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Aquilaria malaccensis Lamk.

Family Name: Thymelaeaceae
Synonyms: Aquilaria grandiflora
Common Name: Malayan Eaglewood Tree, Karas, Kayu Gaharu, Kekaras, Tengkaras
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Native to Singapore Roadside Tree / Palm Tree


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Growth Form Tree (Big (>30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial


Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree up to 40 m tall with an irregular crown.
Trunk Its smooth trunk has dark to pale grey, peeling outer bark and cream-white inner bark.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked leaves have thinly leathery leaf blades that are oval-oblong to oblong-lance-shaped, and 6–12 by 1.9–5.5 cm, with fine, parallel veinlets, and long tips.
Flowers Its fragrant flowers are green or dirty-yellow, 5–6 mm long, and found in shortly-stalked, 2.5 cm-long clusters of up to 10 together.
Fruits Its green fruits are flattened egg-shaped, rather woody, and 2.5–4 by 2.5 cm. Its pear-shaped seeds are covered with orange-brown hairs, and up to 10 by 6 mm, with one of its ends attached to the fruit by a twisted, stalk-like appendage.
Habitat It grows in lowland primary and secondary forests, and on hills and ridges, up to 750 m altitude. It occurs locally in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, and in the vicinity of Chestnut Track, Mandai Road, Pulau Ubin, and Pulau Tekong.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Latin Aquilaria, eagle, after its common name in Malacca ― eagle wood; Latin malaccensis, of Malacca, referring to one locality in the natural distribution of this species.
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal ( The wood, and incense from burning can be used medically.)
Timber & Products (  Undiseased trees produce very light wood known as karas. It is used for boxes, light indoor construction, and veneer.)
[Others]: The old and diseased tree produces a fragrant wood known as kayu gaharu, hence its common Malay name. This wood is used as insect repellent, incense for ceremonial purposes, and in joss-sticks and perfumery. The inner bark is durable and strong, and made into clothes, ropes, and writing materials.

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Green, Yellow / Golden

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Green

Image Repository



Master ID 1425
Species ID 2718
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: 17 February 2021.