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Baeckea frutescens


Baeckea frutescens L.

Family Name: Myrtaceae
Common Name: False Ru, Cucur Atap, Chuchur Atap, Ujan Atap, Timor Tasek, China Maki, Rempah Gunong, Da Eng, 岗松


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 6 m


Native Distribution Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, southern China, Australia
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Small tree, able to grow up to about 6 m tall.
Foliage Green to greyish-green leaves, small and needle-like, simple and opposite arrangement, surface glabrous, measuring about 5 - 10 mm long, petiole measuring about 0.5 mm long.
Flowers Pinkish-white small flowers, solitary in leaf axils, measuring about 3 mm wide, bracts caducous, 5 sepals and rounded, stamens about 7 - 13 present, ovary inferior. 
Fruit Fruit is a greenish-brown berry-like capsule, measuring about 1.5 - 2 mm wide.
Habitat Usually found in slopes, open grasslands and low hills. 
Etymology Genus Baeckea is named after Abraham Baeck, a physician and friend of Linnaeus. Species frutescens means becoming shrubby.
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Herb or Spice)
Medicinal: The entire plant(except the roots), is used as an antibacterial, an antidysentery, an antipyretic and a diuretic.  The Chinese use the leaves as a remedy for sunstroke and fever. The leaves are used as an ingredient of native medicine given to mothers after childbirth in Malaysia and Indonesia. The flowers of this plant are used to treat dyspepsia and menstrual problems. The essential oil from this plant is used in the treatment of rheumatism.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Fragrant, Ornamental Flowers
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Propagation Method Seed


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Acicular / Needle)
Foliar Margin Entire
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 2.5 (Tree - Open Canopy)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Bark Colour(s) Brown
Mature Bark Texture Fissured
Stem Type & Modification Woody

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Texture(s) Smooth
Flower Grouping Solitary
Flower Location Axillary
Individual Flower Shape Campaulate / Bell-shaped

Image Repository



Master ID 1448
Species ID 2741
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 08 April 2024.