Nasty Hobbit's New Home

Nemo, quamvis sit prudens, est, quin cottidie multa addiscere possit.

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Birds in the ‘Hood Part 2

Philippine Shrike

Lanius cristatus lucionensis


It’s wintertime, and the brown shrikes are here. The Philippine shrike, Lanius cristatus lucionensis, which breeds in eastern China and Korea in summertime have arrived in their winter quarters (in the Philippines, among other tropical Asian countries) for their annual migration. This one in the neighborhood is a male of the species (females have barring on the belly and flanks). It was perching on one of the branches of the large dita tree across the street, so I quickly got the spotting scope and attached my camera and hoped it would stay still and pose for some pictures. I had to increase the ISO because the bird was in the shade, so there’s a lot of noise in the picture. It’s still not very sharp, but oh well, such is life. I chose this picture because it shows the bird’s long bristles (they look like eyelashes), which I find very cool. This picture also shows his greyish crown (a distinguishing characteristic of the subspecies), white eyebrows, orange flank and, of course, the signature bandit-mask.


Of course the shrike isn’t the only bird with a bandit-mask. Casual observers can mistake a brown shrike for a yellow-vented bulbul (called palago in these parts) from afar. Here are two pictures of the two of them together:



In the upper picture, the shrike is in focus. In the lower picture, the yellow-vented bulbul is in focus.

Lanius cristatus lucionensis was first described by Brisson in his 1760 publication Ornithologia sive synopsis methodica sistens avium divisionem in Ordines, Sectiones, Genera, Species, ipsarumque Varietates, and called it La Pie-grieche de Luçon with the binomial name Lanius lucionensis. According to him, in the Philippines the bird was known locally as cabeçote [cabezote in Spanish].




La Pie-grieche de Luçon

Voyez Pl. XVIII. Fig. 1.

Lanius superne griseo-rufescens, inferne albo-rufescens; pectore fusco diluto transversium striato; macula pone oculos fusca; rectricibus griseo-rufescentibus, lateralibus lineola transversa, fusca apice notatis & albo-rufescente terminatis …. LANIUS LUCIONENSIS.

Les Habitans de l’Isle de Luçon l’appellent CABEÇOTE.

Elle est a peu pres de la grosseur de notre Pie-grieche rousse. Sa longueur depuis le bout du bec jusqu’a celui de la queue est de sept pouces cinq lignes, & jusqu’a celui des ongles de six pouces une ligne. Son bec depuis son crochet jusqu’aux coins de la bouche a neuf lignes & demie de long; sa queue trois pouces une ligne; son pied dix lignes & demie; & celui du milieu des trois doigts anterieurs, joint avec l’ongle, huit lignes & demie. Les lateraux sont un peu plus courts; & celui de derriere est un peu plus long que ces derniers. Elle a dix pouces dix lignes de vol; & ses ailes, lorsqu’elles sont pliees, s’etendent jusqu’au tiers de la longueur de la queue. Le dessus de la tete, la partie superieure du col & le dos sont d’un gris tirant sur le roux. Le croupion & les couvertures du dessus de la queue sont roussatres & rayees transversalement de brun. De chaque cote de la tete est une tache longitudinale, brune, placee au-dessous & derriere l’oeil. La gorge & le ventre sont blancs. La partie inferieure & les cotes du col, la poitrine, les cotes & les jambes sont d’un blanc-roussatre, varie de petites lignes transversales, d’un brun clair. Les couvertures du dessous de la queue sont d’un blanc-roussatre; cette couleur etant separee du gris-brun par une petite ligne brune, tres-etroite. Les grandes plumes de l’aile sont d’un gris-brun, & ont leur bord exterieur roussatre: les moyennes sont de la meme couleur que les grandes couvertures. La queue est composee de douze plumes d’un gris-tirant sur le roux: toutes les laterales sont terminees d’un blanc-roussatre.. epare de l’autre couleur par une petite ligne transversale, brune. Les deux plumes du milieu de la queue sont plus longues que les laterales, qui vont toutes en diminuant un peu & par degres jusqu’a la plus courte. Autour de la base du bec sont quelques longs poils bruns, tournes en-devant, & roides comme des soyes. Le bec, les pieds & les ongles sont gris-bruns. On la trouve a l’Isle de Luçon, d’ou elle a ete apportee a M. de Reaumur par M. Poivre.

(The inhabitants of the island of Luzon call it CABEZOTE.

It is roughly the size of our red-headed [woodchat] shrike. Its length from the tip of the beak to the tail is seven pouces and five lignes, and to the nail six pouces and one ligne. Its beak from its hook to the corners of its mouth is nine and a half lignes long; its tail three pouces and one ligne; its foot ten and a half lignes; and the middle toe with the nail, eight and a half lignes. The inner and outer toes are slightly shorter, and the hind toe is slightly longer than the inner and outer toes. It is ten pouces and ten lignes in flight; & the wings when folded, extend to one third of the length of the tail. The crown, the upper part of the neck and back are a reddish grey. The rump and upper tail coverts is reddish brown and striped transversally with brown. On each side of the head is a longitudinal mark, brown, placed below and behind the eye. The throat and belly are white. The lower part and neck, breast, flanks and legs are a reddish white, variable barring of light brown. The under tail coverts are reddish white; this color is separated from the grey-brown by a small, very narrow, brown line. The large wing feathers are grey-brown, and their outer edges reddish: the middle coverts are the same color as the major coverts. The tail is composed of twelve feathers of a reddish grey color: all laterals have a reddish white tips .. a small brown transverse line separates the different colors. Both the middle tail feathers are longer than the laterals, which are slightly decreasing by degrees to the shortest. Around the base of the beak are a few long brown hairs that project outwards, and are stiff as bristles. The beak, feet and nails are grey-brown. It is found in the island of Luzon, from where it was brought to Mr. Reaumur by Mr. Poivre.)


  • Brisson, Mathurin Jacques. 1760. Ornithologia sive synopsis methodica sistens avium divisionem in Ordines, Sectiones, Genera, Species, ipsarumque Varietates.

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Birds in the ‘Hood Part 1

I’m not a birder but I do observe birds on occasion. I’m fortunate enough to live in an area with lots of trees and shrubbery still, so there are lots of wild birds to see (and hear) other than the feral pigeon and the ubiquitous Eurasian sparrow. A pair of peregrine falcons have actually nested in a cell tower in the neighborhood for years now. But that’s a story for another post.

Olive-backed sunbird Cinnyris jugularis

A few months ago, my father heard a bird singing at the backyard and told me to take out the camera and take a picture. It was perched on a guava tree and feeding on the guava flowers in bloom. It was quite hard to focus so I had to make do with dark, blurry photos. A couple of weeks ago, I heard a similar tune again in our backyard, but this time the bird was perched on a pink velvet banana, feeding on its flowers. So I quickly took out my camera and hoped the bird won’t fly away while I prepared to take pictures. The resulting photo was much better, but still not the best. Upon much Googling, it turns out to be a male olive-backed sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) based on the metallic blue coloration on its throat, and the bird from a few months ago was a female (no metallic blue throat coloration). I waited for a few weeks until I heard the familiar tune again and saw that a male sunbird was feeding on the nectar from the neighbor’s hibiscus flowers. Finally I got a photograph decent enough for posting.


The olive-backed sunbird was first described by Mathurin Jacques Brisson in his 1760 book Ornithologia sive synopsis methodica sistens avium divisionem in Ordines, Sectiones, Genera, Species, ipsarumque Varietates, in which he called it “Le petit grimpereau des Philippines” (small tree-creeper of the Philippines), with the scientific name Certhia philippensis minor, which means exactly that – a small tree-creeper of the Philippines. He mentioned seeing an exemplar not live in the wild but stuffed inside the cabinet of a certain Father Aubry. The units of measure he used in his descriptions – “pouce”, “ligne” – were old French units that correspond to ~27.07 mm and ~2.256 mm, respectively.




Il est beaucoup plus petit que le precedent. Sa longeur depuis le bout du bec jusqu’a celui de la queue est de trois pouces huit lignes, & jusqu’a celui des ongles de trois pouces six lignes. Son bec depuis sa pointe jusqu’aux coins de la bouche a neuf lignes de long; sa queue quinze lignes; son pied six lignes; & celui du milieu des trois doigts anterieurs, joint avec l’ongle, quatre lignes & demie: les lateraux font un peu plus courts; & celui de derriere est presqu’aussi long que celui du milieu de ceux de devant. Il a cinq pouces huit lignes de vol; & fes ailes, lorsqu’elles sont pliees, s’etendent jusqu’aux deux tiers de la longeur de la queue. Les parties superieures de la tete & du col, le dos, le croupion, les plumes scapulaires, les couvertures du dessus de la queue sont d’un gris-brun. La gorge est marquee d’une violet fonce. La partie inferieure du col, la poitrine, le ventre, les cotes, les jambes, les couvertures du dessous des ailes sont jaunes. Les plumes de l’aile sont d’un gris-brun. La queue est composee de douze plumes: les huit du milieu sont d’un brun fonce: les deux plus exterieures de chaque cote sont de la meme couleur, & terminees de blanc-jaunatre, cette derniere couleur coupant obliquement la plume la plus exterieure de chaque cote. Le bec, les pieds & les ongles sont noiratres. On le trouve aux Isles Philippines, d’ou il a ete envoye a M. l’Abbe Aubry, que le conserve dans son cabinet.

[It is much smaller than the previous one. Its length from the tip of the beak to the tail is three pouces and eight lignes, to the nail is three pouces and six lignes. Its beak from the tip to the corners of its mouth is nine lignes long; its tail fifteen lignes; its foot six lignes; and the middle toe together with the nail four and a half lignes: the lateral toes are slightly shorter; and the hind toe is nearly as long as the middle toe. It is five to eight pouces when in flight; and its wings when folded, extend to two thirds of the length of its tail. The upper part of the head and the nape, the mantle, the rump and the uppertail coverts are gray-brown. The throat is marked with dark purple. The lower part of the neck, breast, abdomen, sides, legs and underwing coverts are yellow. Wing feathers are gray-brown. The tail is composed of twelve feathers: the middle eight are a dark brown, the two most exterior on each side are the same color, and they terminate into yellowish white, which obliquely cuts the exterior feathers on each side. The beak, feet and nails are blackish. It is found in the Philippine Islands, from where it was sent to Father Aubry who keeps it inside his cabinet.]


The olive-backed sunbird was also mentioned by Carl Linnaeus in his 1766 book, the 12th edition of Systema Naturae. This was the last edition of Systema Naturae, and the species of birds included in the 12th edition (one of which was the olive-backed sunbird, which he named Certhia jugularis.) was double that of the 10th edition.



Certhia. Rostrum arcuatum, tenue, subtrigonum, acutum.

Lingua actua.

Pedes ambulatorii.

jugularis 7. C. subgrisea, subtus lutea, gula violacca, recticibus duabus extimis apice flavis.

Certhia philippinensis minor. Briss. av. 2. p. 616. t. 32. f. 5.

Habitat in Philippines.

The genus name Certhia came from the Greek word κέρθιος (kerthios), which occurred in Aristotle’s work Historia Animalium VIII:

ἔστι δέ τι ὀρνίθιον μικρὸν ὃ καλεῖται κέρθιος· οὗτος τὸ μὲν ἦθος θρασύς, καὶ οἰκεῖ περὶ 30δένδρα, καὶ ἔστι θριποφάγος, τὴν δὲ διάνοιαν εὐβίοτος, καὶ τὴν φωνὴν ἔχει λαμπράν.

[And there is a certain little bird called kerthios; in character this bird is bold, and dwells among trees, and feeds on woodworms; as to intelligence, it lives well; its voice is clear.]

The species name jugularis is derived from Latin and means “of the throat; -throated”, probably referring to the metallic throat coloration in males.

Its current genus name Cinnyris, was first used by Georges Cuvier in 1817 in his book Le règne animal distribué d’après son organisation : pour servir de base a l’histoire naturelle des animaux et d’introduction a l’anatomie comparée. Cuvier grouped sun-birds in one genus, Cinnyris. The genus name was derived from Greek κιννυρις (kinnuris), which was mentioned by Hesychius of Alexandria to refer to a very small bird. He called them souï-mangas in French, from the Madagascar dialect for “eat sugar”.


Les Souï-Mangas (2)

N’ont pas non plus le queue usee; leur bec long et tresgrele a le bord de ses deux mandibules finement dentele en seie; leur langue, susceptible de s’allonger hors du bec, se termine en fourche; ce sont de petits oiseaux dout les males brillent au temps des amours de couleurs metalliques et approchant de l’eclat des colibris, qui’ils principalement en Afrique. Ils vivent sur les fleurs dout ils pompent le suc; leur naturel est gai et leur chant agreable. Leur beaute en a fait apporter beaucoup dans nos cabinet; mais le plumage des femelles et celui des males pendant la mauvaise saison etant tout different de leur plumage brillant, ou a peine a bien caracteriser les especies.

(2) Cinnyris, nom grec d’un tres-petit oiseau inconnu. Souï-manga signifie, dit-on, mange sucre dans un jargon de Madagascar.

[The Sunbirds (2)

Don’t lean on the tail; the edges of their long and very slender beak are finely serrated; the tongue, which is capable of protrusion, terminates in a little fork. They are small birds, the males of which have most brilliant metallic colors during the season of propagation, approaching the hummingbirds in beauty; of which, in this respect, they are representatives in the Eastern Continent, being found principally in Africa and the Indian Archipelago. They subsist on the nectar of flowers, which they suck up; are of a lively disposition, and sing agreeably. Their beauty renders them a great ornament in our cabinets; but the garb of the female sex, and of the male in winter, is so different that the species are not easy to characterize.

(2) Cinnyris, Greek name for an unknown small bird. Soui-manga means, how they say “eat sugar” in Madagascar dialect.]


  1. Brisson, Mathurin Jacques. 1760. Ornithologia sive synopsis methodica sistens avium divisionem in Ordines, Sectiones, Genera, Species, ipsarumque Varietates.
  2. Linnaeus, Carl. 1766. Systema Naturae 12th edition.
  3. Aristotle. 4th century BC. Historia Animalium Book VIII.
  4. Aristotle. 1965. History of animals, translated to English.
  5. Cuvier, Georges. 1817. Le règne animal distribué d’après son organisation : pour servir de base a l’histoire naturelle des animaux et d’introduction a l’anatomie comparée.
  6. Cuvier, Georges. 1854. Animal Kingdom arranged after its organization: forming a natural history of animals, and an introduction to comparative anatomy, translated to English.

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A hopeful sign

Pantala flavescens on a basil plant

Pantala flavescens resting on a basil plant

Today I spotted a Globe Skimmer (Pantala flavescens) in the front yard, resting on a Mrhani basil plant. The Globe Skimmer, also called the Wandering Glider, so named because of its migratory behavior. It is considered an obligate ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone) migrant, traveling thousands of kilometers following the ITCZ rains and breeding in the pools created by the rainfall. So if one Globe Skimmer has been spotted, it means there are others that came with it, and it also means that the rains are coming as well. I would certainly hope so, as this year’s El Niño has been difficult for the farmers especially. The rainfall would be a welcome respite.


The Globe Skimmer is a dragonfly in the family Libellulidae and one of only two species in the genus Pantala. It was first described by entomologist Johan Christian Fabricius, a Danish student of the Swedish father of taxonomy Carl Linneaus, in his book Entomologia systematica emendata et aucta: Secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, adjectis synonimis, locis, observationibus, descriptionibus published in 1798, where it was then named Libellula flavescens.

P_flavescens_1 P_flavescens_2

LIBELLULA. Labium trifidum: lacinia dorsali minutissima. Antennae tenuissimae, filiformes.

L. flavescens. alis hyalinis: stigmate niveo, corpore flavescente.

Habitat in India Dom. Daldorff.

Statura praecedentium. Caput flavescens oculis magnis, fuscis. Thorax flavescens , immaculatus. Abdomen compressum, flavescens linea dorsali nigra. Alae albae stigmate marginali niveo.

The original genus name Libellula comes from the Latin word “libella”, which refers to the builder’s tool called a “level”, based on the horizontal position of the dragonfly’s wings; and its species name flavescens means “to become yellowish or golden”, referring to the coloration of the females and immature males. Its currently accepted genus name Pantala is derived from the Greek words “panta”, which means “all”; and “ale”, which means “wandering or roaming without home or hope of rest”.


Fabricius JC (1798) Entomologia systematica emendata et aucta: Secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, adjectis synonimis, locis, observationibus, descriptionibus. 283 – 285.

Fliedner H, Martens A (2008) The meaning of scientific names of Seychelles dragonflies (Odonata). Phelsuma 16: 49 – 57.

Hobson KA, Anderson RC, Soto DX, Wassenaar LI (2012) Isotopic Evidence That Dragonflies (Pantala flavescens) Migrating through the Maldives Come from the Northern Indian Subcontinent. PLoS ONE 7(12): e52594.

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Chocolate cookies

This one’s really easy. The hardest part is the shaping. But the other steps are fairly simple and there’s no need for a mixer, just a large wooden spatula will do.




  • oven (doesn’t matter if it’s electric, gas or even wood-fired)
  • baking sheets that fit inside the oven
  • parchment paper (Glad Bake and Cooking Paper is a good and fairly commonly available brand)
  • large wooden spatula (make sure it’s sturdy and not the one that breaks easily)
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • strainer or sieve
  • 2 large stainless steel bowls
  • well-sealed container for the cookies (hermetic glass jar is a good choice)


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar (muscovado sugar also works)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda


  1. In a bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Mix well.
  2. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time, until well-blended. Add vanilla and salt, mix until smooth.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients. Blend well.
  4. Shape cookies using any of the following methods:
    • Use a pastry bag fitted with a large tip to shape the cookies.
    • Or roll the dough to 3 mm thickness between two parchment sheets and use a cookie cutter to cut the cookies in the desired shape.
    • Or divide the dough into little balls and flatten with a spatula or spoon.
  5. Place cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets.
  6. Bake in oven preheated to 180°C until firm to the touch.
  7. Cool on wire rack before putting inside a well-sealed cookie jar.


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Orange Jessamine

One learns something new every day, indeed. I made a discovery during a summer’s evening stroll in the town plaza. There was a whiff of something fragrant among the foliage as my mother and I passed by. It wasn’t the usual suspects – sampaguita, dama de noche, ilang-ilang, jasmin, fortune plant or even dita – because none of those were growing in the town plaza and the fragrance was different from all of them. Walking closer towards the scent, the source was the white blossoms of a relatively small, unfamiliar tree. After some research, it turned out that it was kamuning. I had never seen one before, and the only familiarity I had with the name was that I knew a road was named after it.


The kamuning was first described by Georg Eberhard Rumpf in Herbarium Amboinense. Rumpf was born in Wölfersheim, Germany but worked for the Dutch East Indian Company as a midshipman, and was later promoted to “engineer and ensign”. In 1657 he requested a transfer to the civilian branch of the company and became “junior merchant” on Hitu Island, north of Ambon, now part of modern-day Indonesia. During his stay in Ambon, he studied the flora and fauna of the islands, which he wrote into a six-volume publication titled Herbarium Amboinense. He completed the book in 1695, but the book was only published in 1741, 39 years after his death. The book was written in Latin and Dutch, and his name was rendered in Latin – Georgius Everhardus Rumphius. No binary names (Genus species) of plants and animals appear in the book, as binomial nomenclature had yet to be invented at the time. Binomial nomenclature was first used by Carl Linnaeus in his book Species Plantarum, which was published in 1753.

In Herbarium Amboinense, Rumpf wrote three pages worth of descriptions and an illlustration for the kamuning (or Camunium as he called it in Latin):

    Camunium nobis in India repraesentare videtur Buxum, quoad nempe ejus lignum, neutiquam vero quoad formam, magnam enim habec similitudinem cum praecedenti Caju Lacca, sed non ita proserpit, at magis sese erigit, inque binas dividitur species, primo in vulgarem seu Amboinensem, secundo in Javanensem, quae tamen haud multum differunt.

     Primo vulgare seu Amboinense Camunium ad Caju Laccam quam proxime adcedit, quum quodammodo prorepat, primo sese instar arbusculae erigens, dein vero sese inflectit, atque instar funis prorepit, aliis modo incumbens arboribus; ejus truncus vulgo pedis crassitiem habet, ad fummum, si cruris crassitiem adtingat, raro ad illam hominis adcedit, nunquam rotundus & solidus, sed per longitudinem profundis sulcis & foveis excavatus est, unde cariosi admodum ac raro solidi sunt, formamque praebent, acsi varii concreti essent stipites, multoque profundiores sunt ejus sulci quam in Caju Laccae truncis, estque porro obductus tenui, gilvo, & fisso cortice.

     Reliqui rami rotundi sunt, tenui ac lento cortice vestiti, qui facile decorticari potest, utiin Salicibus, ex hisce rachides plurimae excrescunt rectae & plerumque elevatae, in plurimos laterales ramulos divisae, quorum bini plerumque uno ex ortu progerminant. Hisce folia insident eodem modo locata uti in Caju Lacca, alternata nempe, quinque, septem, & octo uno in ramulo; suntque illis Caju Laccae quam simillima, seu instar illorum Varingae Microphylli, firmiora & glabriora illis Caju Laccae, in longum apicem desinentia. Supremum, quod semper solitarium & maximum, prope ortum geniculatum est, quatuor transversales digitos longum, ac binos latum.

     Inferiora vero vix articulum longa sunt, ac digitum lata, superne quam maxime viridia & glabra, inferne paulo magis flava, & ad tactum mollia instar Serici densioris, praefertim in vetustis follis: Nervus medius inferne acutum format dorsum, atque costae rarae sunt, inferne autem magis protuberantes quam in illis Caju Laccae, saporis acris & ingrati, qui linguam parum vellicat uti Limonum folia. Vetusta ac decidua albicant.

     Flores tarde ac raro progerminant, unus alterve uno ex ortu, ex quinque sexve petalis constantes forma illorum Jasmini, sed rariores ac firmiores, tubo brevi & amplo instar campanae donati, in cujus centro decem adparent stamina cum intermedio crassiore, quod pistillum est, & in fummo capitulum gerit flavum: Ipsorum odor gratus est, sed debilis, ad Jasminum adcedens, potissimum vespertino tempore claro & placido coelo: Florum petala facile decidunt, nec multum tractari possunt, quum medium remanet pistillum, quod in fructum excrescit; qui oblonga est bacca, omnino similis illi Capsici minoris, tam forma quam colore, digiti unguem longa, interne bina locantur oblonga ossicula, sibi adunata, & quodammodo lanuginosa, carne obducta rubente ac molli, quae rubente tegitur pellicula, qualem habent fructus Cynosbati, odoris gravis, ossicula ista sunt semina, quae facile progerminant, quum terrae conmittantur. Novembri & Decembri floret, fructusque mense Martio maturescunt.

     Ejus lignum albastro destitutum est, atque sub tenui cortice substantia locatur homogenca, solidissima, subtilis, dura, & gravis, coloris pallidioris Buxino ligno, cum quo caeterum substantia & gravitate penitus convenit, praefertim vetustorum truncorum circa radicem, ubi & magis flavescit, circa cor autem colorem habet melleum & nigricantem, quorum colorum quaedam flammae seu maculae hine inde in ligno adparent, quodque plurimas tales habet venas, optimum censetur. Quidam trunci nullum omnino tale gerunt lignum variegatum, sed homogeneum & aequaliter flavescens, instar eboris, si nempe elaboretur, alii raras quasdam gerunt circa cor maculas ac prope radicem.

     Elegans est oculis lignum, sed non magna opera ex illo formari possunt, quum adeo concavum sit, & in quadratas partes dissectum, tam paucam solidi ligni exhibeat quantitatem, atque praeterea tam facile findatur, si modo paululum Soli exponatur, recens autem elaboratum fortem ac gravem spirat odorem instar Cofassini vel Buxini ligni.

     Secundo Camunium Javanicum elegans est arbuscula, altitudinem Granati habens, non alte supra terram sese erigens trunco simplici, mox enim sese dividit in varios crassos & sinuosos ramos, qui plurimas gerunt breves rachides, quae densam formant comam.

     Folia ejusdem sunt formae, codemque locantur modo in ramulis, quinque, sex, & septem uno in ramulo, sunt autem breviora, firmiora, & glabriora illis praecedentis speciei, subtus non lanuginosa, supremum minimum digitum longum est, reliqua inferiora breviora, atque inter ilia quaedam articulo breviora, saporis acrioris quam in prioribus, ad ilium foliorum Limonum magis adcedentis.

     Flores fructusque sunt uti in antecedente, flores autem hujus speciei frequentiores sunt, magisque gratum spirant odorem, ita ut calidis vesperis totam repleant, in qua locati sunt, aream; per rotum fere aestatis tractum proveniunt successive nunc flores nunc fructus, a gallinis autem arcere illos oportet, quum iliae flores fructusque quam avidissime devorent, continuo ad basce advolantes arbusculas.

     Lignum ejusdem est coloris & substantiae cum priore, fuscae vero istae maculae in hoc non conspiciuntur, unde & haec species potissimum ob arboris formam & elegantiam expetitur, uti praecedens ob lignum, si vero quis istas maculas non curet vel desideret, hoc Javanense lignum solidius & copiosius est, quum ejus trunci non adeo sint inregulares ac sulcati quam Amboinensis speciei, quae magis prorepit, illiusque segmenta conquiri possunt solida, cruris crassitiem habentia.

     Licet per totum anni tractum siccum flores quidam in hac conspiciantur arbuscula, observavi tamen, medio circiter Decembris per tres continuos dies floribus copiosissimis onustam esse, qui progerminant nunc decimo sexto Decembris, nunc siccissimo praegresso tempore nono ejusdem mensis die, post quos dies flores decidunt, ac copiosi subcrescunt fructus, sic quoque observavi, cuncta granula & semina sub hac arbuscula projecta, immo in sicca arenosaque area, multo melius progerminare quam aliis in locis, cujus rei caussam puto esse frigidiusculam umbram, quam per densam suam caussat comam.

     Nomen. Latine Camunium. Malaice, Javanice, & Macassarice Camuneng, ac quibusdam Caju Moni & Caymoni. Sinice Tsjauw Tsjeen.

     Locus. Repens seu flagellosum Camunium in hisce orientalibus Amboinae plagis non crescit, sed in Buorone, ad orientalem Cajeli sinum, in Bonoa, boreali Huamohelae parte, in Moluccis, in Mackia, Mothira, & Morothia, uti & in boreali Gelolae parte, atque in quibusdam parvis ante Macassaram insulis, & in sinu Boegico ante Boelo Boulo , ubique in saxosis locis, quoque sicciores, magisque saccosi sint loci, eo melius censetur Camunium: atque hinc puto Bouronense tam facile fissuras pati, quod in saxoso quidem, sed plano simul & humido crescat solo. Altera seu arborea species in Java, Baleya, & Borneo obcurrit, uti & in Zephyrea Sinae parte.

     Usus. Amboinensis repens species potissimum adhibetur ad tortilia, minoraque opera ex ipsa formanda, uti sunt cancelIi, sedilia, globuli acicularum operi inservientes, cultrorum manubria, similiaque: Durissimis & quam maxime suscis segmentis utuntur Javani, & Macassarenses ad telorum manubria ex iis formanda, quae artificiose elaborantur, vel si elegantes maculae in iis detegantur, poliuntur, sunt enim adeo cupidi & amantes venas & maculas hujus ligni, ut pro frustulo ex ipsorum voto multum pecuniae numerent ac solvant. Ex crassioribus ligni frustis pharethras formant, sed oportet, ut illa eleganter quoque sint undulata, in Amboinae autem insulis hoc lignum non adeo crassescit. Ad cuncta opera adhiberi posset, ad quae Buxinum requiritur lignum, si tam crassum foret.

     Javani jubent, ut, si trunci caedantur, superne & interne simul amputentur, credentes flammas seu maculas alioquin terrefactas avolaturas esse, atque hinc ex Bourone & Bonoa illud requifiverunt, quum Javanicum illis maculis & undis sit destitutum: licet plantetur tam in Java & Baleya, quam in quibusdam Sinae Provinciis Quantung, & Maccauensibus insulis circa aedes & in areis tam ob elegantem ejus formam, densamque comam, quam ob odoratos flores.

     Quum hoc lignum exscindere vel elaborare, ac praesertim perterebrare velimus, in aqua prius maccrandum est, atque externe obvolvendum, nec in sole deponendum, quum facillime findatur. Ad manubria a Maccassarensibus inprimis laudantur radices, vel partes ipsis proximae, quum hae quam maxime sint venosae, uti radices Buxi in Gallo-provincia & Delphinatu, quod vulgo vocatur lignum Galio provincicum. Optimum Macassarenses petunt ex Mandara & Tibaroua, quae loca sunt ad borealem Macassarae plagam sita.

     Medicatas quoque possidet virtutes, ejus enim fo lia ac cortex in aqua contrita, & cum pauxillo Lampujang mixta, propinantur contra Asthma. Folia acrimoniam & fervorem habent, qualis in Limonum foliis percipitur, praefertim Javanicae speciei, atque haec inlinita contractos calefaciunt artus, qui ex frigore Paralytici facti sunt.

     Quum domesticum Camunium per ramos transplantare velimus, sequenti id peragitur modo, cortex parum contunditur, qui obvolvitur pingui & optima terra, quae linteis sustinetur, ac sissa arundine per fesqui mensem ita relinquitur , dein feca nunc ramum brevi post ligamen istud, ac terrae committe novae.

     In Macassara & Mandara hujus species obcurrit Camuneng Batu dicta, nodosa penitus, minoraque gerens folia vulgari. Ex hac regum folae pharethrae formantur, quum lignum hoc eleganter sit variegatum ex venis flavis, laete rubentibus, & albis. Quasdam porro exoticas Camunii species vide in Auctuario.


Then Carl Linnaeus, ennobled in 1761 as Carl von Linné, gave the kamuning its first binary name – Chalcas paniculata – in his book Mantissa Plantarum published in 1767.  The species name was derived from the kamuning’s floral structure – the flowers are arranged in a loose cluster called a panicle, hence, paniculata. In this work, he classified plants according to the number of anthers and stigma in the flowers. The kamuning was placed in Class Decandria (bearing 10 anthers), Order Monogynia (bearing one stigma). He described the kamuning systematically while also referring to Rumpf’s earlier work:


Cal. Perianthium quinquepartitum, minimum: foliolissubulatis, erectis, persistentibus.
Cor. pentapetala, campanulata. Petala oblongiuscula, majuscula, unguibus insidentia.
Stam. Filamenta decem, subulata, erecta, corolla breviora. Antherae subrotundae.
Pist. Germen subrotundum. Stylus filiformis, longitudinestaminum. Stigma capitato – verrucosum.
Per. Bacca oblonga. Rumph.
Sem. duo, tomentosa.
Obs. an Affinis Trichogamilae Brown?

– paniculata        I. CHALCAS.

 Camunium. Rumph. amb. 5. p. 26 t. 17

Habitat in India, ubi colitur in hortis ob flores   fragrantissimos.
Frutex laevis. Folia alterna, petiolata, subopaca, obsolete crennata,. Flores subpaniculati, terminales.


It was not until 1820 that the kamuning was given its currently accepted scientific name Murraya paniculata by the botanist Willian Jack.  The genus name was given in honor of the Swedish botanist and doctor Johan Andreas Murray, who was a student and contemporary of Linnaeus.