Erythroxylum cuneatum (Miq.) Kurz

Etymology Genus Red wood
Species Wedge-shaped; perhaps referring to the flatten twigs
Family Erythroxylaceae
Synonyms Erythroxylum bancanum Burck, Erythroxylum borneense Merr., Erythroxylum burmanicum Griff.
Common Names Wild Cocaine, Baka, Beluntas Bukit
Status Native: Common
Form Herb
Native Distribution Malesia


Erythroxylum cuneatum is a shrub or small tree that is found naturally at coastal areas. The leaves are alternately arranged, hairless, with the underside being pale green, and having a netted venation. What is more distinctive are the twigs with are flatten and have a small slit where the leaf stalk is attached to.

Interesting Facts:

The Wild Cocaine belongs to the Coca family but does not contain the psychoactive stimulant of cocaine. Its wood is said to be very durable and easy to work with; being used for making houses and bridges in Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra respectively (Slik, 2009). In Bunguran,  the leaves are reported to be used in vegetable soup.

A designated heritage tree in Changi (2014).

A small tree at Lazarus Island.

Alternate leaf arrangement.

Flatten twigs with small slits.

Leaf upper surface.

Leaf lower surface, with faint netted venation.

Tiny white flower.

A praying mantis disguised among the foliage.


Slik F (2009) Erythroxylum cuneatum. Plants of Southeast Asia. Accessed 2-Dec-2018.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2018-12-03