Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Pentace triptera


Pentace triptera Mast.

Family Name: Malvaceae
Common Name: Melunak Pusat Beludu, Balong Ayam, Medang Serai, Melunak, Sepa Petri


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 45 m


Native Distribution Thailand, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and Borneo
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a large tree up to 45 m tall.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked leaves have slightly leathery leaf blades that are oval to egg-shaped-oval, 6-16 by 3.5-9 cm, hairless above, and scaly below. Its midribs are sunken above. The juvenile leaves have widely spaced serrated leaf margins at the top half of the leaves.
Flowers Its green-whitish flowers are about 6 mm wide, and grow on flowering shoots that are about 20 cm long.
Fruit Its green or pink fruits are oblong, and about 1.5 by 3.4 cm, with three membranous wings each.
Habitat It grows on sandy to clayey soils on hillsides, alluvial sites, and in forests up to 400 m altitude.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Greek pent, five, referring to the five wings on the fruit of some species; Greek triptera, three-winged, referring to the three membranous wings on the fruits.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It may be suitable for parks, streetscapes and gardens.
Landscape Uses General, Suitable for Roadsides, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

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
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Oval, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire, Serrate / Toothed
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Green - Light Green, White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Green - Light Green, Pink
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Indehiscent Dry Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 1765
Species ID 3058
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 August 2022.