Anisophyllea disticha (Jack) Baill.

Etymology Genus Unequal leaves
Species Two-rows; referring to the two types of leaves arranged at different rows
Family Anisophylleaceae
Synonyms Anisophyllum trapezoidale Baill., Anisophyllea rhomboidea Baill.
Common Names Mousedeer Plant, Leechwood
Status Native: Common
Form Shrub or small tree
Native Distribution West Malesia


Anisophyllea disticha is a shrub or small tree seldom over 2m (but can reach up to 7m according to Corner [1997]). The diagnoistic feature is the two types of leaves; the large being rhomboid and the minute ones being tear-drop shape. It is very common in the understorey of our Central Catchment and Bukit Timah Nature Reserves.

Interesting Facts:

The Mousedeer Plant is so named because of rumours that the ripe red fruits are eaten by mousedeers. The wood is hard and suitable for making into walking-sticks (Corner, 1997)

The Mousedeer Plant often a single stemmed and short tree.

There are two distinct types of leaves, differing is size and shape.

Branching of the leaves.

The fruit ripens to bright red.


Corner EJH. (1997) Wayside Trees of Malaya. Volume 1. 4th edition. The Malaysian Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur. 476 pp.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2013-08-17 / Modified: 2017-12-25