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Grewia laevigata


Grewia laevigata Vahl

Family Name: Malvaceae
Synonyms: Grewia acuminata Juss., Grewia umbellata Roxb.
Common Name: Akar sekapu, Akar sempelas, 密齿扁担杆


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, Shrub
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular


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

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a climbing shrub up to 15 m long.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked leaves have slightly leathery leaf blades that are oval or oblong-egg-shaped, pale below, and 7.6-11 by 3.8-5 cm.
Flowers Its yellowish-white flowers are 1.9 cm long, and grow in clusters of 6-8.
Fruit Its green fruits are round, and contain one seed each.
Habitat It grows in secondary forests. It occurs locally in Nee Soon Swamp Forest, in the vicinity of Upper Pierce Reservoir, and the Mandai Road area.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated. It is the preferred local food plant for caterpillars of the moths, Androlymnia emarginata, Anomis sabulifera, Churia nigrisigna, and Notarcha quaternalis.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Latin Grewia, commemorating Nehemiah Grew (1641-1712), an English microscopist; Latin laevigata, smooth, the reference to which is unknown

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It may be suitable for parks.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Landscape Uses General, Parks & Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Moth Food Plant (Leaves)
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast to Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Obovate, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Symmetry Radial

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Blue, Green, Green - Bluish Green, Mauve, Red
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Glossy / Shiny, Papery, Rough, Scaly, Hairy / Hirsute
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 111
Species ID 1407
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: 23 February 2022.

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