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Ixora congesta


Ixora congesta Roxb.

Family Name: Rubiaceae
Synonyms: Pavetta congesta, Ixora griffithii
Common Name: Malayan Ixora, Jarum-jarum, Khem Deang


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 Shrub, Tree (Small (6m-15m), Shrubby (1m-5m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Shrubby
Maximum Height 2 m to 7 m


Native Distribution Myanmar, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Monsoon Forest, Secondary Rainforest, Primary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal, Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Big woody shrub or small understorey tree, reaching 6-7m height under forested conditions.
Foliage Leaves large (12-30cm long), elliptical to oblong, fairly thick and leathery. Lateral veins in 12-20 pairs, distinctly-depressed, thus imparting a bullate appearance to upper leaf surface. Mature leaves dark green above and paler green below. Young leaves emerge glossy-bronze, with prominent venation.
Stems Basal stems woody, with slightly peeling reddish-brown bark. Leafy stems semi-woody, with reddish Internodes.
Flowers Trumpet-shaped, emerging bright yellow and turning reddish-orange, scentless. Flower stalks red. Seasonally produced, clustered into many-flowered corymbiform inflorescences 15-20cm across. Visited by nectar-seeking insects like ants and butterflies. Unopened flower buds resemble a bunch of needles (hence the plant's Malay name 'Jarum-jarum').
Fruit Globose berries with thin pulp, 7-12mm across, ripening from green to red to purplish-black, each containing 1-2 relatively large seeds, eaten by birds.
Others - Plant Morphology Local Conservation Status: Native, common. Locally found in MacRitchie and Pulau Ubin forests.
Habitat Occurs in inland and coastal rainforests. Naturally distributed from southern Myanmar and Peninsular Malaysia to the Moluccan Islands, but has never been found wild in Thailand.
Cultivation Prefers semi-shade (unlike the exotic cultivars). Tolerant of coastal sites. May have somewhat irregular and lanky branching when young. Propagate by seeds or stem cuttings (use rooting hormone to aid rooting).
Etymology Genus epithet 'Ixora' named after Malabar-Indian deity Iswara, who is assocated with the sacred Ixora coccinea (Jungle Flame) and in turn worshipped with its flowers. Species epithet 'congesta' means 'crowded' or 'congested', a reference to the dense inflorescence clusters.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Fruits
Landscape Uses Coastal, General, Flowerbed / Border, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Butterfly Garden, Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting, Caterpillar Food Plant, Butterfly Food Plant
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Butterfly, Moth), Insects (Ant, Beetle, Fly, Thrip, Wasp))
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery, Raised / Sunken Veins, Thick
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse
Typical Foliar Area Macrophyll ( 182.25cm2 - 1640.25 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Remarks Bronzy

Non - Foliar and Storage

Bark Colour(s) Reddish-brown
Mature Bark Texture Peeling / Flaking / Papery, Scaly
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root, Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Orange
Flower Symmetry Radial
Inflorescence Type Corymb
Flower Lifespan on Plant Several Days
Flowering Habit Polycarpic
Inflorescence Size Remarks Open yellow & mature to orange
Flowering Period Remarks Seasonally

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Black, Purple
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Fleshy Fruit , Berry

Image Repository



Master ID 833
Species ID 2128
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: 15 February 2022.