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Ardisia purpurea


Ardisia purpurea Reinw. ex Blume

Family Name: Primulaceae
Synonyms: Ardisia lanceolata Roxb.
Common Name: Great Ardisia, Medang Sangit, Merambung


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, Shrub
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 10 m


Native Distribution Thailand, Sumatra, West Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, Java, and Sulawesi
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is shrub or tree up to 10 m tall.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked leaves have almost leathery leaf blades that are usually elliptic-oblong, and 15–28 by 5–9 cm, with colourless, scattered glandular dots.
Flowers Its stalked flowers are pink or red, 9–10 mm long, and up to 1.7 cm wide. They are found in clusters of 4–10 together on shoots that develop from the ends of leafy twigs.
Fruit Its smooth fruits are round, slightly depressed, dark red to black when mature, and up to 7.5 mm wide.
Habitat It grows in lowland and hill evergreen forests up to 500 m altitude.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology The genus Ardisia is derived from the Greek word 'ardis' which means a point and refers to the pointed anthers of the plant.
Ethnobotanical Uses Timber & Products: The very durable wood is used to make house-posts. 

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for parks and gardens for its ornamental flowers and fruits.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Fruits
Landscape Uses General, Parks & Gardens, Small 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) Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Lanceolate, Elliptical, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.0 (Tree - Dense Canopy)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Pink
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Black, Red
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Fleshy Fruit , Non-Accessory Fruit


References Lindsay, S. et al. (2022). Flora of Singapore: Checklist and bibliography. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore 74(Suppl. 1): 3–860.

Image Repository



Master ID 1435
Species ID 2728
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.