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Archidendron clypearia var. clypearia


Archidendron clypearia (Jack) I.C.Nielsen var. clypearia

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Common Name: Greater Grasshopper Tree, Petai Belalang, Chahar, 猴耳环


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific 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 22 m


Native Distribution India to Borneo (including Singapore)
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, Freshwater Swamp Forest, Disturbed Area / Open Ground)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a much-branched and medium-sized tree up to 22 m tall.
Foliage Its alternate, long-stalked, bipinnate leaves possess 3–14 pairs of leaflets. The lowermost leaflet bears 3–6 pairs of leaflets, while the uppermost bears 8–14 pairs of papery leaflets that are opposite, diamond-shaped, and 1–7.6 by 0.7–3.8 cm. The leaflets gradually decrease in size towards the lowermost leaflet.
Flowers Its stalked flowers are white to yellowish, and develop up to 10 together in clusters. The clusters are arranged in shoots more than 30 cm-long, at the older leaf’s angles, or on leafless portions of twigs.
Fruit Its fruits are orange and red, 1–1.5 cm wide, spirally twisted legumes that contain 4–10 seeds. Its seeds are black, oval, up 1 cm wide, and wrinkled when dry.
Habitat It grows in open country, primary and secondary forests, peat swamp and swamp forests, up to 1,850 m altitude. It occurs locally in the vicinity of Mandai Road, Upper Pierce Reservoir, Bukit Kallang Reservoir, Nee Soon Swamp Forest, and Pulau Tekong.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are pollinated by bees.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Greek archi, primitive; Greek dendron, tree; Latin clypearia, resembling the small round Roman shield, a reference to the use of the wood in making sheaths of weapons
Ethnobotanical Uses Timber & Products: Sheaths of weapons are made using the wood. The bark is used to make hair shampoo, and in tanning of fishing nets.  
Others: The leaves are employed in the colouring and tanning of rattan, and reportedly used as cattle poison.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is occasionally planted as an ornamental tree along roads and in parks. Its tolerance for damp conditions makes it a plant suitable for a wide range of soil moisture conditions.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Fruits
Landscape Uses General, Suitable for Roadsides, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden, Marsh Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

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

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site), Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Papery
Foliar Type Compound (Even-Pinnate)
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage
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 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White, Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Red, Orange
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Dehiscent Dry Fruit , Legume / Pod

Image Repository



Master ID 1430
Species ID 2723
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 January 2024.