Vitex pubescens

Illustration by Karyono, CIFOR


A tree species of the Lamiaceae family, Vitex pubescens, originated from South and East Asia. Widely distributed in several countries, including India, Malay Peninsula, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. The tree grows well in open spaces and along riverbanks, secondary forests, and lowland forests.


Vitex pubescens is often used as a medicinal cure, particularly in Indonesia. For example, the seeds are used to heal fever, while the tree bark and its leaves are used to treat wounds and reduce pain. Strong and durable, timber is also commonly used for the construction of houses and furniture making.

In the Field

In Borneo, research shows that Vitex pubescens and other fruit trees play an important role in supporting rich biodiversity, including for birds and mammals. According to the research, large-scale clearing of these trees for commercial purposes has dire consequences for the long-term survival of often threatened or endangered wildlife.


As a drier wood, Vitex pubescens is commonly used across Southeast Asia to produce charcoal or charcoal briquettes for cooking. The wood density is about 800 to 950 kg/m3 at about 15 percent water content.

Related publications

  • Kusmina, S., Budhi, S., Sriwardani, F., Utama, R., Rantan, D., & de Jong, W. (1998). Effect of soil amendment on early growth of Vitex pubescens stumps.

  • Alimah, Dewi. (2020). Characteristics and Cultivation of Laban (Vitex pubescens) for Energy Wood Purpose. Prosiding Seminar Nasional Lingkungan Lahan Basah, Volume 5 Nomor 2 Halaman 74-79 April 2020.

  • Lemmens, R. H. M. ., Soerianegara, I., Wong, W. C. (1995). Plant Resources of South-East Asia-Timber Trees: Minor Commercial Timbers (Vol. 5). Leiden: Prosea Foundation, Backhuys Publishers.

  • Orwa C, A Mutua, Kindt R , Jamnadass R, S. A. (2009). Vitex pubescens Vahl Verbenaceae. Agroforestree Database:a tree reference and selection guide (Vol. 0)

The information provided in this article is not peer-reviewed and is not intended as advice. It is based on current knowledge and the available literature. CIFOR and partner organizations do not provide any guarantees and recommend interested stakeholders undertake further independent assessments and verifications before making business and investment decisions.