Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website


Glochidion littorale Blume

Family Name: Phyllanthaceae
Synonyms: Glochidion hongkongense
Common Name: Monkey Apple, Jambu Kera, Selensur
Full Sun Moderate Water Native to Singapore Coastal Plant Tree


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Small (6m-15m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution India, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Southeast Asia, Philippines
Native Habitat Shoreline (Backshore, Sandy Beach)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Shrub or small tree that grows up to 6 m tall.
Foliage Smooth, alternate leaves are obovate with entire leaf margin, rounded leaf tips and short petioles. Young foliage is red and edible, while mature foliage is leathery and glossy green. They turn yellow with red patches before dying.
Flowers Small, unisexual flowers lack petals and occur in dense clusters in the leaf axil. Female flowers are composed of 6 slightly fused sepals that form an egg-like shape. They have a short stalk. Male flowers are also composed of 6 sepals, but they are arranged in 2 overlapping sets of 3 sepals. They have a longer stalk (4-5 times longer than that of the female) and hang downwards.
Fruits Shiny, red fruits are donut-shaped (1.5-2 cm wide) with longitudinal grooves and a deep dimple at the apex. It is classified as a capsule, splitting apart at the grooves into 10 to 15 pieces that each contain 2 red seeds.
Habitat Typically found on sandy seashores and back mangroves.
Associated Fauna The Leaf-flower Moth (Epicephala species) pollinates the flowers and deposits eggs in the plant’s ovary. After the fruit develops, the moth caterpillar then feed on some of the seeds.

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Waterlogged Soils
Landscape Uses Coastal, Beachfront / Shoreline

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Red
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Rounded
Foliar Base Acute
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Green
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Urceolate / Urn-shaped, Stellate / Star-shaped
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Red
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Capsule
Mature Seed Colour(s) Red
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Numerous (>20)



Polunin, Ivan. 2010. Plants and Flowers of Singapore. Malaysia: Marshall Cavendish Editions .

Image Repository



Master ID 1643
Species ID 2936
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: 01 August 2022.