Streblus asper Lour., Fl. Cochinch. 1: 615 615 1790. (syn: Achymus pallens Soland. ex Bl.; Albrandia gaudichaudii (Steud.) D. Dietr.; Albrandia orientalis (Bl.) D. Dietr.; Calius lactescens Blanco; Cudrania crenata Wright; Diplothorax tonkinensis Gagnep.; Epicarpurus asper (Retz.) Steud.; Epicarpurus gaudichaudii Steud.; Epicarpurus orientalis Bl.; Morus indica Ser.; Streblus lactescens (Blanco) Bl.; Streblus zeylanica Kurz; Trophis aculeata Roth; Trophis aspera Retz.; Trophis cochinchinensis Poir.; Trophis zeylanica Koen. ex Bl.; Vanieria crenata (Wright) Chun) as per Catalogue of Life;
China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, S-Yunnan), Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines (throughout), Sikkim, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia,Java (incl. Madura Isl., Kangean Isl.), New Guinea, peninsular Malaysia (north of Malaya), Andamans (North Andamans, Middle Andamans, South Andamans, Little Andaman Isl.), Nicobars (Car Nicobar Isl., North Nicobars, Central Nicobars, Great Nicobar Isl., Little Nicobar Isl.), Myanmar [Burma] (Bago, Sagaing, Taninthayi), Bangladesh, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Lesser Sunda Isl. (Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores, Sumba), Moluccas (Ambon) as per Catalogue of Life;
demon tree, paper bark, paper tree, sand paper mulberry, Siamese rough bush, spinous mulberry, stunted jack, toothbrush tree • Assamese: শাঁবৰা shombaraa • Bengali: sheora • Garo: kharanchi-bol • Hindi: सेवड़ा sewra, सीहोरा sihora • Kannada: mitala • Khasi: dieng sohkhyrdang • Konkani: बेकर bekar • Malayalam: പരുവമരം paruvamaram • Marathi: खरोटी kharoti • Nepalese: खाक्सी khaksi • Oriya: hirtonimranu • Sanskrit: शाखोटकः shakotakah • Tamil: குட்டிப்பலா kutti-p-pala, பிராய் piray • Telugu: చుక్కలి chukkali, సాకోటము sakotamu • Urdu: سيہورا sihora;
The leaves are rough to touch (typical of the Genus).
In a paper on the floral morphology of Streblus asper (Sept. 1975), BPS Chauhan wrote that “the plant is monoecious with male and female flowers on the same or on two different branches. But those from South India have been reported to be dioecious by Rau (1942).” He then inferred that “Streblus asper Lour. is monoecious or dioecious.”
True to its name, the leaves of Sand Paper Tree are rough and are utilized for cleaning cooking utensils and as a substitute for sandpaper.

Streblus asper
Mar. name: Kharoti, Kharwat
photographed at Sagargad, Alibag
18 Mar. 2009

Nice photograph! A small comment. I have noticed some fairly large Sandpaper Trees in Mumbai suburbs, bigger than those I have seen in Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai. Of course, the areas that we are allowed to roam freely in this Park is very much restricted.

Some extracts from Wikipedia link:
Streblus asper is a tree known by several common names, including Siamese rough bush, khoi, and toothbrush tree. It is a medium-sized tree native to dry regions in Thailand, India, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
The leaves are 2 to 4 inches long, rigid, oval-shaped, irregularly toothed, and borne on small petioles. staminate flower heads are spherical with minute flowers. pistillate flowers have longer peduncles.
The tree has a number of uses. It has been important in papermaking in Thailand for seven hundred years. Virtually all of the ancient Thai documents still in existence are written on the bark of this tree. The Buddhist texts and official records from before the twentieth century in Thailand are known as khoi books. The paper is durable even in the local high-humidity climate. It does not burn easily and it is resistant to yellowing and insect damage. Today other fiber sources are used to make paper and khoi fibers are used primarily by artisans who produce paper using traditional techniques.
In Vietnam traditional woodworking uses the coarse texture of the leaves as natural sandpaper.
Various parts of the plant are used in Ayurveda and other folk medicines for the treatment of different ailments such as filariasis, leprosy, toothache, diarrhoea, and cancer. It is a well known and documented ethnomedicinal plant. Research carried out using different in vitro and in vivo techniques of biological evaluation support most of these claims. It has been used in the past as an oral hygiene product and for this reason it is also known as the toothbrush tree. A twig or stick about eight inches long with a frayed or mashed end to increase the cleaning surface was used as a tooth cleaning aid up until the middle of the twentieth century when the cheap and more practical plastic brush with a toothpaste become common throughout the world.
Different studies were carried on its antibacterial activity upon various microorganisms involving oral and nasopharyngeal infections and especially Streptococcus mutans. An extract of Strebulus asper leaves have demonstrated to possess a selective bactericidal activity towards Streptococcus, especially to S. mutans which has been shown to be strongly linked with dental caries.
The Khoi wood is used throughout South-East Asia as an ingredient mixed with cannabis which reduces the throat irritation associated with inhaling cannabis smoke through a water pipe or bong.

Sharing some pictures of the female flowers & fruit of the Sandpaper Tree
[Streblus asper] observed in Kandivali, North Mumbai.

I rarely indulge in photography and am grateful to my friend .. for agreeing to join me and photographing these.
I joined this group in July 2010 and keep learning thanks to the unceasing efforts of the active members.

– Kandivali [North suburb of Mumbai] has many Sand Paper Trees.
As .. told me this should be declared AS The Tree of Kandivali as it is one of the original flora of the area.
What is interesting is the tree is supposed to be dioecious [male and female flower on separate trees.].. but .. saw both on the same tree , it also had fruits[?]… male flowers are in group and easy to notice but for female , it is solitary and really tiny so one has to hunt for it…. PROBABLY .. IS THE ONLY PERSON WHO HAS MANAGED TO GET IT PHOTOGRAPHED…GOOGLE SEARCH WAS FUTILE…
My question to learned botanist is how does one explain that a dioecious tree is presenting as onoecious…..many trees where we saw male flowers had fruits….female flowers are dificult to locate..

–  I am not a learned Botanist! But——-
1. There are plants which are dioceous which produced dioceous flowers that is male and female organs in same flower. eg. Mango, Orange Chicku, Brinjal, Bhendi etc
2. There are plants which are dioceous but produce monoceous flowers that is male and female flowers. eg. Tondali, pumpkin (Experts pl correct)
3. There are plants which are monoecious that is they produce only male flower or female flower. Best eg Papaya.
In the first type all flowers can form fruit after fertilisation.
in second only female flower can form fruit.
in third only female plant can form fruit.
It is dependent on the genetic make up of the flower/plant to produce the type of flower.

A description at FoC –
I ask the same question too….!

There are several Sandpaper trees near my home in Mumbai and have been observing them regularly since the last few years. From what I have noticed here, it is usually dioecious and less commonly monoecious. One such monoecious specimen in Kandivali bears female flowers & fruit in the lowermost branches while the upper branches bear male flowers.
In a paper on the floral morphology of Streblus asper (Sept. 1975), BPS Chauhan wrote that “the plant is monoecious with male and female flowers on the same or on two different branches. But those from South India have been reported to be dioecious by Rau (1942).” He then inferred that “Streblus asper Lour. is monoecious or dioecious.” This was published in the Agra University Journal of Research in 1976.
Interestingly, Streblus asper is said to be dioecious in Dr Almeida’s Flora of Maharashtra while it is described as being monoecious (“male and female flowers are produced separately on the same tree”) in his book The Trees of Mumbai, pg. 171.
Have attached a very interesting document on the condition of monoecy and dioecy for your reference. It was published in a journal called ‘The Phytologist’ in 1859. Among other things, it indicates how certain variables such as temperature can influence the formation of male and female flowers. I am equally curious to know how and why this happens.

I have been planting native trees and shrubs in order to attract frugivorous birds wherever possible. How does one plant dioecious species like Streblus asper and Azima tetracantha? I presume one should plant more than two together. Is there any way of knowing the sex in the sapling stage? Is there any way of selecting one sex over the other? I have read that the temperature in the incubation chamber decides the sex of the offspring in some reptiles.
I shall be grateful for your suggestions.

Years ago i read an article on sex changes of fishes, recently i have read a news on “virgin births” in snakes. Your document reminds me all these.

Small tree roadside area on Munak Road Karnal for id pls
Wild but may be planted by forest dept as only 2-3 trees were there on whole 25 KM stretch
Flowers not seen  Fruits orange colored simple leaves

Surely Streblus asper

New to my eyes, though my ears had heard about this…
My Dad’s wood furniture polish guy had talked of some tree whose leaves were used by his father for the final poilsh on small delicate ornamental pieces…
I /we thought he was shooting the breeze and pulling our legs that day many years ago…  he said it was called Sheora… he talked of some other leaves that were also quite rough like fine sandpaper…  I wish I had written down the list… such memories are priceless… little did I know.. It had taken me awhile to track down that bengali name, and then discovered  he was not being funny, he was in the earnest… I had found it in Tinkodi Ghosh’s Bonaushadhi book ..
I had forgotten that episode..
Untill today, I googled your tree name .. and the story floated up from deep recesses of the memory bank…
MY Question: did you get to feel the surface of the leaves? is it really  rough enough to be used as polishing material?

Yes … Surface was little rough but i think not enough to be used as polishing material. I will also try to examine in my next visit there soon.

In Indonesia there are a lot of Streblus asper but I have never seen the flowers and fruits.  The leaves are not rough enough to polish the hard wood, for soft wood like Hibiscus tiliaceus is enough.  I think the strongest for polishing wood is Ficus ampelas.  Thank you for uploading the pictures.

I doubt if the tree in picture is Streblus asper as the Streblus that i have seen growing around Mumbai are quite dull green and very rough in appearance. I might, however be wrong

I have heard of leaves of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis being used for rubbing down wood to get a fine finish. The leaves of this plant are indeed quite rough.

Quite rough leaves N arbor-tristis have

ID 270911 SB01: 4 images.
Location SGNP, Mumbai
Is it Ehretia microphylla?!
The leaves were rough to touch (typical of the Genus)
Kindly validate.

Negative. This looks like Streblus asper – the Sandpaper Tree.

To me also this looks like Streblus asper from Moraceae.
Found this wild shrub (undershrub) beside a road in rural area. There was no flower on this plant when i recorded it. Neither another one was visible nearby.
Species : UNKNOWN
Habit & Habitat : wild shrub, 4 ft height, roadside
Date : 16-04-2012, 1.50 p.m.

Place : Krishnarampur (Hooghly), WB

This one is Streblus asper, sand paper tree, nice pics of a female tree, not a shrub actually, this is a small tree…



SYMBIOSIS :163: 1 image. here goes the 163th member of the series.

Tree with heads of tiny flowers — Pls ID AS_12052012: This large tree was seen growing in semi-rural outskirts of bangalore.
Flowering in March with heads of tiny 1.5 mm pinkish flowers, all along the branches and branchlets. leaves were 2 to 4″ , sinuate or irregularly serrated.
It is not one of the many “Avenue trees” commonly planted in Bangalore.
Pls help id.

This could be Streblus asper

Definitely Streblus, and since the tree has male inflorescences which are capitate, must be asper, not indica.(described as having scoprioid inflor. (but I havent seen any images))


Sharing few photographs of Sand Paper Tree, photographed at Mumbai.
Bot. name:
Streblus asper
Family: Moraceae
Date/Time: 12-01-2012 / 08:00AM
Habitat: Planted
Plant Habit: Tree.
The leaves are rough.

Excellent photo … Some times I wonder why it is called a Sand paper tree. Is it because of the roughage on its leaves?

Wonderful pictures. Hopefully will get to some plant. Have yet to see the flowers.


Bangalore – RA – Streblus Asper – Sand Paper Tree: (8 pictures) Sand Paper Tree is a rigid and densely branched tree growing from 4-10 m in height.

The leaves are oblong-obovate to sub-rhomboid, 4-12 cm long, very rough on both sides, with finely toothed margin, the tip blunt or tapering to a point and the base narrowed. 
The male flowers are in rounded heads, 4-7 mm in diameter, short peduncled, greenish-yellow, or nearly white. The female flowers are stalked, usually in pairs, green, the sepals become larger after flowering, and nearly enclose the fruit.  
The fruit is ovoid, 8-10 mm long, pale yellow, the pericarp soft and fleshy. The seed is ovoid, and 5-6 mm long. 
True to its name, the leaves of Sand Paper Tree are rough and are utilized for cleaning cooking utensils and as a substitute for sandpaper.

Ref. Flowers of india


Sand Paper Tree – Flower Female.jpg



Id of Fruit : Attachments (1).  6 posts by 3 authors.

Attaching an image for id of fruits.
Location –Yeoor, Thane on 07.04.2013

The attached photograph – Yeoor 045.jpg – is that of Streblus asper. The fruits are edible.

Yes, Streblus asper– the sand paper tree for Yeoor 045.jpg


Tree for ID: July13-NAW04 : Attachments (4). 5 posts by 4 authors.

Tree for ID: Growing in a field bottom of Maula Ali, Hyderabad
Photographed 26th June 2013

Thorny, many daughter plants growing all around, height of tree about 12 metres.

no flowers/ fruits at the time of photography.

Streblus sp

Agree with …, a chance for S. asper?

only species of asper in efi is Streblus asper

The streblus asper being known as sandpaper tree – i will check the tree again for the texture of its leaves and other characteristics of the species and get back to the forum.



Small Tree For ID : Jim Corbett,Uttarakhand : 180614 : AK-31 : 5 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (3).
Seen inside the forest area, small trees with dark green leaves.

Pictures taken on 17/5/14.

This could be the Sandpaper tree [Streblus asper].

Streblus asper, no doubt



ANMAR04/04 Flueggea virosa (Please validate) : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (8)

Family: Phyllanthaceae
Date: 3rd March 2015
Place: Bangalore

Habit: Shrub

It is Streblus asper (Moraceae) I think.

I agree with …, this is sandpaper tree..

Fwd: SYMBIOSIS : 926 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1)
Attaching a collage of Red Vented Bulbul relishing fruits of Streblus asper (SIORA/ SHEORA).

Fwd: SYMBIOSIS : 927 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1)
Attaching a collage of Red Whiskered Bulbul feeding on fruits of Streblus as per (SIORA/ SHEORA).

Strebulus asper fruits : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)
Location: Chennai
July 18

very nice, … though leaves look small to be used as sandpaper. or are there larger leaves elswhere on the trees. thanks for showing us the fruits

Yes. There are large leaves.


at Sagargad, Alibag,18 Mar.2009; Sagargad, Alibag, MS: 11 Mar,2010- 8.00 am;  4 pictures for you – efloraofindia | Google Groups

ID of Plant in Sanjay Gandhi National Park Mumbai : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1)

Please help identify tree whose leaves are caught in hand.

It is medium size tree. Many climbers are climbing on it. It is also surrounded by many plants growing around it.
Picture is attached.
Date: 06-Oct-2018
Location: Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali, Mumbai
                This tree is growing little ahead of Gandhi Smarak.

Is this Streblus asper?

Thanks, … Efi page available at

Thanks … Venation, leaf shape and leaf margin match to Streblus asper.

Streblus asper :: Yeoor Hills, part of SGNP :: 29 DEC 19 : 1 post by 1 author. 3 images.
Yeoor Hills  … part of Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Date: December 29, 2019 … Altitude range: about 100 ft (30 m) to 1575 ft (480 m) asl
Streblus asper  Lour.


Fwd: MS/ID/2020/June/1 – ID of the tree (Ficus sps.) : 11 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (2) – 3 mb each.
Please ID the tree species photographed in a farm near Chennai last month.
Suggested ID : Ficus exasperata.

Attachments (1) – 5 mb.

Streblus asper only,

Not ficus sp.

Sending few more photographs. It is a tall tree with leaf scars on the main branch/ attachment of branches.
Attachments (3)

One more close up of the trunk showing the circular rings.
Attachments (1)

Streblus asper

Thanks … for the ID.
You are right. The person who sent me for confirmation had put a label sand paper tree/ Ficus exasperata. I could not confirm on my own with facts that it is Strebles aspera. That is why I sent the photographs. I am happy now.
Only one doubt regarding its height. Will it be so tall with orderly branches ?

Yes, … Yes, we have many large specimens at Streblus asper

Name itself you stated as Sand Piper tree.

Thanks … I have taken it as the Strebles asper only and conveyed the message to the sender of the photograph in Chennai. Thank all the experts who provided their inputs in the ID process.


Jaleser U.P: 6 images.
Please help me to identify this small wild tree.
Date:- 24 November 20
Location:- Jaleser, U.P

Streblus asper


Wild Shrub for id_Hyderabad: 4 images.

Thorny shrub observed in the wild in the outskirts of Hyderabad.
It was growing in rocky terrain.
Habit-Wild Shrub
Height-8-10 feet
Kindly help in identification.

It could be Streblus. …, pl provide more photos of flowering or fruiting for species confirmation.

Yes, it’s Streblus asper

Yes ! Streblus asper it is.


Moraceae: Streblus asper: 2 high res. images.
Streblus asper from Paderu forest area of Andhra Pradesh



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *