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Kayea ferruginea


Kayea ferruginea Pierre

Family Name: Calophyllaceae
Synonyms: Mesua ferruginea (Pierre) Kosterm.
Common Name: Sembawang, Buah Sembawang


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
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular


Native Distribution Peninsular Malaysia
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Riverine)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Presumed Nationally Extinct (NEx))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a large straggly tree.
Foliage Its stalked, leathery leaves are lanceolate with pointed tips, arranged in pairs, 7-23 cm long by 2.5-5 cm wide.
Flowers Its flowers are arranged on axillary racemes, each flower 2-9 cm in diameter, with four round sepals and four white, broad ovate petals which are slightly smaller, and numerous stamens.
Fruit Its fleshy fruits are round, with enlarged, leathery sepals that are covered with small brown hairs that cover most of the fruit except at the tip.
Habitat It grows along streams and flowing rivers in forests.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are pollinated by insects.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green

Image Repository



Master ID 1928
Species ID 3220
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: 09 December 2022.