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Horsfieldia crassifolia (Hook.f. & Thoms.) Warb.

Family Name: Myristicaceae
Synonyms: Myristica crassifolia Hook.f. & Thomson
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Native to Singapore Roadside Tree / Palm Ornamental Flowers Tree


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

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 Irregular
Maximum Height 25 m


Native Distribution Southern Thailand, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and Borneo
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Freshwater Swamp Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree up to 25 m tall.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked leaves possess leathery leaf blades that are oval to oblong, green above, rusty or cinnamon-brown below, and 10–28 by 3.5–10 cm. Its leaves’ undersides are also covered with hairs that are 0.1 mm long, or turn hairless with age to show distinct hair scars, and scattered dark dots and dashes.
Flowers The species is dioecious as each individual produces only male or female flowers. Its flowers are in flowering shoots (inflorescences) that have hairs of 0.2–0.5 mm long. Its male flowering shoots are branched clusters of flowers, and are 6–20 by 4–15 cm. Its female flowering shoots are 3–14 cm long. Its flowers are yellow, and its male flowers are smaller than its female flowers.
Fruits Its fruiting clusters (infructescences) contain 1–10 fruits each. Its fruits are egg-shaped to drop-shaped, hairless, and 1.5–2.5 by 1.2–1.8 cm. The fruit wall is 1.5–2 mm thick. Its seed is egg-shaped, and has a orange, fleshy covering (aril).
Habitat It grows in marshy forests, freshwater and peatswamp forests, up to 200 m altitude. It occurs locally in Central Catchment Nature Reserve ( Nee Soon Swamp Forest).
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated. The seeds are covered with an orange aril which are eaten by hornbills and mammals.
Cultivation It can be cultivated by seed.
Etymology Horsfieldia, named after Dr. Thomas Horsfield (1773–1859), an American botanist who explored in the Malesian islands; Latin crassus, thick; Latin folium, –leafed, referring to the species’ thick leaf blades

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It can be grown along roadsides and in parks for its attractive inflorescences and orange coloured fruits. It can also be planted as a food source to attract hornbills.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Fruits
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Riverine
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden
Species record last updated on: 20 April 2020.