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Gardenia tubifera


Gardenia tubifera Wall.

Family Name: Rubiaceae
Synonyms: Gardenia resinifera
Common Name: Kula Gardenia, Pekan Heran, Water Gardenia, Chempaka Utan, Cempaka Tanjung, Delima Hutan, Jambu Batu Hutan, Kepayang Ipil, Kopeng Air, Mentiong, Golden Gardenia


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 Tree
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 25 m


Native Distribution Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra and Borneo
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, Riverine)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Presumed Nationally Extinct (NEx))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a sub-canopy tree up to 25 m tall, but usually grows about 8-15 m tall under cultivation.
Foliage Its opposite, stalked leaves have leaf blades that are elliptic to reverse egg-shaped, measuring about 12-16 cm long.
Flowers Its flowers are white to pale yellow, but finally turning to intense orange. The corolla tubes are variable in length, 2.5-14 cm long.
Fruit Its round fruits are pale apple-green, 2.5–5 cm wide, and split when ripe to expose many seeds in the orange to reddish pulp.
Habitat It grows in hill and lowland forests, and often on banks of rivers.
Associated Fauna Its flowers attract butterflies, and its fruits are eaten by birds, civets and squirrels. It is also the food plant for caterpillars of the moths, Archernis capitalis, and the pellucid hawkmoth (Cephonodes hylas).
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It has attractive white to pale yellow fragrant flowers that open at dusk and last for three nights. It is a tree suitable for gardens, parks and roadsides.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Flowers) (Day)
Landscape Uses General, Suitable for Roadsides, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Riverine
Thematic Landscaping Golden Garden, Fragrant / Aromatherapy Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird-Attracting (Fruits), Butterfly-Attracting (Flower Nectar)
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water, Lots of Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed


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

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden, Orange
Flower Grouping Solitary
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Tubular

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Green
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Fleshy Fruit , Non-Accessory Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 1640
Species ID 2933
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: 24 April 2023.