Characteristics of Khoi Tree (Streblus asper) in the Wild

Streblus asper
Khoi (Streblus asper) is a tree that has several uses. This is considered important in Thailand, especially in paper making which has been going on for more than 700 years.

Almost all of the ancient Thai documents that still exist are written on paper that uses this tree bark fiber. Buddhist texts and ancient records written on the paper before the 20th century in Thailand are referred to as Khoi.

Paper made from Khoi tree bark is durable, even in humid weather. Paper from fibers from the Streblus asper tree bark is also non-flammable, resistant to mold and insects.

At present other sources of fiber are used to make paper, and Khoi is only used by craftsmen who produce paper using traditional techniques.

In Vietnam, traditional woodcarvers use a coarse texture of khoi leaves as natural sandpaper.

The Khoi tree is of medium size and originates from arid regions in Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Streblus asper is also known by various names throughout the world, names including Siamese Rough Bush, Toothbrush Tree, Khoi, Serut, Demon Tree, Paper Bark, Paper Tree, Sand Paper Mulberry, Spinous Mulberry, and Stunted Jack. In the Philippines, are known as Bogta-e, Bogtalay, and Kalyos. In India it is known as Daheya, Dahia, Karchanna, Deer, Sahora, and Sihora. Then, in Sanskrit, this tree is named Akshadhara, Bhutavasa, Bhutavriksha, Dhukavasa, Gavakshi, and Karkashachhada.

In Indonesia, Khoi trees are available in the wild, especially on Java. Almost every dry land untouched by humans is often overgrown with large-sized khoi trees that are usually side by side with other trees such as Fukien Tea (Carmona retusa) and Wild-sage (Lantana camara).

In addition to abundance in the wild, khoi trees are also used by Southeast Asian communities as ornamental tree for yard and living hedges. Many bonsai artists also use it as their bonsai object because the leaves of this tree can shrink and can grow in dry soil.


Characteristics of Khoi Leaf

Streblus asper Leaf
Source :

The leaves are shaped like a pointed egg at the end, the edges of the leaves are jagged, thick, rough, about 3-7 cm long, 3-5 cm wide.


Characteristics of Khoi Flower

Streblus asper Flower
Source :

Drawstring tree flowers are round, yellowish green and sometimes white, appears in the armpit of the leaf.


Characteristics of Khoi Fruit

Streblus asper Fruit
Source : Nikharge

The fruit is ovoid, as big as pepper, yellow to orange, about 8-10 mm in size. Sweet shaved fruit taste when ripe.


Characteristics of Khoi Tree in the Wild

Streblus asper Tree
Source :

The tree can grow to a height of about 4-8 meters, with thick leaves, and bent branches that are thick.

The tree itself is easily found in almost the entire archipelago, Khoi trees grow wild in dry open fields such as gardens, savanna, and forests.


This is a well-known and documented etnomedisinal plant. Certain parts of the Khoi tree are used in Ayurveda and traditional medicines for the treatment of various diseases such as filariasis, leprosy, toothache, diarrhea, and cancer. Research conducted using different in vitro and in vivo biological evaluation techniques supports most of these claims.

Different studies have been carried out on the antibacterial activity of various microorganisms involving oral and nasopharyngeal infections and especially Streptococcus mutans. Khoi leaf extracts have been shown to have selective bactericidal activity against Streptococcus, especially for Streptococcus mutans which are strongly associated with dental caries.

The Khoi tree contains protease which has potential as a milk freezing enzyme.

The Khoi tree section is also included in the main raw material for making dark brown herbal toothpaste which is popular in Thailand.

In the past until the mid-20th century the Khoi tree was used as a toothbrush and because of this, the Khoi tree is also known as the Toothbrush Tree.

Khoi tree wood is used throughout Southeast Asia as a mixture of cannabis to reduce throat irritation.


This tree is easy to propagate, the most common way to do this is by grafting stems. In addition, khoi tree trunks or branches can also grow if cuttings.


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