Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Calophyllum soulattri


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 (Medium (16m-30m), Small (6m-15m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 4.5 m to 26 m


Native Distribution Andaman Islands, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, to the Solomon Island, and northern Australia
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, Freshwater Swamp Forest, Riverine), Shoreline (Mangrove Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree, from 4.5 m to 26 m tall.
Trunk The trunk is rarely buttressed, spurred, occasionally with kneed roots when grown in swampy conditions. The outer bark is yellowish to pale brown in colour, with shallow, boat-shaped fissures.
Foliage Its stalked, opposite leaves are ovate to elliptic or suboblong, 6.5-29 cm long by 2.4-10.2 cm wide, with prominent parallel secondary veins. New leaves are pinkish in colour, turning orange then beige before maturing to green.
Flowers Its flower clusters consist of 7-21 flowers. Its while-petalled flowers are about 1 cm wide, with numerous stamens. The flowers are mildly fragrant.
Fruit Its fruits are round, purplish black when ripe, 0.9-1.6 cm wide.
Habitat It grows along the edges of rivers, and in lowland to lower montane rainforests, or sometimes in mangrove forests, up to 1700 m altitude.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are pollinated by bees. The fruits are dispersed by birds.
Taxonomy Calophyllum soulattri Burm.f. is observed to have first been incorrectly included in Singapore’s native flora by Keng (1990) and subsequent authors followed suit. Seah (2019) has clarified that Calophyllum soulattri Burm.f. is not native to Singapore.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Greek kalos, beautiful; Greek phyllon, a leaf, referring to the plant’s beautifully-veined leaf blades; soulattri, from a Sudanese name
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Fruits
Food (Herb and Spice): The sourish fruits can be eaten. (Fruit & Vegetable)
Medicinal: In Caroline Islands, the fresh bark from the shoots are used as medicine for women who have just given birth. The roots alone, together with the leaves, are used to treat rheumatic pains, and urinary tract infection, respectively. 
Timber & Products: The wood is used for masts, spars and in house construction.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable as an ornamental tree for parks, gardens and roadside planting for its attractive new leaves, fragrant white flowers and attractive purplish black fruits.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Fruits, Fragrant (Flowers)
Landscape Uses General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Hedge / Screening, Reforestation
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden, Bird & Wildlife Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting (Fruits)
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Bee))
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, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Pink
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Orange, Pink
Young Flush Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Elliptical, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Parallel
Foliar Margin Entire
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.0 (Tree - Dense Canopy)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Root Type Underground

Floral (Angiosperm)

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

Fruit, Seed and Spore

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

Image Repository



Master ID 1483
Species ID 2776
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: 26 January 2023.