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Entada spiralis Ridl.

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Common Name: Sea Bean, Akar Beluru
Full Sun Semi Shade Little Water Moderate Water Native to Singapore Climber, Vine and Liana


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 Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 25 m


Native Distribution Thailand, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, and Singapore
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Vulnerable (VU))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a woody climber up to 25 m long.
Foliage Its leaves are bipinnate with up to 4 pairs of stalked secondary leaflets (pinnules) per primary leaflet (pinna). Its opposite pinnules have papery leaf blades that are elliptic to drop-shaped and 1.8–6.5 by 0.9–3 cm. The pinnule blade has a notched tip.
Flowers Its solitary flowering spikes are 15–20 cm long and arise from the leaf axils. Its white flowers are 5-merous, and either male or bisexual.
Fruits Its large, spirally coiled, woody pods (legumes) are 1.2–1.8 m by 6 cm. Its 6.5 cm long seeds are irregularly compressed by the pod segments.
Habitat It grows at primary and secondary forests up to 540 m in altitude.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Entada, a southern Indian name applied by van Rheede for the genus of plants that produces giant seeds that float across the Atlantic Ocean to reach northwest Europe; Latin spiralis, spiral, referring to the fruit’s shape
Ethnobotanical Uses [Others]: Its bark and seeds contain saponin which can be used as a substitute for soap.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It may be suitable for parks and the vertical greening of buildings.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Vertical Greenery / Green Wall, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Little Water, Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Papery
Foliar Type Compound (Bipinnate)
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual & Bisexual Flowers(Sub-dioecious)
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Legume / Pod
Mature Seed Colour(s) Black
Mature Seed Texture(s) Glossy / Shiny

Image Repository



Master ID 93
Species ID 1389
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: 10 August 2022.