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Adenia macrophylla var. singaporiana

Family Name: Passifloraceae
Synonyms: Passiflora singaporiana 
Common Name: Large-leafed Adenia, Singapore Adenia, Singapore Passion Flower, 大叶蒴莲

Adenia macrophylla var. singaporiana, commonly known as Singapore Adenia is a slender vine that uses tendrils to climb tall trees. A native from Singapore, it has attractive shiny red fruit, making this plant suitable to be planted on trellises in parks and gardens. This climber is also a locally preferred host plant for Malay Lacewing Butterfly (Cethosia hypsea hypsina).

Full Sun Semi Shade Moderate Water Butterfly Host Plant Native to Singapore Climber, Vine and Liana


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 25 m


Native Distribution Peninsular Malaysia (Johor), Singapore
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Slender woody vine, climbing with tendrils borne from flower-bearing branches, reaching up to 25m height with support. Typically spreading widely amongst tree crowns, but main plant usually difficult to spot, unless when flowering.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked leaves have thickly leathery blades that are usually oblong to lance-shaped, and 5–15 by 1.8–8 cm, with two spoon-shaped glands at either side of the base.
Flowers The plant is monoecious, producing only male or only female flowers on the branches. The former is produced in much larger proportion. Flowers of both sexes are yellow, tubular, less than 1 cm wide, and arranged in hanging clusters.
Fruits Its shiny red fruit is capsule-shaped, about 5 cm long, and splits along three lines from the apex to reveal 15–40 seeds each. Its seeds are blackish when mature, flat and round. Each seed is also surrounded in white fleshy pulp, and suspended by pink threads.
Habitat It grows on trees in forests and along forest edges. It occurs locally in Central Catchment areas, Nee Soon Swamp Forest, and Chestnut Area.
Associated Fauna Locally preferred host / food plant for Cethosia hypsea hypsina (Malay Lacewing Butterfly), which lays its eggs on undersides of leaves, and on stems or tendrils.
Taxonomy Earlier publication has spelling of Passiflora singaporiana (Source: A General History of the Dichlamydeous Plants, 3:55, desc. 1834) in the explanation for this plant. Key principles of the Code gives priority to the earliest available name. Therefore, the accepted name is Adenia macrophylla var. singaporiana.
Cultivation Fast growing. Best propagated by seeds (which germinate easily) or by cuttings. Cut surfaces should be handled with caution, as Adenia genus (especially caudiciform types) is known to contain toxic sap, which is poisonous if ingested by vetebrates, and may cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals.
Etymology Genus epithet 'Adenia' derived from Aden, a small seaport near the Red Sea, from which the type species originated. Species epithet 'macrophylla' means 'big leaf', a reference to the plant's relatively large leaves.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for planting on trellis in parks and gardens for its attractive red fruits.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits, Ornamental Seeds
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Vertical Greenery / Green Wall, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola
Thematic Landscaping Butterfly Garden, Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment
Usage Hazard - Cons Irritant - Sap, Toxic Upon Ingestion
Usage Hazard - Cons Remarks Plant sap contains cyanogenic compounds & lectins, toxic to vetebrates when ingested, & may cause skin irritation when handled.

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Food Plant
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Explosive Dehiscence)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting
Propagule Establishment Remarks Seeds germinate easily.


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery, Thick
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Cuneate
Typical Foliar Area Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Woody, Herbaceous
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Monoecious
Flower Colour(s) Green, Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Tubular
Flower Size - Remarks Male & female flowers less than 1cm across.
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Red
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Capsule

Image Repository



Master ID 1
Species ID 1297
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: 28 December 2022.