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Common Name: Weeping tea-tree
Leptospermum madidum, also known as Weeping tea-tree is a sub-tropical, monsoonal and an evergreen tree that is native to Australia thriving in regions along watercourses. The name 'Tea-tree' was derived from the early settlers of Australia custom of boiling leaves to make tea-substitute which was abounding in ascorbic acid and antioxidants. Singapore’s hot and humid tropical environment allowed these plants to flourish and are now part of Singapore’s wide collection of flora and fauna. These small trees are capable of growing up to a height of 4m and have pendulous branches with needle-like leaves and petit size white flowers. In Singapore, this tree can be said to have a Perennial life span.
Scent: The foliage of these trees releases a fresh aromatic scent when crushed due to the presence of an essential oil rich in monoterpenes which contains antioxidant phytochemicals that also found in citrus fruits and vegetables. Flower scent is unique and very comforting. Try it at perfume workshop!
Medicinal Benefits: Willow bark contains a chemical called salicin that is analogous to aspirin. Even during the time of Hippocrates, people chewed on the willow bark to relieve the pain and fever. In modern times, after proper treatment and dosing, it can be used to relieve pain, including headache, muscle pain, menstrual cramps and is claimed to even help to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, gout, and a disease of the spine known as ankylosing spondylitis.
Common Name : Angsana
Biogeography: Angsana, one of the common names of Pterocarpus indicus, is a large and popular tropical shade tree that is typically cultivated in South East Asian countries including Singapore. This species was used as an 'instant tree' in Singapore during the 1960s due to its fast-growing nature and adeptness to root from large branch-cuttings. It can mature up to an estimated height of 35m, possessing a dome-shape crown with iconic brown disc-like shaped fruit pods with papery wings that are usually dispersed by wind or water. These fruits may require up to 4 to 6 months to mature. Angsana also produces inconspicuous yellow flows usually growing at the top of the crown. When flowering, the buds open in random and unpredictable order. As its bud is grown to full size, it waits for nature to trigger it to bloom. The bloomed flowers generally last only for 24 hours. After that, some days may pass before another lot of 'ready' buds open. The trigger factor to its blooming is unknown. Such unpredictability can produce a very picturesque scene at unexpected times.
Scent: Pterocarpus indicus flowers are sweet-scented and its timbre wood usually produces a pleasant rose, woody scent.
Medicinal Benefits: The red latex (milky fluid from the Angsana plants) was claimed to be a tumor remedy especially so for mouth cancer. Kino, gum from tropical trees such as Pterocarpus indicus, was also applied on the mouth by Malayans for mouth sores and Javanese uses its leaves to treat boils and ulcers. It was said to once been used together with opium for administration to treat diarrhea.
Common Name : Frangipani
Biogeography: Plumeria rubra, a tropical flowering plant species that can be often known by the name of Frangipani. It is native to the Caribbean, Central America, & Mexico. It usually is the size of a small tree that can grow up to 8m in height, possessing thick and smooth leaves. This species flowers usually grow in clusters, are very fragrant in scent and can have its flowers bloom all year round. Their colors can also differ with cultivar However, these attractive and seemingly harmless Frangipanis are also known to contain mild poison due to its milky sap which can be a potential irritant when in contact with the skin and eyes. The milk poison can be exuded from cutting any surface of the Frangipani tree and is harmful to both humans and animals.
Scent: Frangipani flowers are often very fragrant, and their scent typically smells stronger at night to attract pollination. Their scent can vary with cultivar. One frangipani can cover a subtle range of smells such as sweet, fruity, peachy, creamy, jasmine, and gardenia-like.
Medicinal Benefits: Frangipani essential oil is helpful for treating skin disorders due to its astringent properties which causes contraction of skin cells as well as body tissues which closes your skin pores and controls secretions and bleedings. In addition, frangipani essential oils also has anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce muscle aches and back pain. It claims to also help in relieving headaches, stress and have a sedative effect with helps with sleeping. In India, the plant is used as a remedy for diarrhoea.
Vitex Pinnata (more info on Nparks website)
Common Name : Leban
Biogeography: Vitex pinnata also commonly known as Leban or Malayan Teak is a species native to Singapore and is also listed as Singapore’s Heritage tree and can be found in Sentosa. Thus species can be also found in many other parts of Southeast Asia Countries such as Malaysia, India, Myanmar, Philippines, and Thailand. Vitex pinnata is classified under tropical species and is a very common tree found in secondary forests. One tree can mature to a height of 15m and their leaves generally take on a distinct palmately compound leaf shape along with yellowish-green hairs on the surface of the leaves. The tree also blooms fragrant clusters of tiny white or violet flowers and can bear round, fleshy and purplish-black fruits.
Scent: The leaves and flowers are usually scented and fragrant.
Medicinal Benefits: In Sarawak, The leaves and bark of the tree can be treated and consumed as traditional medicine to treat stomach ache, to flush out intestinal worms and to treat wounds. A poultice of their leaves can be used to treat fevers.
Common Name : Tanjong Tree
Biogeography Mimusops elengi also frequently called Tangjong Tree or Bullet Tree is an evergreen tree that is native to Myanmar, India and Sri Lanka but is also cultivated in tropical countries such as Singapore. The leaves are dense and simple and the crown of the tree is round. Their flowers grow in groups and are small, white and sweet-smelling. Fruits are orangey-red in color and comprise a single large hard seed. It is a popular tree selection to be planted as ornamentals or roadside trees. In the past, they are also planted in villages, so local women would wear their flowers as adornments and children would string the fallen or dried star-like flowers into necklaces. There is also a myth saying that the flowers only blossom when sprinkled with wine by a beautiful woman.
Scent: Flowers of Mimusops elengi smells richer in the evening and when they are made into essential oils, they are sweet-smelling comprising the scent of orange flower, tuberose, mint and balsamic.
Medicinal Benefits: Their leaves provide many medicinal uses. Some examples would be that their leaves release sap that can be used as a remedy for sore eyes, boiled leaves can be applied as a cold compress to relieve headaches and the smoke from burnt leaves was claimed to be effective in treating nose ulcers when inhaled. The bark can be used to treat fever, pimples, and diarrhea and the roots are used together with other ingredients to prepare a concoction (jamu) and consumed as a general tonic for health.
Common Name : Shui Mei
Biogeography: Wrightia religiosa, frequently known as Shui Mei or Water Jasmine, is an evergreen shrub that generally grows up to 2 m tall and is a popular ornamental species for tropical Bonsai in Singapore. It has slender, velvety light green leaves and its white flowers can envelop its surroundings with its very strong fragrance which its 5 white petals are assembled in a star-like shape and grows in clusters. This species often blossoms all year round. They bear seed pods that are long bean-like and once ripen, will pop and crack open to release feather-like seeds that can be carried away by wind. Wrightia is named after Dr. William Wright, a Scottish physician and a botanist who identified the indigenous Jamaican species, Cinchona jamaicensis, in 1777. Species religiosa means sacred and of religious rites. In Thailand, this species are frequently planted in the Buddhist temples.
Scent: The scent of Shu Meis flowers are stronger during the evenings or at night, they are generally fragrant and possess a strong white flower, sweet scent.
Medicinal Benefits: According to folklore, Shu Mei’s roots can be used as a remedy for skin conditions. In India, the bark of Shu Mei can be infused and made into medicinal herbs.
Common Name : Fiddle Wood
Biogeography: Citharexylum spinosum, Fiddlewood, is a large shrub or a small tree that is native to Florida with slim and bending branches, usually taking on a shape of an irregular crown. It can mature and develop to as tall as 15m in height. Its bark generally assumes a reddish-brown to gray or light brown color and its leaves are smooth and turns orange when aged. Their white flowers are fragrant and fast-growing and their globose shaped fruits turn from red or orange to black when ripened. Due to possessing such a phenomenon whereby their leaves change color when aged and also their fragrant flowers, they are frequently grown for ornamental and aesthetic purposes to decorate coastal areas and along the roadsides.
Scent: Their clusters of flowers are richly scented which carries a very sweet candy-like fragrance that is one of the favorite go-to flowers for bees.
Medicinal Benefits: Crushed young twigs are used in the treatment of children's thrush and its bark is used as a treatment for colds. Some claimed that it can also help for asthma patients.
Common Name : Kelat Hitam
Biogeography: Syzygium syzygioides is a tropical species that is locally grown in Singapore, Northeastern India and other parts of the countries such as Indonesia and Thailand. This species can mature to a height of about 30m, owning a dark greyish to reddish-brown bark. Typically, their leaves are lanced shaped with pointed tips and the leaf blades are thin and leathery. Syzygium syzygioides blooms white flowers in clusters that are usually found at the end of its branches. The Malay name, Kelat Hitam, is from the fact that their berry-like fruits change color to black when ripen. This plant has high thrive in sunny areas and have high tolerance to strong winds and salt spray environment, therefore, it is suited to be planted along roadsides and coastal areas.
Scent: Their flowers scent is pleasant and helps aid in their pollination via bats, birds, and insects.
Common Name : Common pulai
Biogeography: Alstonia angustiloba is a tropical large tree that is native to Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It is listed as Heritage Trees in Singapore and can be located in many parts of Singapore. This species can grow to as tall as 40m in height and owns a dark grey bark. The bark of the tree is generally smooth when young, however, the trunk may start to crack when it ages. It has glossy dark green leaves and its leaves have a distinct oval shape with pointed short tips. When broken, milky-white latex is secreted from the cracked leaf parts. It grows fragrant, white and creamy colored flowers that grow in clusters. This species produces long fruit pods which are shielded with tiny brown hairs and contain dark brown, oblong and light-weighted seeds which are mainly dispersed by wind. They are species of great ornamental and landscape value. They are easy fast-growing and easy to cultivate, furthermore, due to its luxuriant foliage and the intense scent of its flowers, they are good choices to be planted in parks and gardens. They are also cultivated for their wood, as they are light and tender and easy to work with.
Scent: Their flowers produce a powerful, tart-sweet fragrance at night.
Medicinal Benefits: Latex of the plant is claimed to be able to heal boils, ringworms, and to alleviate toothaches. It is used with copper sulfate as a remedy for the skin illness 'yaws'. An extract of the pounded bark is an ingredient of febrifuges.
Magnolia x Alba
Common Name : White Champaca
Biogeography: Magnolia x alba species originates from Java. They are usually cultivated as ornamentals due to their very attractive and fragrant flowers. Its cream-white flowers have waxy and long petals enveloping the green pistil. Leaves are simple and yellowish-green in color, with white spots on both young stems and petioles. It is an evergreen medium-sized tree species and able to reach a 30m in height if cultivated in optimal environments. Trunk has smooth and silvery grey bark. Fresh seeds gathered from naturally ripened fruits are to be sown immediately as they will speedily lose viability.
Scent: Their flowers have a sweet and rich fragrance carrying a juicy fruit-like gum scent. Their fragrant scent can persist the whole day but is especially strong during the night.
Medicinal Benefits: In traditional Chinese medicine, flowers are used to alleviate coughs. In Burma (Myanmar), the aromatic bitter bark is used to treat intermittent fever, the flowers to treat leprosy and the leaves to treat colic. In Java and Peninsular Malaysia, the flower buds are applied medicinally and put into infusions given to women as an antiseptic after delivery or following miscarriage.
Common Name : River Peppermint
Biogeography: Eucalyptus elata originates from Australia and is a medium to tall tree (up to 40m) with coarse dark grey bark on the lower trunk. The bark sheds in long ribbons, resulting in a smooth, grey, cream or whitish surface. Their dull green and strongly scented leaves are lanced-like in shape and each leaf can grow up to 12cm long and 2.8cm wide. The leaves have been distilled commercially for a piperitone based essential oil. White flowers bloom during spring to summer seasons, subsequently then producing fruits that are hemispherical to ovoid in shape.
Scent: The scent of leaves are strong and powerful when crushed; they carry a rich aromatic, and peppermint scent.
Medicinal Benefits: The piperitone extracted from the leaves can be used as a nervous system stimulant and also an added ingredient for anti-asthmatic medicine. In pharmaceuticals, piperitone can be used in making menthol for migraine relief and thymol which functions as a powerful fungicide.
Common Name : Seashore spider lily
Biogeography: Crinum asiaticum is a tropical shrub, native to Singapore, which bears beautiful and eye-catching clusters of white flowers. It possesses the ability to grow up to 2m in height with a rosette of lance-like and pointed leaves at the top of the stem. Its fleshy fruits are unevenly rounded and each fruit can encompass up to 5 seeds, 2-4.5 cm in size. Unfortunately, the plant is poisonous if ingested. Some reports specify that if there is contact with the sap, one may face skin irritation as well. Seashore spider lily is suited to be planted along streetscapes, parks, gardens, flower beds and coastal areas as it can endure hot and windy environments, and also to display its white attractive flowers.
Scent: Flowers’ pleasant fragrance is more pronounced during the night.
Medicinal Benefits: Seashore spider lily is used medicinally as a remedy for breast infections and wounds, haemorrhoids and inflammation. Leaves and bulbs could help encourage vomiting because they comprise of alkaloid lycorine. Crushed leaves can be used to clean piles. The root can also help to assist childbirth and for postpartum haemorrhage.
Common Name : Kenanga Ylang Ylang
Biogeography: Cananga Odorata species is known to be originated from countries such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and northeastern Australia. When taking into account of their plant height, this species can be categorized as small to medium sized trees as they can grow till about 15m in height. Lengthy limp branches and stems also produce an irregular crown shaped. The pale yellow flower petal forms unique twisted spirals at the ends of the drooping petals. Flowers only appear yellow upon fully grown; before reaching the fully developed stage, the flowers appear green in color. Their olive-like shaped fruits turns from dark green to black when ripened, measuring about 2 cm long. The name Cananga is taken from the "alang ilang" which is a tagalog name that suggests that the perfume is created from the fragrant flowers. Species odorata implies fragrant or sweet-scented. Depending on the intended purpose, Cananga Odorata can be grown as an ornamental or along the roadsides, in parks and gardens.
Scent: Ylang Ylang fragrance is heavy, sweet, and carries a mild fruity floral scent.
Medicinal Benefits: In Java and Vietnam, dried flowers can be used as a remedy for malaria. The paste gathered from grinded fresh flowers can also help to alleviate asthma and the bark of the tree is claimed to be useful in nursing stomach troubles.
Common Name : Dwarf Murraya
Biogeography: Murraya Paniculata also known as Dwarf Murraya and is said to be the dwarf form of the popular Orange Jasmine. Owing to its tropical nature, it is native to tropical regions in South East Asia; an evergreen, woody shrub. The plant naturally has many stems but it can be cultivated in such a way that it only grows from a short, single stem. Their flowers have soft white petals and are very beautiful especially since they grow in clusters. This species can be popular to be planted and utilized as privacy screens or hedges due to their thick glossy green foliage. To cultivate and grow such species well, one has to be moderately watered and grown in soil that is well-drained. They thrive easily in sunny regions as they are capable of tolerating high drought and may be nurtured under full sun or light shade. The name Murraya is used in reverence of Johan Andreas Murray (1740 - 1791), Professor of Botany at Gottingen. Paniculata means with a branched-racemose or cymose inflorescence.
Scent: Their flowers have a strong scent and smell relatively a similar scent as Orange Jasmine blossoms, enticing to bees, birds and butterflies.
Medicinal Benefits: Their leaves, roots, and branches have been used to treat include coughs, hysteria, rheumatism and dysentery. Traditionally, Murraya Paniculata effective in the health issues regarding the gut, air way and cardiovascular problems.
Cyrtophyllum (Fagraea) Fragrans
Common Name : Tembusu
Biogeography: Cyrtophyllum (Fagraea) Fragrans is a species that is natively found in Singapore. If you take a look at Singapore's $5 money note, it displays and features the tembusu tree that is located and planted at Singapore Botanic Garden. Their branches grow in a way that it extends and grow irregularly upwards. In addition, their roots are buttress and possess greatly fissured barks. Each individual can take a very long time to fully mature and they usually have an average lifespan of 100 years old, developing up to 55m in height. They bloom bisexual flowers, typically growing in groups and have small trumpet-like petals that are cream-white in color with a blend of yellow-orange hue. Such flowers are very appealing to butterflies of the Hesperidae family, and moths, such as the humming-bird hawk-moths. This species produces berry-like shaped fruits and they are usually seeded and turns red when ripen. Their fruits are generally dispersed by bats and birds.
Scent: The flowers carry an obvious and strong fragrance that gets more powerful during the evening and night.
Medicinal Benefits: The bark of the tree can be used as a concoction in medicine to relieve fever and to treat dysentery. The leaves and twigs can be consumed as a remedy for severe diarrhoea.
Common Name : Malayan Eaglewood
Biogeography: Aquilaria Malaccensis is a tree found native in Singapore and can grow up to 40 m in height, usually forming an asymmetrical crown. Not only can this species be found in Sentosa, it can also be found locally in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, and in the vicinity of Chestnut Track, Mandai Road, Pulau Ubin, and Pulau Tekong. Its trunk has a pale to dark shade of grey, and its flaking outer bark reveals a cream-white inner bark. Their leaves are thin and leathery with an oval-oblong to oblong-lance shape and flowers are of a green or dirty-yellow in colour, which could grow up to clusters of 10 altogether. Its fruits are also green in colour and can be of a flattened egg-shaped. Each fruit have pear-shaped seeds are surrounded with orange-brown hairs.
Scent: Flowers are fragrant and Aquilaria Malaccensis is the major source of agarwood, a common material for perfume and incense.
Medicinal Benefits: Aquilaria Malaccensis can be used as a tonic herb that alleviates spasms, particularly of the respiratory and digestive systems and also helps in fevers. In Western, Chinese and Indian medicines the incense is believed to help decrease the risk cancer, especially of the thyroid gland. In China, it is used as a sedative against abdominal problems, asthma, and diarrhoea, and as an aphrodisiac and carminative. The grated wood used with other additive ingredients can be used to treat smallpox and abdominal pains. Decoctions of the wood are said to have anti-microbial properties.
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Sparrows’ mango
Biogeography: Buchanania Arborescens is a slender tree capable of growing up to 35 m tall, and native to South East Asia countries including Singapore. During its blooming season, its creamy white colored flowers cover the tree's crown in a distinct white shade that is obvious and eye-catching even from a distance. This species bears small, circular and berry-like fruits that are reddish in color and have leaves blades that are leathery and oval to narrowly drop-like in shape. Caterpillars of the moth, Phyllocnistis exiguella particularly likes to feed on this plant. The resins obtained from this plant changes to black when exposed to the sun, and can be an irritant for people with sensitive skin. The name 'Buchanania' is named after Francis Buchanan-Hamilton (d. 1829), a Scottish physician who made great contributions in discovery of this species and the name Arborescens represents the tree-like habit of the plant.
Scent: Flowers are mildly scented.
Medicinal Benefits: A poultice of pounded leaves can be used to treat headaches.
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Penaga Laut
Biogeography: Calophyllum Inophyllum, a slow-growing species that is native to Singapore. Each tree of this species is capable of growing to approximately 25 m in height and in some occasions, it can even mature to 35 m tall. Unfortunately, its build may be shorter when planted along the shore. Their leaves appear smooth and glossy with oval-shaped forms. Normally, their trunks are short and it can be frequently sighted to be growing in a slanted manner. This species flowers are white with round, cutely cupped white petals and numerous yellow stamens at the centre of each flower. Do be warned that their spherical dull green fruits are poisonous and should not be consumed. Parts of the plant also hold sticky yellowish latex and will be secreted when broken. The tree is usually planted for the purpose of reforestation schemes, to provide shield from the wind and also could be to act as ornamentals and roadside trees due to their fragrant white flowers. Seeds from their fruits were once used to fuel lamps by extraction of the oil from them.
Scent: Their blossoms have a sweet fragrance that is reminiscent of orange blossom and its fragrance can last for a day.
Medicinal Benefits: Leaves and seeds contain coumarins which had been shown to help prevent HIV type 1. They are believed to also be good as cancer chemo-preventive agents. Their oil has cicatrizing properties which is helpful in a broad spectrum of skin issues. The oil also displays anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial and insecticidal activity and clinical studies show that it may help to reduce the appearance of old scars. The bark is astringent and comprise of 11 - 19% tannins which reportedly has antiseptic properties and works as a disinfectant.
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Bintangor Gasing
Biogeography: Calophyllum Pulcherrimum is an evergreen plant native to Singapore and some regions in Southeast Asia. One can grow to a considerable height of around 30 m tall and its crown can take the form of an irregular or oval shaped crown. Their white and long stalked flowers are bisexual and they possess a sweet smell that is representative to their white flower. Due to its scent, it attracts insect to aid in its pollination. It bears green fleshy ovoid drupes fruits that are about 2 cm long. These fruits are edible and may taste sour when eaten raw. Despite having a sour taste to the fruits, these fruits are also food for the birds and some forest animals. These species can be cultivated via their seeds and to grow them properly, they must be under direct and full sunlight and given plenty of water. The word Kalos in Greek means well and phylon signifies a leaf. The combination of these two words forms the name Calophyllum Pulcherrimum which defines the plant’s well-veined leaf blades. This plant can be commonly planted in gardens, parks and streetscapes due to its ornamental foliage.
Scent: Flowers are fragrant and sweetly scented
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Pink Mempat
Biogeography: One of Cratoxylum Formosum's native distribution is in Singapore. Its size can be observed to be a intermediate to large tree as it can sometimes grow up to a height of 45 m. Contrary, in Singapore, Cratoxylum Formosum are typically 10 m or shorter in height. They have grey and scaly barks. The plant bears pink and eye-catching easy crown of light pink flowers, aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. When looked closely, this species' new leaves appear to have reddish-pink leaf blades and changes to green when the leaves reached a mature stage as seen in the picture above. Their flowers have mild scent and its sizes vary within 1.3–2.5 cm wide, clothing themselves with light pink petals. These flowers like to grow in clusters of 1–6, settling prettily on branches like little bouquets of flowers. They have dark brown fruits that are ellipsoid in shape and once they are ripe, they will split open into three parts to discharge their winged seeds. Their fruits are enveloped up to half of their bases of the fruits by the sepals too. Their fruits contain many brownish seeds and are narrowly tear-drop shaped with sizes that varies around 6–7.5 by 2–4 mm. These species thriving habitats are hills, primary or secondary forests, river edges and swamps.
Scent: They have mildly scented leaves and flowers.
Medicinal Benefits: The treated bark of Cratoxylum Formosum can be added as one of the ingredients for externally applied medication to alleviate colic and itch. Medicine used to treat skin issues can utilize this species' grounded bark, leaves and coconut oil. Their leaves are also edible and are claimed to be good for health.
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Maingay's Dracaena
Biogeography: Singapore has been one of the countries that are housing Dracaena Maingayi species as their native and natural habitat. In Singapore, they can be found in Sentosa, Bukit Kallang, Nee Soon Swamp Forest, Pulau Pawai, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin, and Sentosa Island. Generally this species is a relatively tall tree that is capable of growing up to about 20 m tall possessing a foliage that mainly consists of stalked leathery leaf blades which can be long, narrow and oval in shape. Dracaena Maingayi flowers are stalked inflorescence and pale yellow in colour. It bears round plump fruits that are orange in colour. Their thriving habitat is coastal forests and swamp forests. One can cultivate this species simply by planting their cut stem or from their seeds. In Greek, Dracaena signifies a female dragon, and in this case, a dragon tree. Maingayi is in Latin language and this name is used in honour of A. C. Maingay, a 19th century doctor and botanist of the East India Company. There is currently one individual of Dracaena Maingayi listed as a Heritage Tree in Singapore. It can be found at Sentosa.
Scent: Flowers are generally fragrant and are more distinct during the night.
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Blunt‐leafed oil‐fruit
Biogeography: Elaeocarpus Pedunculatus is a native species to Singapore, Sumatra, Malaysia, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia. In Singapore, this species can be found growing in Changi area, Labrador Nature Reserve, Pulau Ubin, Sentosa, and Tanjong Belayar. One such tree can generally grow up to 27 m tall, possessing a branch network structure similar to sea-almond tree. It has narrow and drop-shaped leaves with tips that are blunt or somewhat tipped. Flowers are small and white in color and typically grow to about the size of 7.6 mm wide. The fact that the seed possesses a hard, woody shell, this species can take very long time to grow and may also be unpredictable in its growth rate. Some of such species may require 2 years or more to grow, depending on the conditions and environment provided to cultivate them. They tend to grow better in lowland forests, secondary forests, limestone hills, and stony cliffs along the sea. The name elaia refers to olive and karpos, fruit; combing this two words would describe its round shaped fruits. The name pedunculatus describes a well-developed inflorescence stalk or peduncle.
Scent: Its white flowers are fragrant, and it is noted that this tree only bear flowers two times per year.
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Kelat nenasi
Biogeography: Syzygium Zeylanicum native distribution is found in Singapore and some of the Southeast Asia countries. In Singapore, it can be located in Mount. Faber, Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Labrador Nature Reserve, Lazarus Island, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin, and Singapore Botanic Garden. It usually only grows to either the size of a shrub or small tree up to 18 m tall with an oval to rounded crown. Their trunk can appear to be reddish-brown in color and papery-flaky upon being fully matured. Their leaves are special in a way that their young leaves are purplish pink in color. Mature leaves become dark glossy green as shown above with the underside of the leaves being paler green in color. Their flowers are bisexual and display its white color petals upon blooming. Their fruits are edible and upon mature, their fruits turn from green to white. The bunch of fruits takes on the shape that is similar to small yet plump white button mushrooms growing on the branches of the trees. Each fruit possess a greenish seed in it. They grow generally in lowland forests, which includes secondary forests, and also in swamps, and along rivers, and seashores. 'Syzygium' is sourced from 'syzygos' (Greek for 'joined'), referring to the opposite paired leaves. 'Zeylanicum' name comes from Ceylon (old name for Sri Lanka), where the species is also naturally distributed.
Scent: Flowers are faintly fragrant. Fruits are sweetly scented with fresh scent reminiscent of Syzygium aqueum (Jambu Air, Water Apple).
Medicinal Benefits: Leaves can be used as an ingredient to treat diarrhoea. A decoction of leaves and roots can be used for vermifuge. They also claimed to possess anti-diabetic and anti-rheumatic properties. Folk legend believes that elephants become more docile when rubbed by the leaves on their chest.
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Rose Kandis
Biogeography: Garcinia Forbesii's original habitat is in Singapore or in countries such as Sumatra and Malaysia. They are planted around Singapore in Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Mandai, and Nee Soon Swamp Forest. Interestingly, their fruits taste similar to apple flavor; sweet and juicy. An individual tree of this species is capable of growing up to 18 m in height, possessing an inner bark that secretes yellow latex when cut. Their developed leaves arch slightly backwards as they grow and they produce flowers that are dioecious, having separate and independent male and female flowers. The red male flowers usually grow in groups. Its red or orange female flowers are solitary and sessile. One can find them growing on lowland forests. The name Garcinia was gotten and used as a remembrance of Laurent Garcin, a French botanist who travelled extensively in India. On the other hand, the name forbesii is used to commemorate H. O. Forbes, a British naturalist who explored the East.
Scent: Flowers are nocturnal which contribute to the stronger floral fragrance at night.
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Asam Gelugor
Garcinia Atroviridis is native to Singapore. It produces edible appealing large pumpkin-like fruits, making it a very popular and widely cultivated plant. Their fruits turn from green to orange when ripe, consisting of seeds that appears to look flattened. Its tree can grow to become as tall as 27 m, having foliage of dark green and glossy leaves. Their young leaves are edible and can be consumed as food. Flowers of this species bloom beautifully, clothing themselves with crimson petals. This species is suited to grow on hills and lowland forest. The name Garcinia is named after Laurent Garcin, a French botanist and the name atroviridis, means very dark green, referring to the leaves' colour. Locals can grow these fruit tree and use their freshly plucked fruits or young leaves as a seasoning in their food. This trees' young leaves have a reddish hue and its canopy shape is conical, gaining popularity among cultivators for its ornamental value in gardens, parks and roadsides.
Scent: This species do not have very strongly scented flowers and sometimes, one may not be able to distinctly detect its scent.
Medicinal Benefits: The juice from the leaves can be used for a woman after childbirth. Ingredients such as the leaves and the roots are included in medications for ear-aches. Combination of vinegar and this fruit can be applied as lotion for a woman after confinement.
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Seashore Mangosteen
Biogeography: Garcinia Hombronianas native distribution is in Singapore and is deemed as a small to medium sized tree, as its height can go up to about 18 m tall. This plant when cut can produce white latex. It bears mangosteen-like fruits with a bright rose-red exterior colour, possessing a similar scent to apples. Their cream-white flowers petals look sturdy and its sepals are coloured in a rose-red or pinkish hue. They thrive on rocky and sandy coasts and many plant them along streetscapes, parks, gardens, and coastal areas for its dense leafy crown. Their fruits further increase their ornamental value. The origin of the Garcinia name is from the name of Laurent Garcin, a French botanist who travelled widely in India. Garcinia Hombroniana is listed as a Heritage Tree in Singapore and can be located in Sentosa.
Scent: Its berry shaped fruits smells like apples.
Medicinal Benefits: The roots may be used after childbirth as a preventive medicine. The roots and leaves can also be used to alleviate itch.
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Medang
Biogeography: Litsea Elliptica, being a species that is native to Singapore can be sighted in Singapore's locations such as Sentosa, Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Changi, Nee Soon Swamp Forest, along Old Upper Thomson Road, Pulau Tekong, and Pulau Ubin. It is a buttressed tree that is capable of growing up to 45 m tall. Upon closer observation, stoma can be perceived on its smooth brown-grey bark which allows the exchange of gases to take place between surroundings and its tissues. Their inner bark is pinkish in color. This species produces clusters of flowers from its leaf axils or bare twigs and its flower petals are covered with hairs. When their small round fruits ripen, they turn red.This species typically grows on lowland forests. Litsea, is taken from the Chinese names ‘li’ and ‘tse’, which mean little plum. On the other hand, the name elliptica represents the shape of the plant’s leaf blade. Litsea elliptica is also recorded as a Heritage Tree in Singapore.
Scent: Its bark has a powerful spicy scent.
Medicinal Benefits: Its aromatic bark contains medicinal properties and may be used as a local medicine.
Memecylon Edule var. Ovatum
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Delek air
Biogeography: Memecylon Edule var. Ovatum is a native flowering plant of Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines. These small shrubby trees bloom very beautiful blue petal flowers and are especially pleasing in sight. Flowers of this species also tend to grow in clusters, naturally decorating this shrub with patches of blue contrasting to its green foliage. One such shrub can only grow to about an average height to 3 to 12 m. It can own several or just a single greyish-brown trunk, with its trunk being thin, fissured and flakey. Pollinated flowers produces small spherical berry-like fruits, converting from green to pinkish-red; often a popular food for birds. The usually grow well on coastal riffs, limestones and along sandy or rocky seashores. During high tide, their roots are frequently found to be growing under seawater. This species is slow-growing and can grow better under direct sunlight to bright shade. This species can be grown via stem-cuttings, air-layering or seeds. 'Memecylon' is obtained from 'memaecylon' -- as used by ancient Greek philosophers Dioscorides and Pliny to depict the red fruits of Arbutus unedo (Oriental Strawberry Tree) which also is representative of the pink to reddish berries produced by members of the 'Memecylon' genus. 'Ovatum' means 'ovate', describing the leaves of the plant.
Scent: Flowers are mildly scented.
Medicinal Benefits: Root decoction is a remedy for menstrual irregularities. Leaf infusion used as astringent lotion for eye inflammation.
Nephelium Ramboutan-ake (syn. mutabile)
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Rambutan
Biogeography: Nephelium Ramboutan-ake is commonly also known as Rambutan tree; a fruit tree of about 10-25 m in height. This species have a very distinguishing feature which is their rambutan fruits; which are those red coloured bunches of harry and spherically shaped fruits that are drooping down from its branches. These fruits are edible; their plump flesh is white, translucent, sweet and juicy. Typically, rambutan fruits are eaten raw and each rambutan fruit owns a single large seed that can be found at the center of its flesh. As the fruit matures, it turns from green to bright red. Fruits are a favourite among the birds and bats. One may also observe that before the rambutan fruits are produced, they bloom dioecious flowers that are yellowish-green to white, rich in nectar; attracting bees and birds. Rambutan trees are a suitable crop to be planted economically. They usually grow well in rich, well drained and frequently fertilized soils. Marcotted trees produces fruit in 1-2 years, seed trees in 5-6 years. Mature trees can bear up to 90kg of fruit annually. The common name 'rambutan' is gathered from Malay word 'rambut' which means hair which describes part of the fruits.
Scent: Their fruits are sweet scented and fragrant.
Medicinal Benefits: Their fruits are rich in Vitamin C and can also be used as a remedy against fever and diarrhoea. Their bark can be used to treat tongue infections.
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : White gutta
Biogeography: Originated from Singapore, India, Thailand, Indochina, Sumatra, and Malaysia, Palaquium Obovatum is recorded as one of the Heritage Trees in Singapore and can be sighted in Sentosa and Nee Soon Swamp Forest, Lazarus Island, and Pulau Pawai. This species can be as tall as 40 m with a fairly cylindrical crown. Their leaves are spirally arranged along the stem and are naturally leathery, most leaves took the form of a drop-like shape, forming a very pretty and neatly arranged tree structure. Their flowers are stalked and are about 1–2 cm long. When observed closely, it can be seen that their petals are surrounded with brownish hairs. They produce circular shaped fruits comprising of 1-2 oval shaped seeds. It is also noted that this species produces sticky, copious latex when cut and can be gathered as low grade rubber. Their natural habitat is in limestone forests, and other kinds of lowland forests. Such trees are suitable to be grown along roadsides and parks due to their fragrant flowers. The Palaquium name comes from the Filipino name of the plant, palak-palak. Obovatum also known as obovate or drop-shaped, describes the leaf blades shape.
Scent: The flowers give out a powerful fragrance of musang, sour milk and burnt sugar.
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Sea gutta
Biogeography: Pouteria Obovata, a native species to Singapore, can be located in habitats such as inland dry forests of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Nee Soon Swamp Forest. It is observed to be an evergreen tree that can mature up to an estimate of 28m in height. The leaf shape may differ but are generally oval in shape. Upon closer look, one can observe that the top surfaces of the leaves are dull green while the flip side of it is usually coppery brown colour and covered with tiny hairs. This species also produces small flowers that are greenish white in colour and they typically grow in clusters at axils of the leaves. Fruits are small and can have multiple seeds. One such fruit can grow to a size of 1-1.2cm and are typically oval in shape. The bark has the usual brown colour and is shallowly-fissured. When the bark is peeled off, it can reveal its inner bark which is pinkish to reddish-brown in color. The bark is overall considered to be not flaky but tends to be ridged and fissured. When cut or crushed, this plant will secrete white latex. The name 'Planchonella' is used to commemorate the French botanist Jules Émile Planchon (1823-1888) who was selected as the Keeper of the Herbarium at the Royal Kew Gardens. The word 'obovata' means 'inverted ovate' or 'egg-shaped' in Latin, describing the plant's leaves.
Scent: The flowers are said to smell like Pandan.
Medicinal Benefits: Traditionally, Pouteria Obovata can be used for pain relief. Their grounded leaf paste is applied to alleviate headaches and their decoction is also ingested to relief chest pains. Poultice of crushed leaves is applied as a remedy for backaches.
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Silverback Myrtaceae
Biogeography: Rhodamnia Cinerea is a small evergreen species found locally in Singapore, found in Sentosa and in adinandra belukar (secondary forest on degraded soil). It is generally about 15 m in height and owns a dense amount of leaves, forming a rounded crown. The leaves are long and oval in shape. Top leaf surfaces appear green however the bottom layer may be observed to look silvery or grey due to the presence of tiny silky hairs. However, some trees have leaf blades that appear green on their undersides as well. Flowers typically grow in stalked clusters of up to 6 and are white with a reddish centre. Their fruits usually grow in clusters and can produce a bunch of about 3–8 fruits per cluster; each fruit are generally edible and small. They appear rounded and fleshy and look like berries clothed in a smooth exterior layer of protective skin. Upon ripening, the fruits turn green to red, then purple and lastly to black. Their natural habitat is in secondary forests in the lowlands. One can grow such species by seeds, cuttings, and air-layering. Rhodon means red and amnion, refers to the unripe red fruits. Cinereus depicts the grey-coloured underside of the leaf blade.
Scent: Their flowers are very fragrant.
Medicinal Benefits: The leaves, roots and fruits can be used as medicines.
Triadica Cochinchinensis (Sapium discolor)
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Mouse Deers's Delight
Biogeography: Triadica Cochinchinensis is a native plant to Singapore and other countries such as Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos and Malaysia. One tree of this species can grow to 25 m tall. Their leaves may have a pinkish hue when young, turns green upon reaching its adult stage and red when withering. Leaves are oval and elongated. Flowers have inflorescences; female flowers usually are located at a lower part while the male flowers are located on upper part area or throughout the inflorescence. Fruits are about 7 – 9mm long. Their wood can be material to manufacture matchsticks and tea boxes. This species have ornamental value and thrives in direct sunlight with moderate amount of water.
Medicinal Benefits: The roots and leaves can be utilized for traumatic injury and to detoxify snakebites. The oil from seeds can be an ingredient to make soap.
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : (Unknown)
Biogeography: Symplocos adenophylla is said to be found in China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. It is also planted and cultivated in Singapore's Sentosa in Imbiah area. Generally, this species grows to a shrub or tree up of about 30 metres in height. The bark appears to possess a colour of grey to dark brown or black. They grow white to yellow flowers and produce rounded fruits. Such species thrive in forests from sea-level to 3,000 metres. Tree can be harvested from the nature to use for tanning cloth for dyeing and their timbre can be a source of wood for light construction. This species' natural habitat can be found on hillsides and ridges. The normally grow well on poor sandy to ultramafic soils.
Scent: Flowers are fragrant.
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Sea apple
Biogeography: Syzygium Grande, a species native to Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Indochina, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia. It is a tree that can usually be planted close together as a firebreak because the nature of wood, these trees do not easily burn and catch fire. In Singapore, it is planted along roadsides, and can be found in Sentosa, secondary forests near coasts, Central Catchment Nature Reserve, and Singapore Botanic Garden. It is a tree with an irregular crown and can develop up to 45 m in height. Their leaves stalked leaves are leathery and wide with different shades of green from the leaves top and bottom surface; darker green above, lighter green below. Their white, spicky-like petal flowers are bisexual flowers, usually growing in clusters. It produces plump fruits that are spherical to oval in shape. When ripen, it turns green and each fruit comprise of a single round or flattened seed about 2.5 cm long. Fruits are edible and are a frequent source of food for bats. Its natural habitat is in coastal forest regions, and on sandy and rocky coasts. The name syzygos means joined which describes the paired leaves of this species. The word grande is defined as great.
Scent: Their white flowers give out a strong mushy sweet scented fragrance which is appealing to birds, bees and butterflies. They typically bloom after a series of heavy rains.
Medicinal Benefits: Traditionally, their seeds, fruits and bark can be used as medicine. In Bangladesh; its riped fruit, seeds, and bark are gathered and used as a remedy for coughs, tooth issues, bronchitis, and diabetes.
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Common kelat
Biogeography: Syzygium Lineatum is a species' origin is from Singapore and many other countries such as Southeast China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, and Indonesia. . In Singapore, it can be found in Sentosa, Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Labrador Nature Reserve, Lazarus Island, Pulau Ubin, Sentosa, and Singapore Botanic Garden. Its size can vary from small to a medium-sized tree, possessing a dense crown, and have the capability to grow in the height range of about 10m to 22m. Its bark is smooth and its colour may appear light pinkish to greyish brown when fully grown. Their leaves are edible and are long with lance-like tip. Flowers are bisexual and frequently tinted in clusters of white or pale green colour. It produces plump and juicy fruits with each individual having a single oval seed in it. It grows in lowland forest and often by streams, swamp forest, and coastal forest. It is a very resilient species which is capable of adjusting itself to live in poor sandy and limestone soils, waterlogged areas and salt-spray regions. 'Syzygium' is obtained from Greek term 'syzygos' ('joined') which depicts the opposite paired leaves. The subsequent name 'lineatum' defines as 'with lines or stripes' which describes its leaves' dense network of veins.
Scent: Flowers are fragrant and attractive to butterflies and other insects.
Medicinal Benefits: Its roots and young shoots are edible and own medicinal properties. Roots can be used as an ingredient in afterbirth tonic for mothers.
Common Name : Found Around Imbiah Region : Indian bay leaf
Biogeography: Originated from Singapore, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, and Indonesia, syzygium Polyanthum is a fast growing species that can develop to a height of 30m tall. Typically, one can observe that it owns an oval or cylindrical shape crown, distinguishing itself with its greyish twigs and bark. Flowers are bisexual with multiple, small creamy white spiky-like petals. Their flower generally clusters at ends of the branches or axils of the leaves, forming little white balls of cream white bundles. This species produces edible and round fruits that upon mature will change from red to purplish-black in colour with each fruit possessing of a single seed. Planting these plants close to each other can form and be shaped into a bright green hedge or screen. This species is easy to grow and do not call for much maintenance. 'Syzygos' means joined, indicating to the paired leaves of this species. 'Polyanthum' depicts many-flowered, describing the abundance in flowers bloomed.
Scent: Flowers are mildly fragrant
Medicinal Benefits: In Malaysia, a medicated paste made from leaves, roots and bark can be applied externally to alleviate itch. In Indonesia, leaf infusions and bark extracts are as a remedy for diarrhoea.