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Cynometra ramiflora


Cynometra ramiflora L.

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Common Name: Katong Laut, Belangkan, Kangkatung Bukit, Kangkatong Laut

Cynometra ramiflora or Katong Laut is a tree that grows to 25 m tall. It has compound asymmetrical leaves, young flushes of leaves are pinkish to beige coloured and pendulous. Flowers are small, white, borne on the axils, the fruit is a 1-seeded pod with roughened or wrinkled surface.


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 (Medium (16m-30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Plant Shape Rounded, Umbrella
Maximum Height 25 m


Native Distribution From India, and throughout Southeast Asia (including Singapore) to the Pacific islands
Native Habitat Terrestrial, Shoreline (Mangrove Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree, up to 25 m tall.
Crown It has a rounded, umbrella-shaped crown.
Foliage Leaves are compound pinnate, smooth, young flushes of leaves are pinkish to beige coloured and pendulous. Leaflets are asymmetrical, leathery, oval to lance-shaped, measured 10 - 13 cm long by 4 - 6 cm wide. Petioles and leaflets has a corky to swollen base.
Flowers Flowers are small, white, smooth, borne on an inflorescence along the axils. The flower has multiple stamens of up to 13, curving upwards,
Fruit The fruit pod is 1-seeded, elliptic to almost round, brown with a roughened or wrinkled surface measuring 3 - 4 cm by 2 - 3 cm.
Habitat Occurs in the mangrove forest, inland up to altitude of 400m
Associated Fauna It is the food plant for the caterpillars of the moth, Carea costiplaga. Its flowers are pollinated by insects.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology The genus epithet, Cynometra refers to the Greek word, kuno-metron meaning dog matrix, in reference to the fruit pods. The species epithet, ramiflora translates to bearing flowers on branches.
Ethnobotanical Uses Timber & Products: The dark-brown, heavy and hard timber is used to make door-posts, or for construction locally, because it is found only in small quantities.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for planting along roadsides and gardens as a shade-providing tree.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses General, Suitable for Roadsides, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Coastal, Beachfront / Shoreline, Shade Providing Tree / Palm

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Moth Food Plant
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Water)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Slow
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Pink
Foliar Type Compound (Even-Pinnate)
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Lanceolate, Ovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute, Rounded
Foliar Base Oblique / Asymmetrical
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers , Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Inflorescence Type Raceme
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Brown
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Wrinkled, Rough
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)



Tan, P.Y., R.T. Corlett and H.T.W. Tan (Editors). 2010. A Field Guide to the Native Garden @ HortPark: an Urban Oasis of the Native Flora and Fauna of Singapore. Singapore: Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology (National Parks Board) and National University of Singapore. 124pp

Tomlinson, P.B. (2016). Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae) (eds) In: Tomlinson, P.B. The Botany of Mangroves, pp.251-254. Cornwall: Cambridge University Press.

Image Repository



Master ID 1541
Species ID 2834
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: 05 October 2022.