Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Cynometra lenticellata


Cynometra lenticellata (C.T.White) Rados.

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Synonyms: Maniltoa lenticellata C.T.White
Common Name: Cascading Bean, Cascading Maniltoa, Pink Maniltoa, Silk Handkerchief Tree


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
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Rounded
Maximum Height 10 m to 22 m


Native Distribution New Guinea, Australia (northern Queensland)
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Others - Plant Morphology Tree, usually 10-12m under cultivation, although may reach up to 22m height in native vine or rainforests. Crown rounded, semi-deciduous, especially attractive when covered by young flush.Leaves compound, 2-4 asymmetrical leaflets. New leaves first develop within large foliar buds covered with papery scales, before emerging as pale or shiny bright pink juvenile leaves that mature to pinkish-brown and then green in a period of a few days. Young leaves hang down in limp casading tassels, thus the common moniker - handkerchief tree. Flowers creamy-white with filamentous stamens topped by yellow anthers, densely covered by rusty-brown hairs when young, produced in terminal clusters simultaneously with emergence of young leaves, fruity-scented, pollinated by bees and bats, and shed within a few days. Fruits are woody pods, relatively small (2 - 5cm long), somewhat flattened, with 1 - 2 seeds.Can be planted in parks or along roads for showy young flush, although flushing is often asynchronous -- adjacent trees and even same branch on a single tree may produce new flushes at different times.Genus epithet Maniltoa is of uncertain origin, probably derived from plant's native name in one of the Malesian / Papuasian dialects. The distinctive pink foliar flush of Maniltoa lenticellata differentiates it from other Maniltoa species (eg. Maniltoa browneoides), which have whitish young flush instead.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage, Fragrant (Flowers) (Day)
Landscape Uses General, Roadside Tree / Palm
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Drought / Semi-Deciduous
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Pink
Foliar Type Compound (Even-Pinnate)
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Obovate, Elliptical, Asymmetrical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Emarginate
Foliar Base Cuneate
Typical Foliar Area Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.0 (Tree - Dense Canopy)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Mature Bark Texture Scaly, Lenticellate
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root, Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, White
Flower Symmetry Radial
Flowering Period Hot & Dry Period
Flower Lifespan on Plant Several Days
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Dehiscent Dry Fruit , Legume / Pod

Image Repository



Master ID 1723
Species ID 3016
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: 09 December 2022.