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Aporosa frutescens


Aporosa frutescens Blume

Family Name: Phyllanthaceae
Synonyms: Aporosa banahaensis (Elmer) Merr., Aporosa similis Merr., Aporosa fruticosa (Blume) Müll.Arg.
Common Name: Bastard Rukam, Rukam Utan


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 27 m


Native Distribution Myanmar, Thailand, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Borneo, Java and Sulawesi, and the Moluccas
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Mountain, Secondary Rainforest, Riverine, Disturbed Area / Open Ground)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree up to 27 m tall with trunk up to 35 cm across.
Foliage Its simple, alternate, stalked leaves have papery to thin leathery leaf blades that are narrowly egg-shaped to narrowly elliptic, greyish green to yellowish green when dried, and 6.5-20 by 1.5-7.5 cm. Its midrib is slightly prominent above and prominent below.
Flowers Its male flowers are 0.3-0.7 mm long and grow in clusters of 1-4 on flowering shoots that are 5-22 mm long. Its female flowers are 1.5-3 mm long and grow on female flowering shoots that are 2-7 mm long. Its flowers are yellow.
Fruit Its fruits are round, yellow-orange-red, light or brownish-yellow when dried, 9-15 by 10-15 mm, and grow in clusters that are 3-11 mm long. Each fruit bears 2-4 seeds that are ellipsoid, covered with orange-red pulp, and 8-11 by 6-9 by 3-5 mm.
Habitat It grows in primary, secondary, and disturbed forests, on hilltops, hillsides, hill ridges, along river banks, roads, lakes, and forest margins, up to 1500 m altitude. It occurs locally in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Mandai Forest, Nee Soon Swamp Forest, the Western Catchment Area, and Pulau Ubin.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated. Its seeds are probably dispersed by birds.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Greek apo, away from; Greek oros, mountain; Latin frutescens, shrubby or bushy
Ethnobotanical Uses Timber & Products: Its timber is considered second-class and sometimes used for the construction of houses and tool making. Its bark is used to in the batik industry as a mordant.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for parks.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, 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) Papery, Leathery, Thin
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Unisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary

Fruit, Seed and Spore

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

Image Repository



Master ID 1424
Species ID 2717
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: 22 November 2022.