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Ximenia americana L.

Family Name: Olacaceae
Common Name: Bedara Laut, Sea Lime, Sea Lemon, Tallow Wood, Yellow Plum, 海檀木
Full Sun Little Water Native to Singapore Fruit or Vegetable Coastal Plant Fragrant Plant Shrub Tree


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Growth Form Shrub, Tree
Maximum Height 10 m


Native Distribution Pantropical and subtropical regions
Native Habitat Shoreline (Sandy Beach)
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a sprawling shrub or tree up to 10 m tall, with thorny branches.
Foliage Its spirally arranged, short-stalked leaves have almost leathery leaf blades that are variable in shape, 2–10 by 1–6 cm, and with rather faint venation.
Flowers Its fragrant flowers are white to greenish, with hairy petals, and arranged in short-stalked clusters of 3–9 at the leaf axils or near the ends of short, lateral branches.
Fruits Its plum-like fruits are round, yellow to orange, and 1.7–3.5 by 1.5–3 cm. Each fruit also contains 1 seed in a green, fleshy fruit pulp. Its seed is 1.5–2.5 by 1.2–2 cm. The fruits are sour but edible.
Etymology Latin Ximenia, commemorating Francisco Ximenes, a 17th century Spanish apothecary; Latin americanus, from America, North or South, referring to one locality in the natural distribution of this species
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Fruit & Vegetable)
[Others]: It is cultivated as a park tree. The wood is pleasantly scented, and used as a substitute for sandalwood. The sour fruit pulp is edible. The fruit stone possesses laxative effects. The oil which is extracted from the seed can be used for cooking. The roots and bark are used in traditional medicine.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Fragrant
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Saline Soils / Salt Spray
Landscape Uses Coastal, Beachfront / Shoreline

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Little Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, Green - Light Green

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Orange, Yellow / Golden

Image Repository



Master ID 1269
Species ID 2562
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.