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Syzygium cerasiforme (Blume) Merr. & L.M.Perry

Family Name: Myrtaceae
Synonyms: Acca lineata, Eugenia lineata, Myrtus lineata, Syzygium longicalyx, Syzygium longiflorum, Eugenia longiflora, Syzygium lineatum (DC.) Merr. & L.M.Perry
Common Name: Common Kelat, Gelam Tikus, Ubah, Benitan Putih, Kecam, Kelat Lapis, Kelat Merah, Kelat Nasi-nasi, Kelat Paya, Kelat Putih, Sekujah, 长花蒲桃
Full Sun Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Plant Butterfly-Attracting Plant Native to Singapore Fruit or Vegetable Herb or Spice Coastal Plant Suitable for Roadsides Fragrant Plant Ornamental Flowers Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
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 Broad / Mushroom / Hemispherical, Conical, Irregular
Maximum Height 10 m to 22 m


Native Distribution Southeast China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei, and Indonesia
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Secondary Rainforest, Riverine, Primary Rainforest, Coastal Forest, Freshwater Swamp Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a small to medium-sized tree, with dense conical to hemispherical crown, typically 10m height, but can reach 22m. Its trunk can attain up to 120 cm in girth size.
Trunk Bark light pinkish to greyish brown in mature specimens, somewhat smooth. In wet ground, trunk may develop basal bunches of short stilt-roots.
Foliage It has opposite stalked leaves that are thinly leathery to leathery, elliptic to lance-shaped, 5–11 cm long by 2–5 cm wide, and each has a pointed leaf tip, 2 veins running parallel to the leaf margin, and many close together side veins.
Flowers It produces bisexual flowers that are 1.3–1.9 cm across, fragrant, usually white or pale green, and are found in up to 10 cm long flower clusters located at the ends of its branches, or axils of its leaves.
Fruits It produces fleshy fruits that are oblong-egg-shaped, up to 1.3 cm long by 1 cm wide, opaque white, and each contains 1 seed. Each seed is oblong-egg-shaped, about 1 cm long by 0.6 cm wide.
Habitat It grows in lowland forest and often by streams, peat swamp forest, and coastal forest.
Similar May be confused with the shorter Syzygium zeylanicum, but the latter can be differentiated by its smaller, dark glossy green mature leaves with less crowded secondary veins and less distinct marginal vein, purplish-red young leaves, smaller white fruits (5 -7mm across), and reddish-brown peeling trunk.
Cultivation Hardy plant, tolerates poor sandy and limestone soils, waterlogged areas and salt-spray. Propagate by seeds, stem cuttings or air-layering.
Etymology Genus epithet 'Syzygium' derived from Greek term 'syzygos' ('joined'), alluding to the opposite paired leaves.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves, Edible Stems)
Food (Herb and Spice;Fruit & Vegetable : The young shoots can be eaten. Fragrant young shoots sometimes eaten with rice like salam (vegetable).)
Medicinal ( Its roots and young shoots shave medicinal properties. Root decoction used as afterbirth tonic for mothers.)
Timber & Products ( It is harvested for timber. White to yellowish-white, strong and durable but prone to splitting. Typically used for posts, rafters and pestles. )
Cultural / Religious ( Heritage Tree There is currently one individual of Syzygium lineatum listed as a Heritage Tree in Singapore. It can be found on Sentosa. To find out more about these trees, please visit the Heritage Tree Register. )
[Others]: Bark can be used for tanning fishing nets.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable to be planted at roadsides, and coastal areas, as it can tolerate hot, sunny, high wind, and frequent salt spray conditions. It also has fragrant, and attractive showy flowers.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Flowers, Foliage, Stems) (Time Independent)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Poor Infertile Soils, Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site), Alkaline high pH Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Moist Soils
Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm, General, Shade Providing Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Coastal, Riverine
Thematic Landscaping Moonlight Garden, Naturalistic Garden
Usage Hazard - Cons Remarks Fallen fruits may cause slipping hazards.

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting (Fruits), Butterfly Food Plant
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
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting, Air-Layering


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Cuneate
Typical Foliar Area Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 ), 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
Bark Colour(s) Light pinkish to greyish brown
Mature Bark Texture Scaly, Cracked
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root, Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Pink, White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Inflorescence Type Panicle
Flowering Opening Time Daytime
Flower Lifespan on Plant 1 Day
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Red, White
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Berry

Image Repository



Master ID 1869
Species ID 3162
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: 08 December 2022.