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Clerodendrum disparifolium Blume

Family Name: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Synonyms: Clerodendrum laevifolium auct. non Blume
Common Name: Swaddling Flower, Celeguri, Guriam, Kecolam, Keculun, Lampin badak, Lampin Budak, Lelampang badak, Pencolam, Puding, Seleguri, Seleguri betina, Selulang bukit, Sempayan pitu, Tudung roman, Uluh ulai, Unting-unting
Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Butterfly Food Plant Caterpillar Food Plant Native to Singapore Coastal Roadside Tree / Palm Ornamental Flowers Woody Tree


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 Shrub, Tree (Small (6m-15m), Shrubby (1m-5m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Shrubby, Open
Maximum Height 9.1 m


Native Distribution Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, and Java
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Coastal Forest, Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status 1 Native to Singapore (Common)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a shrub or slender tree up to 9.1 m tall.
Foliage Its opposite, stalked leaves possess leaf blades that are shiny green, rather narrowly oval, unequal size of 2.5–18 by 1.3–9 cm, and rather crinkled, with long tips. The twigs bear leaves with small leaf blades on their upper axes, and large leaf blades on their lower axes.
Flowers Its light yellow-petalled flowers are 1.3–1.7 cm wide, and develop in 7.6–20 cm-long flowering shoots.
Fruits Its round fruits are about 1 cm wide, and ripen dull green to blue, then purple and finally black. They are also seated on fleshy, star-like, crimson or occasionally white, cup-like structure formed by the surviving outer flower parts (calyx).
Habitat It grows in lowland forests and open country. It is occurs locally in Pulau Ubin, Kent Ridge and other secondary forest sites.
Associated Fauna It is the preferred local food plant for caterpillars of the butterfly, the fluffy tit (Zeltus amasa maximinianus), the adult of which lays its eggs singly on the bud, calyx or pedicel of the flower. Its flowers are insect-pollinated, and its fruits are eaten by birds.
Taxonomy Clerodendrum disparifolium may be the species occurring in Singapore, instead of C. laevifolium, and that C. disparifolium has oppositely arranged leaves and not of equal size.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed or by stem cuttings.
Etymology Greek kleros, chance; Greek dendron, a tree, supposedly an inference to the variable medicinal efficacies of the plants in this genus; Latin dispar, unequal; Latin folium, -leaved, referring to the unequal size of leaves.
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal ( The leaves alone or in a mixture of herbs, are used to relieve constipation, and drunk as a tonic, respectively. The pounded roots may be used as a poultice for body aches. Toothaches may also be treated using a paste of the roots.)
Cultural / Religious ( At weddings and rice ceremonies, the leaves, believed to have magical properties, are used in the making of a besom (ritual broom) for scattering rice-gruel.)
[Others]: The wood tar is used to blacken teeth. It is cultivated as an ornamental shrub.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping This plant can be grown in parks and gardens, and may be tolerant of roadside conditions. Although the crown is a bit untidy in appearance, it has attractive yellow flowers and striking fruits (round, black fruits surrounded by the star-like crimson or white sepals).
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Fruits
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses General, Coastal, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden, Butterfly Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Food Plant (Leaves), Bird Attracting, Butterfly Food Plant
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
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Glossy / Shiny, Raised / Sunken Veins
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Cuspidate
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse
Typical Foliar Area Mesophyll ( 45cm2 - 182.25 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Inflorescence Type Cyme
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed & Spore

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

Image Repository



Master ID 1520
Species ID 2813
Species record last updated on: 20 January 2020.