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Rhodomyrtus tomentosa


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Growth Form Shrub


Native Distribution China to India & S.E.A
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Vulnerable (VU))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is an evergreen shrub, up to 3 m tall.
Foliage Its opposite, stalked leaves have leaf blades that are oblong, sparsely white woolly below when young, and 2.5-10 by 1.3-4.5 cm, with three distinct longitudinal veins.
Flowers Its 3-4.5 cm wide flowers have magenta pink petals that fade white, and with numerous stamens at the centre of the flower, which makes it resemble a cherry blossom.
Fruit Its 1-1.3 cm velvety fruits are oblong, purplish when ripe, with persistent sepals at the tip, and contain many tiny seeds embedded in the purplish pulp.
Habitat It grows along the sandy river banks and seashores, and on open sandy sites. In Singapore, it is also found in aidnandra belukar (secondary forest on degraded soil), and beach vegetation.
Associated Fauna Its fruits are eaten by many bird species. It is also the food plant for the caterpillars of the moths Carea varipes and Trabala vishnou.
Cultivation It can be propagated from seed.
Etymology Latin rhodo, rose, Latin myrtus, myrtle, referring to the rose-like flowers of the plant which belongs to the myrtle family. Latin tomentosa, with flattened hairs, referring to the texture of the leaves.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Fruits
Food (Fruit & Vegetable): The sweet, edible fruits can be made into jams or tarts. In Vietnam, the fruits are used to produce a local wine called ruou sim.
Medicinal: The fruits are used for treating diarrhoea and dysentery. Wood tar from combination of it with coconuts shells can be used to blacken teeth and eyebrows. The crushed leaves are used to bandage wounds. Diarrhoea and stomach-ache is treated with a decoction of the roots or leaves. The decoction can also be used as restorative medicine after childbirth.
Timber & Products: The fine-grained timber can be used for making very small objects.
Others: This is a very popular plant which is easy to grow and produces beautiful flowers. 

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for planting along streetscapes, parks, gardens and coastal areas for its attractive cherry blossom-like flowers and its adaptability to hot and dry environmental conditions.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Coastal, Beachfront / Shoreline, Hedge / Screening, Flowerbed / Border
Thematic Landscaping Silver Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

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

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Poor Infertile Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils, Easy to Grow
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Silver / Grey
Young Flush Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oval, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Pink
Flower Location Axillary

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Purple
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type

Image Repository



Master ID 1095
Species ID 2388
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.