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Scaphium affine


Scaphium affine (Mast.) Pierre

Family Name: Malvaceae
Common Name: Kembang Semangkuk Jantung, Kembang Sa-mangkok, Cheng Teng Plant, Cheng Tng Tree, 胖大海


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
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 45 m


Native Distribution Thailand, Cambodia, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and Borneo
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Mountain, Freshwater Swamp Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree up to 45 m tall.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked leaves have leathery leaf blades that are variable in shape, and 15-25 by 1-12 cm. The young trees have palmately-lobed leaves, and the number of leaf lobes decreases as the tree ages, such that adult trees have unlobed leaves in their crowns.
Flowers Its flowers are white-yellow and about 5 mm wide.
Fruit Its fruits are green-yellow-brown, about 20 cm long, and with boat-shaped wings. Its brownish seeds are ellipsoid, hairless, and 25 by 15 mm.
Habitat It grows on well-drained hillsides, ridges, swamp forests, and sub-montane forests up to 1,200 m altitude. It occurs locally in Nee Soon Swamp Forest, in the vicinity of MacRitchie Reservoir, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, and Pulau Ubin.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated.
Taxonomy Previous name of Scaphium macropodum auct. non (Miq.) Beumée ex K.Heyne misused in Singapore. Current name of Scaphium affine (Mast.) Pierre is applicable to wild plants in Singapore but not necessarily to wild plants elsewhere or to cultivated plants originating elsewhere.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology The genus 'Scaphium' come from the Greek skaphion, which means a small rowboat known as a skiff, referring to the shape of the fruit.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Fruits, Edible Seeds
Food (Fruit & Vegetable): The flesh of the fruit is soaked in water to obtain a jelly like texture and used in a local dessert.
Medicinal: Its seeds are used to treat diarrhea, dysentery, and asthmatic ailments.
Timber & Products: Its timber is used for making furniture.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It may be suitable for roadsides and parks.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Fruits
Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Lots of Water, Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate, Spiral
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Palmately Lobed
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 1821
Species ID 3114
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: 31 October 2022.