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Cratoxylum cochinchinense (Lour.) Blume

Family Name: Hypericaceae
Synonyms: Cratoxylum ligustrinum, Cratoxylum myrtifolium, Cratoxylum polyanthum, Cratoxylum cochinchinense
Common Name: Derum Selunchor, Yellow Cow Wood, Mampat, Baduk-baduk, Red Mempat, 黄牛木
Full Sun Semi Shade Moderate Water Bee-Attracting Plant Butterfly Host Plant Native to Singapore Suitable for Roadsides Fragrant Plant Ornamental Flowers Ornamental Leaves Shrub 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 (Big (>30m), Medium (16m-30m), Small (6m-15m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Weeping / Pendulous
Maximum Height 30 m


Native Distribution Myanmar, China, Indochina, Thailand, Sumatra, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Borneo
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Secondary Rainforest, Primary Rainforest, Freshwater Swamp Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a shrub or small to medium sized tree up to 30 m tall, but in Singapore, it is usually 10 m or shorter. Its smooth bark is flaky and light buff to pale brownish-yellow.
Crown The crown form is generally drooping.
Trunk The bark is smooth and flaky, light buff colour to pale brownish-yellow.
Foliage Its opposite, stalked leaves possess fleshy to papery leaf blades that are oval to oblong or lance-shaped, and 3–13 by 1–4.4 cm, with minute gland-dots. Its mature leaf blades are green above, and distinctly covered with a bloom on the grey-green undersides. Its leaf blades are also deep purple, then pinkish-brown when young.
Flowers Its faintly fragrant flowers are 1.3–2.5 cm wide, with deep crimson to pink or pinkish-orange petals. They are usually found in pairs, on 5.1–15 cm-long flowering shoots occurring at branch tips, or the angles of leaves.
Fruits Its brown fruits are oval, 8–13 by 4–5 mm, and covered for two-thirds to three-quarters of its lengths by the sepals. Its seeds are narrowly drop-shaped to oval or oblong, 6–8 by 2–3 mm, and many per fruit. The seeds are released when the ripe fruit splits.
Habitat It grows on well-drained soils in grassland, open woodland, primary or secondary forests, and river banks, up to 500 m altitude. It occurs locally in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Fort Canning Park, and Sentosa.
Associated Fauna It is the preferred local food plant for caterpillars of the butterflies, the archduke (Lexias pardalis dirteana), and the common grass yellow (Eurema hecabe contubernalis). The adult of the archduke lays its eggs singly on the undersides of leaves of the host plant. Its flowers are also insect-pollinated.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Greek kratos, strength; Greek xulon, wood, referring to the strong timber; Latin cochinchinense, of or from Cochinchina (now known as southern Vietnam), referring to the natural distribution of this species
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal ( The wood tar can be used to blacken teeth. Fever can be treated by taking a decoction of bark and leaves. A decoction of the roots is given to women as a post-labour tonic.)
Timber & Products ( The durability of the wood is disputable, but it is used for cabinets, construction, furnitures, and inside fittings.)
Cultural / Religious ( Heritage Tree: There is 1 individual of Cratoxylum cochinchinense listed as Heritage Trees in Singapore. It can be found in Telok Blangah Green. To find out more about this tree, please visit the Heritage Tree Register.)

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for planting in parks and roadsides for its attractive bark, new foliage and flowers.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Trunk, Fragrant (Flowers)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Moist Soils
Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm, General, Shade Providing Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Water Garden, Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Food Plant (Leaves, Associated with: Eurema hecabe contubernalis (Moore, 1886), Lexias pardalis), Bee-Attracting
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Bee))
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Explosive Dehiscence)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Thin, Papery
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Red
Young Flush Texture(s) Papery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical, Lanceolate, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Cuneate
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
Bark Colour(s) Reddish-brown
Mature Bark Texture Peeling / Flaking / Papery, Smooth
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root, Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Red
Flower Grouping Solitary, Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Inflorescence Type Panicle
Ovary Position Superior / Hypogynous
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Capsule

Image Repository



Master ID 1536
Species ID 2829
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: 14 October 2021.