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Cratoxylum cochinchinense (Lour.) Blume

Family Name: Hypericaceae
Synonyms: Cratoxylum ligustrinum, Cratoxylum myrtifolium, Cratoxylum polyanthum, Cratoxylum cochinchinense
Common Name: Kayu Arang, Yellow Cow Wood, Tree-Avens, Derum Selunchor, Kemutong, 黄牛木
Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Moderate Water Bee Attracting Plants Caterpillar Food Plant Native to Singapore Roadside Tree / Palm Fragrant Ornamental Flowers Ornamental Foliage Woody Tree

Name

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

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

Biogeography

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 1 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.)

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
Species record last updated on: 20 April 2020.
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