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Combretum erythrophyllum


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Shrub, Tree (Shrubby (1m-5m), Small (6m-15m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Tropical Africa

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a shrub with multi-stems and sometimes medium-sized tree, which has low branching. 
Trunk Bark smooth and flaking, pale grey.
Foliage Foliage sub-opposite, whorled or alternate, elliptical in shape, measuring up to 10 cm long and 4 cm wide; yellowish-green on both surfaces when young, turns to medium green and glabrescent on upper surface while yellowish-green and tomentose on below when older; margin entire. 
Flowers Flowers shaped like puff-balls, measuring 1 cm in diameter, cream to pale yellow.
Fruit Fruits 4-winged, light green to brown, measuring 1 - 1.5 cm long.
Habitat Occurs along river banks.
Etymology The genus name Combretum is a name used by Pliny for an undetermined climbing plant, which applies to Combretaceae family. The specific epithet erythrophyllum means red leaf in Greek.
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal: It is believed that the fruits are used as a de-worming remedy however seeds are poisonous and can cause severe hiccups.
Timber & Products: Wood is suitable for carpentry due to its toughness.
Others: The dried fruits are used in floral arrangement. The roots produce a dark brown dye. 

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting, Butterfly Food Plant

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Rootzone Tolerance Dry Soils / Drought, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Deciduous
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green - Light Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate, Opposite, Whorled
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical)
Foliar Margin Entire
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Remarks Medium green above, yellowish green below.
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Remarks Yellowish-green.

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Red

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Brown, Green - Light Green
Seed Description Seeds are inside 4-winged fruits, green when young and honey-brown when dries.

Image Repository



Master ID 542
Species ID 1838
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: 14 October 2021.