Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website


Horsfieldia irya (Gaertn.) Warb.

Family Name: Myristicaceae
Synonyms: Myristica micrantha, Horsfieldia acuminata, Myristica javanica, Horsfieldia subglobosa, Horsfieldia congestiflora, Myristica irya
Common Name: Pianggu, Piasau Mamau, Salinguat, Lempoyang Paya, Penggu, Chendarah, Peredanh Burung, Kalapa Tiyung, Kalak Pucung, Darah-Darah, Kumpang
Full Sun: 6-8h Lots of Water Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Native to Singapore Fruit & Vegetable Coastal Roadside Tree / Palm Fragrant Ornamental Flowers Ornamental Foliage Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Big (>30m), Medium (16m-30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Columnar
Maximum Height 25 m to 30 m
Tree or Palm – Trunk Diameter 1


Native Distribution Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, Java, southern Philippines, Sulawesi, Moluccas, New Guinea, Caroline Islands, and the Solomon Islands
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Coastal Forest, Riverine, Secondary Rainforest, Freshwater Swamp Forest), Shoreline (Mangrove Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree that can grow up to 40 m tall, with prop-roots, and buttress roots that are 3 m tall, 2 m out, and 10 cm thick.
Trunk Often slightly buttressed, stilt roots and pneumatophores occasionally present. Bark brown, shallowly fissured and flakey, exudates red and somewhat sticky; under-bark reddish.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked leaves have membranous leaf blades that are often curved towards the tip, are elliptic-oblong to lance-shaped, 10–35 by 3–9 cm, and possess irregular white marks above.
Flowers The plant is dioecious. Its flowers develop in flowering shoots (inflorescence). Its male inflorescences are 4–18 by 3–10 cm, and have flowers in clusters of 3–10. Its female inflorescences are 2–8 cm long. Its flowers are yellow, and its male flowers are smaller than its female flowers.
Fruits Its fruiting bodies (infructescences) contain 2–8 fruits each. Its fruits are round, hairless, finely granular, yellowish orange, and are 1.5–3 cm across. Its round seeds are covered by an orange-red to red coverings (arils).
Habitat It grows in primary and secondary forests, coastal swamps or riverine areas, up to 450 m altitude. It is known locally in Pulau Tekong.
Associated Fauna Its fruits are eaten by monkeys and hornbills.
Cultivation Tolerant of waterlogging and moderate salinity. Propagate by seeds and stem cuttings.
Etymology Genus epithet 'Horsfieldia' named after American physician and naturalist, Thomas Horsfield (1773-1859), who travelled to Java, Indonesia in 1800, where he collected local plants and animals on behalf of his friend, Thomas Stamford Raffles, who was lieutenant-governer of Java then under the East India Company's control. Species epithet 'irya' derived from Sanskrit term meaning 'vigorous' or 'active', usage unclear.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable)
Medicinal ( A decoction of the bark can be used as a gargle for sore throats. Latex used to clean ulcers. Leaves used to extract pus from boils and sores. Macerated root drank with lime juice as remedy for toxic snake bites.)
Timber & Products ( Minor hardwood species. Wood used for bottle lids. Its seeds contain an oleo-resin which can be used to make varnish.)
Cultural / Religious ( Heritage Tree :                                                              There is currently one individual of Horsfieldia irya listed as a Heritage Tree in Singapore. It can be found at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. To find out more about this tree, please visit the Heritage Tree Register. )
[Others]: Products: Essential oils from scented flowers used in perfumery.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for planting in parks and in along streetscapes.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage, Fragrant (Flowers) (Time Independent, Day)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site), Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Coastal, General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Riverine, Shade Providing Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Golden Garden, Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment
Plant & Rootzone Preference or Tolerance Remarks Sandy soils

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting (Fruits)
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Water), Biotic (Fauna) (Vertebrates (Other Mammal))

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water, Lots of Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Raised / Sunken Veins
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical, Lanceolate, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse
Typical Foliar Area Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Mature Bark Texture Fissured, Cracked
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root, Fibrous Root), Aboveground (Buttress Root, Prop / Stilt Root, Pneumatophore / Pencil Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Dioecious
Flower Colour(s) Orange, Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Flower Size - Remarks 1.0 - 2.5mm
Inflorescence Type Panicle
Ovary Position Superior / Hypogynous
Flowering Period Once Yearly
Flower Lifespan on Plant Several Days
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Orange, Yellow / Golden
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Drupe

Image Repository



Master ID 1671
Species ID 2964
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: 20 April 2020.