Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Dracontomelon dao


Dracontomelon dao (Blanco) Merr. & Rolfe

Family Name: Anacardiaceae
Synonyms: Dracontomelon laxum, Paliurus , Dracontomelon sylvestre, Dracontomelon edule, Dracontomelon puberulum, Dracontomelon lamiyo, Dracontomelon brachyphyllum, Dracontomelon mangiferum, Comeurya cumingiana, Paliurus edulis
Common Name: Argus Pheasant Tree, New Guinea Walnut, Pacific Walnut, Papuan Walnut, Asam Kuang, Sengkuang, Sekuan, Kueh


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))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Rounded
Maximum Height 36 m
Tree or Palm – Trunk Diameter 0 m to 1 m


Native Distribution India, South China, Indochina, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Monsoon Forest, Riverine)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Large evergreen canopy tree, up to 36m height, with dense rounded crown.
Trunk Bole straight and cylindrical, unbranched to 15m height, with root buttress at base. Outer bark greyish-brown, inner bark pink. Wounded bark exudes slightly sticky colourless resin that turns pale golden upon exposure to air.
Foliage Leaves compound-pinnate, spirally-arranged around branchlet. Leaflets prominently veined, alternate on rachis 0.30-0.45m long.
Flowers White, small (9mm across), 5-lobed, fragrant, produced in large pendulous panicles up to 0.6m long.
Fruits Slightly fleshy drupes, globose, 2.5 - 4.0cm across, produced in clusters, ripening from green to yellow.
Habitat Moist primary rainforests, especially along riverbanks and in swampy sites, occasionally flooded for short periods.
Cultivation Tolerant of waterlogged soils and temporary flooding.
Etymology Genus epithet 'Dracontomelon' derived from Greek terms for dragon (draco) and melon, a reference to the fruits. Species epithet 'dao' derived from vernacular name for this tree in Philippines.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits, Edible Leaves, Edible Flowers)
Food (Herb and Spice;Fruit & Vegetable)
[Others]: Culinary: Fruits edible, not popularly eaten in SE Asia, but relished and stewed in honey in China. Seed kernels mixed into tea to provide fragrant and mucilaginous sweet taste. Medicinal: Leaves found to possess antiseptic properties against broad spectrum of bacteria. Fruits reportedly have cooling properties, used to treat sore throat, skin inflammation, itch, internal ulcers, as well as an antidote for poisoning. Bark boiled to make decoction drunk by women to expel fetal membrane from womb. Traditional beliefs suggest that holding a seed in right hand on odd days and in left hand on even days will accelerate childbirth. Culture: Seed used as toys by children. Timber: Wood is soft, light weight and not very durable. Typically used for making furniture, veneer, panelling, flooring, matches and boxes.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Fragrant (Flowers) (Day), Ornamental Trunk
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site)
Landscape Uses General
Thematic Landscaping Water Garden, Economic Garden, Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water, Lots of Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Raised / Sunken Veins
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Spiral
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.0 (Tree - Dense Canopy)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Bark Colour(s) Pinkish-Brown & Cream
Mature Bark Texture Scaly
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root, Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White
Inflorescence Type Panicle
Ovary Position Superior / Hypogynous
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

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

Image Repository



Master ID 1995
Species ID 3287
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: 14 October 2021.