Java Cedar

Bischofia javanica


Location in our garden

Section F (Shading Area)


Trees. An evergreen, medium to fairly large, andperennial tree, growing 35-50 m tall. 

Part Used

  • Leaves
  • Bark

Growing Requirements

  • Full Sunshine


  • Riverbanks
  • Forest
  • Grassland


The natural occurrence of Bischofa javanica extends from India and lower
Himalayas through China, Japan, and tropical Asia to northern Australia, and the
Pacific. It is locally planted in its natural area of distribution and elsewhere,
including East Africa and South Africa. The tree is used for reforestation and is
often intercropped in traditional agriculture.

Vernacular Names

Java bishopwood (Chinese), Koka (Fiji), Bois de l' eveque (French), Balzuru
(India), Akagi (Japan), Tuai (Malaysia/Philippines), Boolunza (Myanmar), Kainjal (Nepal).


Java cedar grows mainly in areas of the tropics
and subtropics with a distinct dry season,
being found at elevation from sea level to
1,800 m. Prefers a position in full sun, though
seedlings and young trees are more shade
tolerant. It is most frequent on riverbanks,
shady ravines and prefers deep loose soils
with sufficient water content.


  • Root - taproot, tuberous for a short length and then tapers quickly.Thin but long secondary roots are present below the collar region.
  • Trunk - straight, poorly shaped, branchless, 80-170 cm in diameter, bark surface fissured and scaly with small thick shaggy scales, reddish brown, inner bark fibrous, exuding a red sap.
  • Leaves - spirally arranged, compound with 3 leaflets, glabrous, stipules oblong-triangular, 7-22 mm long, petiole 8-20 cm long, leaflets elliptical to ovate, base rounded to broadly cuneate, margin finely toothed, pinnately veined.
  • Flowers - unisexual, 5-merous, small, greenish, corolla and disk absent. Male flower with sepals fused at base, hooded, ovary rudimentary. Female flower with sepals falling early, uvary superior, globose, 3-4 celled with 3 long stigmas.
  • Fruit - globose drupe 1-1.5 cm in diameter, bluish black, fleshy pulp, 3-6 seeded.
  • Seeds - oblong to obovoid, 5 mm long, brown.

Chemical Constituents

Tannin, Lignin, Pentosan, Linolenic acid, Linoileic acid, Oleic acid, Saturated acid.

Traditional Medicinal Uses

  • The plant has been shown to have antiulcer, anthelmintic and antidysenteric activities.
  • The leaf is used as anti tussive to relieve cough.
  • The sap of the bark, mixed with lime, is used to treat sores feet.
  • The crushed leaves are rubbed onto an aching stomach.
  • In Assam (India) the decoction of tree bark is used for curing diarrhoea and dysentery.
  • The young stem is eaten against stomach ache. leaves is taken orally against diphtheria in tribal area.
  • The paste of stem bark is applied externally on the affected part to treat nervous disorder problems. Stem bark is also used for irregular menstruation and pain.
  • Young leaves and buds are used in tonsillitis and for the treatment of throat pain.


B. javanica can be propagated by seeds and stem cuttings.

Snapshot of Part Used

Reference Sources

  1. CABI. Bischovfia javanica (bishopwood).>isc>datasheet>Bischofia javanica (bishopwood). 03-08-2020.
  2. Fern, Ken, No date. Tropical Plants Database. Useful Tropical Plants.> 03-08-2020.
  3. PROTA. Bischofia javanica - PlantUse English. 03-08-2020.
  4. Rajbongshi, P.P, Zaman, Md. Kamaruz, Boruah Sangeeta, Das Simanti. (2014). A Review on Traditional Use and Phytopharmacological Potential of Bischofia javanica Blume 28-11-2020.