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Erythroxylum cuneatum (Miq.) Kurz

Family Name: Erythroxylaceae
Synonyms: Erythroxylum burmanicum, Erythroxylum sumatranum
Common Name: Inai Inai, Baka, Beluntas Bukit, Cinatamula, Mahang Wangi, Medang Lenggundi, Medang Wangi
Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Moderate Water Native to Singapore Coastal Roadside Tree / Palm Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Name Status (wrt SBG BG-BASE)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Big (>30m), Medium (16m-30m), Small (6m-15m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular


Native Distribution Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, Coastal Forest), Shoreline (Sandy Beach, Rocky Beach)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Common)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a shrub or tree that can grow up to 45 m tall, and with flattened green twigs.
Trunk Bark brown in colour, narrowly ridged and fissured.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked leaves have papery to thinly leathery leaf blades that are elliptic to elliptic-lance-shaped or reverse-egg-shaped, dark green to greenish brown above, light green on the underside, and1.9–18 by 0.9–7 cm.
Flowers Its tiny flowers grow in clusters of 1–8, and are white to light green, and about 6.5 mm wide.
Fruits Its fruits are drupes that are ellipsoid, curved, bright red when ripe, 1-seeded, and 8–15 by 2.5–4.5 mm. Its seeds are flattened, and are 5–10 by 1–2.5 mm.
Habitat It grows in primary and secondary forests, and along sandy and rocky shores, up to 900 m altitude. It is known locally in Changi, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin, and St. John's Island.
Associated Fauna Its fruits are reported to be eaten by mammals, such as gibbons, and porcupines.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seeds.
Etymology Greek erythros, red; Greek xylon, wood, referring to the red wood of the trees; Latin cuneatum, wedge-shaped, referring to its leaf base
Ethnobotanical Uses Timber & Products ( It is harvested for timber. The wood is used for house posts.)
Cultural / Religious ( Heritage Tree :                                                   There is currently one individual of Erythroxylum cuneatum listed as a Heritage Tree in Singapore. It can be found at Changi. To find out more about this tree, please visit the Heritage Tree Register. )
[Others]: The leaves of E. cuneatum are reported to be used as fish poison in the Philippines (Luzon). It is planted as an ornamental tree in parks and gardens.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable to be planted along roads, parks and gardens or in coastal areas.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Coastal, General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Beachfront / Shoreline, Hedge / Screening

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna) (Vertebrates (Other Mammal))

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Green - Light Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Papery, Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate, Lanceolate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Base Cuneate
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Green - Light Green, White, Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Red
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Glossy / Shiny
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Non-Accessory Fruit



Corner, E.J.H. 1988. Wayside Trees of Malaya Volume 1 & 2. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: The Malayan Nature Society. 861

Keng, H.. 1990. The Concise Flora of Singapore: Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons. Singapore: Singapore University Press. 222

Image Repository



Master ID 1590
Species ID 2883
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: 16 November 2020.