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Garcinia atroviridis


Garcinia atroviridis Griff. ex T.Anderson

Family Name: Clusiaceae (Guttiferae)
Common Name: Asam Gelugor, Gelugor

Garcinia atroviridis or Asam Gelugor is a native tree of Singapore. Growing to a height of 27 m tall, Asam Gelugor has a narrow conical crown with thick glossy foliage. It has bright red flowers produced singly (female flowers) or in clusters of 10 - 22 blooms (male flowers). The flower has 4 circular to broad-spoon like petals and a button-like stigma. The fruit is fleshy, bright yellow with deep ridges running along the fruit.


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
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Conical
Maximum Height 27 m


Native Distribution India, Myanmar, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, and Singapore
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a medium sized, dioecious tree with a dense narrow conical crown that can grow to 27 m tall, bearing many slender drooping branches.
Foliage Leaves are simple, leathery, glossy, narrowly oblong held on a winged stalk of up to 2.5 cm. Young leaves and petiole are red and turns green with time. The leaves measure 14 - 28 cm long, 4 - 8 cm wide, with fine dark wavy lines on the underside.
Flowers Its large, faintly fragrant to scentless flowers are unisexual where the female and male flowers are borne on separate individuals. The flower consist of 4 large, fleshy, circular to broadly spoon-shaped petals and 4 unequal sepals, 4 - 5.5 cm wide. Male flowers are bright red, produced in clusters between 10 - 22, numerous stamens surround the sunken button-like stigma. The female flowers are often produced singly, rarely in pairs with a large flat red-brown button-like stigma, at the tip of the branches.
Fruit The fruit is fleshy and thick-walled, depressed globose with deep ridges along the fruit. The fruit held on a thick stalk of 2.5 cm wide, seated on persistent sepals and petals, starts off yellow and turns to bright yellow upon ripening. Each containing up to 16 seeds in sticky pale yellow latex.
Habitat Occurs in tropical lowland evergreen rainforest, peat swamps forests and along streams, up to 550 m in altitude <1,2>
Associated Fauna Its flowers are pollinated by insects. Its fruits are eaten by small mammals.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Latin Garcinia, commemorating after Laurent Garcin (1683-1751), a French botanist who travelled widely in India; Latin atroviridis, very dark green, referring to the colour of the leaves.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Fruits, Edible Leaves
Food (Fruit or Vegetable): The fresh fruits or dried fruit slices are used as a seasoning or sour relish (asam gelugor) in cooking, including curries. The young leaves are eaten.
Medicinal: The juice from the leaves is used by a woman after childbirth. A decoction of the leaves and roots is used for ear-aches. When mixed with vinegar, the fruit is used in a lotion for a woman after confinement.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping The plant has a sparse broken conical canopy, and new leaves that flush red. It is a tree suitable for gardens, parks and roadsides.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Fruits, Ornamental Form
Landscape Uses General, Suitable for Roadsides, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Glossy / Shiny, Leathery, Thick
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Red
Young Flush Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oblong, Obovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate, Acute
Foliar Base Cuneate
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.0 (Tree - Dense Canopy)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Mature Bark Texture Cracked
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Unisexual Flowers , Dioecious
Flower Colour(s) Red, Orange
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence, Solitary
Flower Location Terminal
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Cruciform / Cross-shaped
Inflorescence Type Cyme, Raceme
Flowering Period A Few Times Yearly
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Orange, Yellow / Golden
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Fleshy Fruit , Berry



<1> Gardner, S., Sidisunthorn, P. & Chayamarit, K. (2015). Clusiaceae. Forest Trees of Southern Thailand, vol. 1, pp 348. Bangkok: Kobfai Publishing Project. 

<2> Ngernsaengsaruay, C. (2022). Lectotypifications of Three Names in Garcinia, Synonymy of Garcinia pedunculata and Detailed Descriptions of Three Species in Garcinia Section Brindonia (Clusiaceae), Diversity 14: 556. 

Image Repository



Master ID 1630
Species ID 2923
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: 20 April 2023.