Broadcast the seeds thinly and then cover with a thin layer of sifted sand.
4. Cover the surface of the seedboxes with burlap or gunny sacks. Then, gently sprinkle with water and allow it to penetrate slowly into the soil When the gunny sacks are
partially dry, remove them. Water the seedboxes everyday.
5. Germination usually occurs from 25 to 30 days after sowing.
6. Pot the seedlings in 3 x 6 or 4 x 8 inches polyethylene bags with soil media mixed with sand and top soil.
7. Rear the seedlings in the nursery until they become robust and vigorous enough for field planting, usually when they reach the height of 10 to 20 cm or 8 to 10 months
Open thickets and secondary forests are ideal places for plantation establishment of Malapapaya. The following are the steps in establishing Malapapaya plantation:
1. Prepare the planting site by complete removal of vegetation.
2. Plant the potted seedlings before they reach the height of about 20 cm in holes with 3 x 3 m spacing.
3. They should be planted at the onset of the rainy season.
4. Weeding should be done around the base of the plant as may be necessary but not during the dry months to avoid the drying up of the surface soil within the plant
Symptoms: Damping-off occurs either before or after seedling emergence. In postemergence damping-off, infected seedlings develop water-soaked lesions at the base which dehydrate later, turn brown, wilt and cause the seedlings to topple over. In very crowded seedbeds, the cotyledons and the upper part of the stem may turn brown and die.
Causal pathogen: Phytopthora, Pythium, Diplodia, Rhizoctonia and Fusarium spp.
Control measures: Since the disease is caused by a variety of soilborne fungi, exact control measure cannot be given. However, the following measures may significantly
control if not minimize the disease:
1. Avoid using heavy soil – a good growing medium is a 50:50 mixture of fine sand and clay-loam soil.
2. Avoid overcrowding. Thin immediately if seedling population is dense. Thinning enhances circulation of air and prevents accumulation of moisture at the base of the
3. Remove diseased seedlings and burn them once infection becomes evident.
4. Gradually expose the seedlings to full sunlight.
No observation has been made regarding major pests that attack Malapapaya.
Source: Research Information Series on Ecosystems. Volume 3 No. 4. April 30, 1991. DENR-ERDB. College, Laguna