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Ochna kirkii

Family Name: Ochnaceae
Common Name: Mickey Mouse Plant, Bird's Eye Bush
Full Sun Semi Shade Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Plant Ornamental Flowers Shrub


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
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


Native Distribution Tropical Africa
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Exotic (Spontaneous (Naturalised))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Medium to large-sized shrub, able to grow up to 2 m tall. 
Foliage Leaves are egg-shaped, oval or oblong (5-10 cm long).
Flowers Large, yellow flowers (3.5-5 cm long) are composed of 5 round, widely spread petals (15-25 mm long). After the petals drop, the calyx or outermost layer of the flower turns bright red and becomes swollen.
Similar This species resembles Ochna serrulata, but it has larger flowers (3.5-5 cm wide compared to 2-3 cm wide) and larger leaves (5-10 cm long compared to 2-6 cm long).
Etymology This species is commonly known as Mickey Mouse Plant because mature fruits are black and hang from a bright red calyx (outermost layer of the flower). Genus Ochna comes from an ancient Greek name "oxnh", which was used by Homer for a wild pear. Species kirkii is named in honor of Thomas Kirk, who was a writer on New Zealand plants.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Fruits
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Location Axillary, Terminal

Image Repository



Master ID 979
Species ID 2273
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: 19 August 2022.