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Allophylus cobbe (L.) Reausch.

Family Name: Sapindaceae
Common Name: Tit-berry, 广布异木患
Full Sun Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Plant Native to Singapore Coastal Plant Ornamental Leaves Drought Tolerant Shrub


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Shrub
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 3 m to 25 m


Native Distribution Pantropics, Malesia and Australia
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is usually a shrub or climber up to 25 m tall, but in Singapore, it is usually 3 m or less.
Foliage Its spirally arranged, shortly-stalked leaves are usually trifoliate (bearing three leaflets). They have membranous, fleshy or leathery leaf blades that are usually oval or oblong, 2.5 - 35 cm by 1.5 - 22 cm, and somewhat toothed at the margins. Its dried, dull and shiny leaf blades are greenish to greyish or dark brown above, and light green to reddish-brown below.
Flowers Its shortly-stalked flowers are faintly fragrant, up to 2.5 mm wide, with white petals, and green to whitish sepals. They are found on branched or unbranched axes of the flowering shoot up to 40 cm long.
Fruits Its 1-seeded fruits are round, 4.5–13 by 3.5–8 mm, smooth to slightly wrinkled, and ripen dull orange-red.
Habitat It grows in coastal to inland forests, from lowland up to 2,000 m altitude. In Singapore, it grows at the landward edge of mangrove forest, and sandy beaches. It occurs locally in the vicinity of Kranji Reservoir, Sembawang, Pasir Panjang, Pulau Ubin, and Pulau Tekong, as well as other coastal sites.
Associated Fauna It is the preferred local food plant for caterpillars of the moths, Cleora injectaria and Gonodontis clelia. Its flowers are visited by bees. Its fruits are also eaten and dispersed by birds.
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal ( The bark is applied to burns and rigid abdomen. Fever and stomach-ache can be treated using the pulped leaves, or an extraction or decoction of them, as well as a decoction of the roots and bark.)
Timber & Products ( The wood, though said to be hard and not very durable, is usually used for temporary and indoor structures. It is also used as firewood, and for making canes, and hilts.)
[Others]: Children can also use extracts of the leaves as mouthwash. The fruits are used to make fish poison. 

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Fruits
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Dry Soils / Drought, Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray
Landscape Uses Coastal, Parks & Gardens, Beachfront / Shoreline, Hedge / Screening, Riverine

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed, Air-Layering


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Glossy / Shiny
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) White

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth, Wrinkled

Image Repository



Master ID 335
Species ID 1631
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: 22 January 2021.