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Vallaris glabra


Vallaris glabra (L.) Kuntze

Family Name: Apocynaceae
Synonyms: Vallaris pergulana
Common Name: Bread Flower, Siku Dengan, Bunga Tongkan, Kerak Nasi, Bunga Kesidang, Kesedengan


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
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 2 m to 3 m


Native Distribution Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands.
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Evergreen, woody climber, which can growth up to about 2 - 3 m tall.
Foliage Light green, glossy, opposite leaves are elliptic or ovate with wavy leaf margin. Leaf apex is acute or has a distinct drip tip. 
Stems Thin, woody stem has light grey, smooth bark.
Flowers Flowers are borne in clusters of large, white cup-shaped flowers located near the tip of branches. The flower is about 1.0 to 1.5 cm in diameter, has 5 pointed, slightly overlapping petals. The outer edge of each petal is curled inward to form a sharp point in the middle. They open in the morning, but their Pandan or burnt rice-like fragrance is strongest in the evening.
Fruits Oblong, beaked fruit splits into 2 dry, dehiscent fruits known as follicles.
Cultivation This species is easy to grow and has a moderate growth rate. Plant this species in fertile, well-draining soil and space individuals 0.3 - 0.4 m apart. Provide a sturdy pergola or trellis to train plant to climb. It flowers best under full sun, because shady conditions inhibit flowering. Mulch the plants with compost to prevent the soil from drying out or the roots from overheating. Feed plants with a fertilizer rich in phosphorous to promote flowering. Avoid using nitrogen rich fertilizers, because they encourage development of leaves rather than flowers. Trim the branch tips after spent flowers to promote new growth and more flowering.
Etymology The genus "Vallaris" is Latin for a garland given to the first soldier to climb over the enemy's rampart. The species epithet "glabra" means hairless. It refers to the upper surface of leaves which are generally hairless.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping This species is popular for landscaping in Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia. It can be trained to drape over a trellis or pergola. Alternatively, you can prune it into a bush. This species will grow well in a large container and is suitable for a sunny patio. It will attract butterflies as a nectar plant for butterfly gardens. The white flowers and intense evening fragrance would also make it suitable for a "Moonlight Garden" theme.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Flowers) (Night, Day)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Moist Soils
Landscape Uses Shade Providing Tree / Palm, Container Planting, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola
Thematic Landscaping Moonlight Garden, Butterfly Garden
Usage Hazard - Cons Irritant - Contact Allergy

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Butterfly Food Plant
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Bee), Insects (Butterfly, Moth))

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Planting Distance From 0.3
Planting Distance To 0.4
Maintenance Requirements Low
Propagation Method Grafting, Air-Layering, Stem Cutting
Propagule Establishment Remarks Propagate by layering. Secure the stem to the ground with a brick or similar object, and roots will form on the stem in about 2 weeks. The stem can then be separated from the mother plant and planted elsewhere. Alternatively, you can propagate by grafting. 


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Oval)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute, Acuminate
Foliar Base Acute, Rounded / Obtuse

Non - Foliar and Storage

Bark Colour(s) light grey
Mature Bark Texture Smooth
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Bowl-shaped
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flowering Opening Time Daytime

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Follicle

Image Repository



Master ID 233
Species ID 1529
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: 30 May 2023.