Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Koompassia malaccensis


Koompassia malaccensis Maing. ex Benth.

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Synonyms: Koompassia borneensis, Koompassia beccariana Taub.
Common Name: Kempas, Impas, Makupa, Mangris


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 (Big (>30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 60 m


Native Distribution Sumatra, Malaysia, Singapore, and Borneo
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree up to 60 m tall, with thick, plank-like buttresses.
Foliage Its stalked, pinnate leaves have 5–14 leaflets each. The alternate, stalked leaflets have thinly to rigidly leathery leaf blades that are egg-shaped-oval, oval-oblong or lance-shaped, almost symmetrical, 5–13 by 1.5–5 cm, and usually with rounded bases.
Flowers Its up to 12 cm long, branched flowering shoot develops from the end of leafy twigs, and is densely covered with white flowers.
Fruit Its indehiscent fruit is a pod that is flat, oblong, thin, papery, 9.5–15 by 3–4.5 cm, twisted near the base, and with a broad wing all round. The fruit contains 1 flat seed that is purplish-black and shallowly wrinkled.
Habitat It grows in lowland forests up to 800 m altitude.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated. It is also the preferred local food plant for caterpillars of the moth, Pleuroptya balteata.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Latin koompassia, from the Malay name, kempas; Latin malaccensis, of Malacca, referring to one locality in the natural distribution of this species
Ethnobotanical Uses Timber & Products: The timber is used as firewood and charcoal.
Cultural / Religious: Heritage Tree: There are 3 individuals of Koompassia malaccensis listed as Heritage Trees in Singapore. To find out more about these trees, please visit the Heritage Tree Register.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for parks.
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Moth Food Plant
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
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) Leathery, Thin
Foliar Type Compound
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oval, Elliptical, Oblong, Oblanceolate)
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) White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Brown
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Papery
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type

Image Repository



Master ID 1691
Species ID 2984
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.