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Pangium edule

Family Name: Flacourtiaceae
Common Name: Kepayang, Pangi, Buah Keluak, Keluak, Payang
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Herb & Spice Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Malaysia, Southeast Asia
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A large perennial and evergreen tree with many branches, growing up to 40 m tall. 
Foliage Green foliage are clustered or spirally arranged at the apex of tiny branches or twigs, with long petioles. Leaf blades are broadly ovate, measuring up to 25 cm long, with cordate or truncate base and acuminate apex, entire margin, and have palmate venation.
Flowers Flowers are unisexual; male flowers are in racemes, each flower has 5-6 petals, and many stamens; female flowers are solitary, similar shape as male flowers, each flower has ovoid ovary and sessile stigma.
Fruits Large brown fruits with rough skin are ovoid to subglobose in shape, indehiscent, measuring 15 - 30 cm long. 
Habitat The tree occurs in primary and secondary rainforest, as well as along riverbanks.
Cultivation The tree is cultivated in villages for its seeds.
Etymology The specific epithet edule means edible, which refers to the fruit. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Seeds)
Food (Herb and Spice : The seed kernel is edible after process of removing the toxic substance, the hydrocyanic acid (cyanide). In Fiji and Papua New Guinea, the seed kernels are washed, fermented and roasted before consumed. In some other areas, the seeds are firstly boiled for a few hours and soaked in water for a few days. Some alternative methods include burying in ash for around 40 days. In Singapore and Malaysia, the seeds are used in Peranakan cuisine such as 'ayam buah keluak' and 'babi buah keluak' while in Indonesia, they are used as ingredients for 'sayur kluwak' and 'soto rawon'.)
Medicinal ( The leaves are said to have medicinal properties to destroy parasitic worm (anthelmintic) and applied on itchy skin caused by parasites. )
Cultural / Religious ( Heritage Trees : There is currently one individual of Pangium edule listed as a Heritage Tree in Singapore. It can be found at Singapore Botanic Gardens. To find out more about these trees, please visit the Heritage Tree Register.)
[Others]: In some parts of Malaysia, the crushed seeds are placed in water to lure and daze fish and shrimps. 

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Spiral
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate)
Foliar Venation Palmate
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Truncate / Square, Cordate
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 40 Tree Dense Canopy

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Green - Light Green
Flower Grouping Solitary, Cluster / Inflorescence
Inflorescence Type Raceme

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Rough
Mature Seed Colour(s) Brown, Silver / Grey
Mature Seed Texture(s) Rough
Seed Description Many seeds, ovate and compressed, grey colour, measuring around 5 cm long.
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Numerous (>20)

Image Repository



Master ID 1757
Species ID 3050
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: 16 September 2021.