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Aralidium pinnatifidum


Aralidium pinnatifidum (Jungh. & de Vriese) Miq.

Family Name: Torricelliaceae
Common Name: False Ivy-Palm, Balai, Sebalai, Balai Balai, Puah Pungah


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Growth Form Tree


Native Distribution Peninsular Thailand, Borneo, Malaysia, Sumatra (Indonesia)
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Highland / Montane
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Small forest understorey tree to 10m tall
Foliage Leaves simple,  usually deeply pinnately lobed but occasionally entire in some specimens. Leaf blades with 4-10 lobes or sometimes with 12 lobes, to 25-80cm long by 17-52 cm wide; lobes sub-opposite.
Flowers Male and female flowers borne on separate inflorescences; male inflorescences  to 40cm in length, often longer than female inflorescences. Flowers numerous, small, to 0.25cm, cream - pale yellow; male flowers with petals to 0.15cm in length, petals in female flowers often falling off shortly after the flowers are opened. 
Fruits Fruits ellipsoidal (slightly assymetric), to 4.5cm long, white turning purplish black when ripe, .
Habitat Lowland - montane forests up to 1,250m; apparently a widespread species throughout its range, but is nowhere common.
Etymology The specific epithet 'Pinnatfidum' refers to the pinnately lobed leaves
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal ( In Malay folk medicine, the leaves are used as a poultice for boils. The whole leaves are also oiled with coconut oil, heated and placed upon the skin to break a fever. )
Timber & Products ( This species produces a fine grained, dull/ light red hardwood that has been used to make parquet flooring, tables as well as upright supports of bridges in times past.)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Form
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Focal Plant
Thematic Landscaping Bird & Wildlife Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

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

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Shade, [Remarks] (Will tolerate full sun, but does best in semi shaded conditions)
Water Preference Moderate Water, Occasional Misting
Plant Growth Rate Moderate


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Margin Pinnately Lobed / Pinnatifid
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Black, Cream / Off-White, Purple

Image Repository



Master ID 1426
Species ID 2719
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: 24 November 2022.