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Mitrephora maingayi


Mitrephora maingayi Hook.f & Thomson

Family Name: Annonaceae
Synonyms: Mitrephora vandaeflora var. chartacea, Alphonsea maingayi, Mitrephora obtusa, Mitrephora teysmannii (Scheff.)
Common Name: Nang Daeng, Mempisang, Gopeng, Maingay Mitrephora, 山蕉


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), Small (6m-15m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Oval
Maximum Height 10 m to 15 m
Tree or Palm – Trunk Diameter 1


Native Distribution Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia (Java, Borneo)
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, Monsoon Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Spontaneous (Casual))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Small evergreen tree, typically 10-15m tall in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, reaches up to 30m height in Thailand. Crown oval, with stiffly-spreading branches.
Foliage Shiny dark green above, paler green below, with rusty-tomentose abaxial mid-vein and lateral veins. Young leaves bright light green and velvety-soft. Buds furry rusty-brown. Mature leaf shape rather variable, ranging from elliptical, oblong-elliptical to elliptical-ovate.
Flowers Superficially resembling flowers of certain orchids. Outer petals free, pale yellow, mottled/ speckled red, with curly twisted margins; inner central petals shorter, darker yellow, mottled/ speckled red, fused and folded into a triangular mitriform dome over yellow stigmatic head below, shed with age. Outer and inner petals glabrous to slightly tomentose. Flowers protogynous, transitioning from from female to male phase, upon which outer petals become undulate. Inflorescences extra-axillary (growing outside of leaf axils), contain up to 5 flowers held on short pedicels (flower stalks, 2cm). Flowers open one at a time, giving general impression that they occur singly. Scentless, unlike flowers of other Mitrephora species, or other members of Annonaceae family otherwise well-known for fragrant flowers. Trees seem to bloom regularly at beginning of year (January-Feburary) under local conditions.
Fruit Broadly ovoid, ripening from green to rusty-brown, densely pubescent but less so when mature, containing 4-5 seeds in 2 rows. Fruits appear to be infrequently or not produced in cultivated trees under local suburban conditions.
Others - Plant Morphology Twigs: Pubescent-brown when young, maturing to glabrous black.
Habitat Primary and secondary rainforests, forest edges, inland hills and freshwater swamp forests in Peninsular Malaysia, deciduous monsoonal forests in northern and southern Thailand.
Similar The leaves of this species are similar to those of Polyalthia rumphii.
Cultivation Prefers deep fertile soils. Specimens grown in tight spaces seem to produce smaller and paler foliage. Propagate by air-layering. Propagation by seed is more complicated, as seeds of this species exhibit morphophysiological dormancy -- ie. possessing an embryo less than one-third the size of the seed, and furthermore not fully developed when shed from mother plant. Such seeds require a period of moist warm stratification (to allow complete development), followed by moist chilled stratification (to break physiological dormancy). To hasten germination, place seeds in moist warm place (at least 21 deg C) and then in refrigerator. Seed germination for species reportedly begins only after 6 weeks, with 42% germination upon 40th week of sowing.
Etymology Genus epithet 'Mitrephora' derived from Greek terms 'mitros' (cap) and 'phorus' (bearing), a reference to the distinctive cap-like inner flower petals bore by members of this genus. Species epithet 'teysmannii' named after Dutch botanist and plant collector, Johannes Elias Teijsmann (anglicized Teysmann, 1801-1882), who travelled to Java, Indonesia as a gardener, became curator of Bogor Botanical Gardens in 1830, and spent the next 50 years developing the gardens' collections. Teijsmann was also known for his participation in the Dutch fact-finding expedition to Siam (Thailand), as well as his extensive correspondence that to date awaits a dedicated editor.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Landscape Uses General, Roadside Tree / Palm
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment

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, Air-Layering
Propagule Establishment Remarks Seeds reportedly begins germinating after 6 weeks, with 42% germination rate after 40 weeks (Ng & Sanah, 1979).


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny, Velvety / Furry / Tomentose, Raised / Sunken Veins, Thick
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Elliptical, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute, Acuminate
Foliar Base Acute, Rounded / Obtuse
Typical Foliar Area Mesophyll ( 45cm2 - 182.25 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Remarks Light Green

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root, Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Red, Yellow / Golden
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Flowering Period Once Yearly
Flower Lifespan on Plant Several Days
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Brown


References Turner, I.M. 2014. Annonaceae. Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak. . 8: 1–200

Image Repository



Master ID 1788
Species ID 3081
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: 02 October 2023.

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