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Uvaria grandiflora


Uvaria grandiflora (Lesch. ex DC.) Roxb.

Family Name: Annonaceae
Synonyms: Unona rubra C.B.Rob., Uvaria rhodantha Hance ex Walp., Uvaria platypetala Champ. ex Benth., Unona purpurea Blume
Common Name: Red Hot Poker, Pisang Akar, Akar Larak, 山椒子, 山椒, 大花紫玉盘


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
Plant Shape Shrubby
Maximum Height 10 m


Native Distribution Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Borneo, and Java
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Vulnerable (VU))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a woody, scrambling climber or shrub, up to 10 m tall.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked leaves have thinly membranous blades that are oblong-lance shaped to elliptic-oblong, shiny dark green above and pale green below, and 11–23 by 6–9.5 cm. Its midrib is slightly depressed above, prominent beneath, and veins are prominent on both sides. The leaf stalks and young leaves are hairy.
Stems The young stems are pubescent to tomentose. 
Flowers The solitary, bisexual flowers are opposed to the leaves and measure about 9 to 11 cm wide. The calyx consists of 3 yellowish sepals which are 2 to 2.5 cm long and are broadly triangular in shape. The corolla consists of 6 dark red obovate to ovate petals, 3.5 to 4 cm long. The flowers are slightly fragrant.
Fruit Its orange and fleshy fruits compose of distinct, hairy fruitlets or carpels, each fruitlet is berry-like and cylindrical, 4–5.5 cm long, being slightly constricted around the brown seeds.  Each fruit contains seeds that are flat, pale brown, and oval-shaped arranged in 2 rows.
Habitat It grows in inland forests.
Associated Fauna It is the preferred local food plant for caterpillars of the butterfly swallowtail (Graphium antiphates).
Cultivation It is drought-tolerant. 
Etymology Genus 'Uvaria' means resembling a bunch of grapes, a reference to the clustered berries.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Fruits
Food (Fruit & Vegetable): Its fruits are aromatic, eaten raw or preserved. (Herb and Spice)
Medicinal: In Malaysia, the leaves and roots are cooked and eaten to treat abdominal pains and skin diseases. The pounded leaves are used to treat putrefaction.  
Others: Its climbing stems are said to be good substitutes for rattans.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for parks and gardens, on trellises and pergolas.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Bark, Flowers)
Landscape Uses General, Vertical Greenery / Green Wall, Parks & Gardens, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Butterfly Food Plant, Caterpillar Food Plant (Leaves)
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Butterfly, Moth), Insects (Ant, Beetle, Fly, Thrip, Wasp))

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Moist Soils
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery, Raised / Sunken Veins, Glossy / Shiny, Thin
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical, Oblong, Oblanceolate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire - Wavy / Undulate, Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Caudate
Foliar Base Acute
Typical Foliar Area Macrophyll ( 182.25cm2 - 1640.25 cm2 )

Non - Foliar and Storage

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

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Orange, Red
Flower Grouping Solitary, Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Ovary Position Superior / Hypogynous
Flower Lifespan on Plant Several Days
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Orange
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Hairy / Hirsute
Fruit Classification Aggregate Fruit (Syncarp)
Fruit Type

Image Repository



Master ID 231
Species ID 1527
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: 27 September 2021.