Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Aphanamixis polystachya


Aphanamixis polystachya (Wall.) Parker

Family Name: Meliaceae
Synonyms: Amoora aphanamixis Schultes, Amoora rohituka (Roxb.) Pierre
Common Name: Pasak Lingga, Amoora, Cikih, Kasai Paya, Kulim Burung, Pithraj Tree, 山楝


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 Tree (Medium (16m-30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 20 m


Native Distribution From India, Sri Lanka, southern China, Taiwan, Bhutan, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific islands. 
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, Freshwater Swamp Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree up to 20 m tall.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked pinnate leaves are 45 x 125 cm long, with 6 x 10 pairs of leaflets. Its leaflets have slightly leathery blades that are oblong to elliptic-oblong, red when young, and 7.5 x 25 by 4 x 9 cm. The midrib is prominent on both surfaces.
Flowers Its female flowering shoots are up to 110 cm long, while male and bisexual flowering shoots are up to 50 cm long. Its sweetly scented flowers are 4 x 9 mm across, and cream to yellow or bronze.
Fruit Its pink-red-purplish fruits grow in clusters, are round to pear-shaped, and 2 x 4 cm across. Each fruit bears 1 - 3 seeds that are 17 x 22 mm long, covered with brownish-red or orange oily pulp, and have a dark brown or black seed coat.
Habitat It grows in lowland and hill forests, usually on hillsides and ridges with sandy to clay soil up to 1400 m altitude.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are pollinated by insects.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Greek aphanos, invisible; Greek mixis, mating; Greek poly, many; Greek stachys, branch, referring to the much-branched male flowering shoot
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal: Scientific Evidence of Medicinal Properties
Based on research on the effect of Pasak Lingga on animals, it posses the following medicinal properties: analgesic <1>

Traditional Medicinal Uses
In Asia countries like India, the plant is used in traditional medicine (Ayurveda) to treat a wide variety of conditions, such as jaundice, ulcer, and intestinal worms <2>. Medical advice should be sought before use.

It is important to note that some therapeutic effects from traditional medicinal uses of plants are not currently supported or verified by scientific research.
Timber & Products: Its timber is used in house-building and for furniture.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for parks.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens
Usage Hazard - Cons Toxic Upon Ingestion

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

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


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type Compound
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Unisexual & Bisexual Flowers(Sub-dioecious)
Flower Colour(s) Brown, Cream / Off-White, Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Inflorescence Type Raceme, Panicle

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Orange, Pink, Red
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Dehiscent Dry Fruit , Capsule


References <1> Hossain, M.M., Biva, I.J., Jahangir, R. & Vhuiyan, M.M.I. (2009). Central nervous system depressant and analgesic activity of Aphanamixis polystachya (Wall.) parker leaf extract in mice. African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 3(5): 282-286.

<2> Apu, A.S., Chowdhury, F.A., Khatun, F., Jamaluddin, A.T.M., Pathan, A.H. & Pal, A. (2013). Phytochemical screening in In vitro evaluation of pharmacological activities of Aphanamixis polystachya (Wall) Parker fruit extracts. Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research 12(1): 111-116.

Image Repository



Master ID 1423
Species ID 2716
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: 26 October 2023.