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Baccaurea parviflora (Müll.Arg.) Müll.Arg.

Family Name: Phyllanthaceae
Synonyms: Pierardia parviflora Müll.Arg.
Common Name: Setambun, Setamban, Wild Rambai, Rambai Hutan

Baccaurea parviflora, also known as Setambun, is a dioecious tree that is native to Singapore. The male inflorescence occur on the whole trunk while the female inflorescence are often found at the base. Fruits are borne in strings at the base of the tree. They turn purplish black when ripe, and contain 1-3 seeds in a sour edible pulp.

Full Sun Semi Shade Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Plant Native to Singapore Fruit or Vegetable Tree


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Small (6m-15m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 15 m


Native Distribution Myanmar, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra and Borneo.
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree, up to 15 m tall.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked leaves have leathery leaf blades that are oval in shape, pinkish when young, up to 20 cm long and 9 cm wide.
Flowers Its male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. The small flowers are yellowish-green. The scented male flowering clusters are 10-15 cm long and found upright on a ring-like burs on the trunk. The female flowering clusters are 15-30 cm long and found at the base of the trunk, with reddish stalks.
Fruits Its fruits are oblong, pointed, 1.25-2.75 cm long and 1 cm wide, borne in strings at the base of the tree. The fruits are dark red to purplish black when ripe, and contain 1-3 seeds in a sour pulp.
Habitat It grows in lowland forests, up to 450 m altitude. It occurs locally in Central Catchment Nature Reserve and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated. The fruits are eaten by birds and mammals.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Latin Bacca, berry; Latin aurea, golden, referring to the colour of the berries; Latin parviflora means small flowers, referring to the plant’s flowers.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The fruit is edible and sour in taste.)
Timber & Products ( The durable and hard wood is used as a box-wood substitute, for making gardening implements and walking sticks.)

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for parks and gardens.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses General, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting
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
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
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 (Oval)
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 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Dioecious
Flower Colour(s) Green, White, Cream / Off-White, Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Cauliflorous

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Red, Black, Purple
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Non-Accessory Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 1447
Species ID 2740
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: 20 August 2021.