Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Palaquium oxleyanum


Palaquium oxleyanum Pierre

Family Name: Sapotaceae
Common Name: Nyatoh Puteh, Taban Puteh, Getah Cair, Getah Menjatuh, Getah Taban, Getah Taban Cair, Getah Taban Putih, Getah Terban, Taban Putih, Taban Sutera


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 (Medium (16m-30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Conical
Maximum Height 24 m


Native Distribution From Thailand to Singapore, and Indonesia
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree up to 24 m tall. It is similar to the gutta-percha tree (Palaquium gutta), which has a brownish-green appearance, but differs in its venation, having tertiary veins that are not parallel to secondary veins in the leaves.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked leaves have simple, papery to leathery leaf blades that are elliptic to drop-shaped, 8.1–28 by 2.8–11 cm, not covered with hair and green above, and densely covered with short, fine, brown hair below.
Flowers Its bisexual flowers are about 0.5 cm across, greenish-yellow, and occur in clusters of 3–12 flowers at the leaf axils.
Fruit The fruits are berries that are oblong to round, 2–2.5 by 1.5–2.5 cm, 1-seeded, and covered with short, fine, rusty hair. Its seeds are dark brown, somewhat round to ellipsoid, 1.6–1.8 by 1.3–1.8 cm, and each with a scar covering half of the surface.
Habitat It grows in primary lowland and hill forests.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated. The fruits and seeds attract bats, which eat and disperse them.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Palaquium, from the Filipino vernacular name of the plant, palak-palak; oxleyanum, commemorating Thomas Oxley, a surgeon, who resided where the type specimen was collected on a hill in Singapore
Ethnobotanical Uses Others: This species is harvested mainly for gutta-percha, a kind of latex that is characteristic of its family.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It may be suitable for parks or roadsides. It is medium-sized and can withstand full sunlight conditions. Its leaves have rusty undersides that are fairly attractive.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses Suitable for Roadsides, Parks & Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bat Food
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

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, Brown
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Papery, Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.0 (Tree - Dense Canopy)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Green, Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Brown
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Hairy / Hirsute
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type

Image Repository



Master ID 1756
Species ID 3049
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 August 2022.