Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Back

Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers.

Family Name: Lythraceae
Synonyms: Ammania speciosa, Lagerstroemia regina, Lagerstroemia flos-reginae
Common Name: Pride of India, Rose of India, Queen's Crape Myrtle, Crepe Myrtle, Crepe Flower, Queen Flower, Banaba, Pyinma, Bungur Raya, Bungor Raya, Bungor, 大花紫薇
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Herb & Spice Roadside Tree / Palm Ornamental Flowers Dry Soils / Drought Woody Tree

Name

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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub, Tree (Small (6m-15m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Rounded
Maximum Height 30 m

Biogeography

Native Distribution Indian Subcontinent, Southern China, Indochina, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia.
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Secondary Rainforest, Riverine, Grassland / Savannah/ Scrubland)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal, Temperate

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Small tree or big shrub, usually up to 30 m. Crown dense, broadly conical when young; becoming rounded, relatively low and pendulous in older trees, as terminal branch growth is halted by every blooming episode. Greater tree heights attained under more forested conditions, where blooming is delayed as a result of more abundant moisture.
Trunk Often fluted, bark creamy-brown to light grey, smooth and peeling in papery flakes; inner bark pale brown and fibrous.
Foliage SImple, opposite, broadly ovate to oblong, somewhat leathery, with prominent abaxial veins. Young leaves emerge glossy red, turning to pinkish and then finally green. Old leaves wither to orange-red before being shed. Tree is drought-deciduous, shedding leaves over a few days or gradually over a few months, depending on severity of dry period.
Flowers Conspicuous, 5-7 cm across; 6 petals, papery-wrinkled and crepe-like, pinkish-purple, fading white and shed 2-3 days later; central disc of stamens numerous, light yellow; pollinated by large bees. Flowers held in elongated panicle inflorescence, 30-40 cm long, sticking out from crown, with individual flowers opening progressively from bottom to top of panicle. Fairly free-blooming in Singapore, occurring several times per year, with flowers appearing with new shoots. Blooming often more spectacular in climates with distinct dry-cool weather, taking place from late summer to autumn.
Fruits Woody dehiscent capsules, globose, around 2 cm across, seated on persistent woody calyx, maturing from green to brown, splitting radially into 6 parts when ripe. Only larger flowers in cluster set fruits. Seeds numerous, small (165,000-235,000 dry seeds/kg), triangular, flattened and apically winged, dispersed by wind. First few leaves of seedlings alternate, becoming sub-opposite, before attaining opposite leaf arrangement of adult form.
Habitat Relatively open sites like secondary or disturbed forests, grassland, and especially along rivers.
Cultivation Prefers moderately fertile, well-drained soils. Drought-tolerant when established, but exhibits lusher growth with regular watering. Remove water-shoots from stems or roots, if plants are used as trees. Crown-pruning usually not necessary, but if needed to improve tree form, prune only after leaves are shed, so as not to interfere with flower bud formation that occurs on new growth. Avoid frequent or annual pruning, as severe pruning may induce excessive foliar growth, basal sprouting, and fewer (though larger) flower panicles. Easily propagated by seeds, softwood and woody stem-cuttings, root-cuttings, and marcotting. Seeds stored in airtight containers with no temperature-control remain viable for 2 years, should be sown in shade, with germination occuring in 15-56 days. Specimens up to 6m tall known to transplant well -- bare-rooted or balled-and-burlapped trees should be moved and planted while not in leaf, mulch base and provide ample irrigation for at least 2 weeks subsequently to aid establishment at new site.
Etymology Genus epithet 'Lagerstroemia' named by Linnaeus (father of modern taxonomy) after Swedish naturalist, director of the Swedish East Indies Company and patron of science, Magnus von Lagerstroem (1696-1759), who supplied his friend Linnaeus with the plant he collected. Species epithet 'speciosa' means 'showy' or 'spectacular'.
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Herb and Spice)
[Others]: Timber: Provides a reddish-brown wood called pyinma. Regarded as similar to teak (Tectona grandis) in characteristics, moderately hard and durable, with termite-resistant heartwood -- wooden stakes used in ground known to last for about 7 years. Used in medium-heavy construction, such as for bridges, wharves, boats, mine struts and railway sleepers, as well as panelling, parquet flooring, paddles, agricultural tools and handicrafts. Also source of good firewood. Forestry: Trees used as physical support for climbing-rattan in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Medicinal: Bark used to treat diarrhoea and abdominal pain in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan and Japan. Leaves and dried fruits traditionally made into herbal tea (known as Banaba Tea in Philippines, after tree's Tagalog name) to treat high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney ailments (eg. dissolving kidney stones). Plant extracts available as health supplements, purportedly effective for blood sugar control and weight loss. Modern medical research shows that leaf extracts have hypoglycemic (glucose-lowering) effects in genetically-diabetic rats, thus suggesting the plant's potential use as anti-diabetic medication.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Dry Soils / Drought
Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm, General, Flowerbed / Border, Shade Providing Tree / Palm
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Bee))
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Explosive Dehiscence)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting, Marcotting

Foliar

Foliage Retention Drought / Semi-Deciduous
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oval, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Cuspidate
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse
Typical Foliar Area Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Remarks Red to pinkish, light orange and light green

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Mature Bark Texture Peeling / Flaking / Papery
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root, Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Pink, Purple
Flower Symmetry Radial
Flower Size - Remarks 5-7 cm across
Inflorescence Type Panicle
Flower Lifespan on Plant [Remarks] (2-3 days)
Flower Lifespan on Plant - Remarks 2-3 days
Flowering Habit Polycarpic
Flowering Period Remarks Several times per year

Fruit, Seed & Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Capsule

Image Repository

Images

Others

Master ID 1698
Species ID 2991
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: 20 April 2020.
Share