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Hopea odorata


Hopea odorata Roxb.

Family Name: Dipterocarpaceae
Common Name: Chengal Pasir, Merawan Siput Jantan, Chengal Kampong, Cengal Pasir, Cengal Pulau, Telshur, Takhian-yai, Ironwood


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Big (>30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, southern Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, the Andaman Islands and northern Peninsular Malaysia.
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A medium-sized to large evergreen tree with a conical-shaped crown. It usually reaches a height of 25-30 m, but sometimes attains 40 m. The girth can be up to 4.5 m.
Trunk Trunk is straight with short buttresses. The thick, slightly to deeply fissured outer bark is dark brownish-grey, and the inner bark is dull yellow.
Foliage Alternate leaves are oblong to ovate-lanceolate with entire leaf margin, measuring about 7 - 14 by 3 - 7 cm, both surfaces glabrous, petiole measuring about 1.5 - 2 cm long. Prominent axillary domatia at the lower abaxial of leaf. 
Flowers Small, yellowish-white flowers are fragrant, bisexual and located in leaf axils or branch tips. They are radially symmetrical with triangular petals that have long ruffled tips.
Fruits The small, brown fruit is a winged nut. The single-seeded nut is approximately egg-shaped with a pointed tip and may be covered in a shiny resin, measuring about 6 by 5 mm. It has 2 long wings (5.5 cm long) and 3 short wings which promote seed dispersal by wind.
Habitat Found on deep rich soils in lowland tropical forests and evergreen forests at altitudes of up to 600 m. Usually located near streams and rivers.
Cultivation It grows best in fertile, well-drained soil that is kept moist. Mulch the trees to conserve soil moisture. It is susceptible to attack by leaf chewers, stem borers and a seed-feeding weevil (Nanophyes).
Etymology Genus name Hopea is named after Dr John Hope (1725 - 1786), who is a Scottish botanist of the Edinburgh Botanic Garden. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Cultural / Religious ( Heritage Tree: There is currently 1 individual of Hopea odorata listed as Heritage Tree in Singapore. This tree can be found in Singapore Botanic Gardens. To find out more about this tree, please visit the Heritage Tree Register.)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits, Fragrant
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Riverine, Pond / Lake / River, Shade Providing Tree / Palm

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

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

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Lanceolate, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
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) Yellow / Golden
Flowering Period Every Few Years

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth

Image Repository



Master ID 1666
Species ID 2959
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: 18 February 2022.