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Horsfieldia superba (Hook.f. & Thoms.) Warb.

Family Name: Myristicaceae
Synonyms: Myristica superba Hook.f. & Thomson
Common Name: Pendarah, Cabbage-leafed Nutmeg
Full Sun: 6-8h Lots of Water Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Native to Singapore Roadside Tree / Palm Ornamental Foliage Tree


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))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 30 m


Native Distribution Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, and Singapore.
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Freshwater Swamp Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree up to 30 m tall.
Foliage Its alternate, massively-stalked leaves have leathery leaf blades that are elliptic to oblong, and 17-60 cm by 9-28 cm.
Flowers It is a dioecious plant, with each individual tree bearing either female or male flowers. Its flower clusters are up to 15 cm long, bearing small yellow flowers.
Fruits Its capsular fruits are elliptic, up to 5.5 cm long, with a fleshy aril covering the seed.
Habitat It grows in lowland forests as well as swamp forests, up to 400 m altitude.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated. Its fruits are eaten by hornbills.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Horsfieldia, named after Dr. Thomas Horsfield (1773–1859), an American botanist who explored in Malesian islands; Latin superba, magnificent, superb.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for parks and streetscapes for its attractive leaves and form.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Form
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Riverine
SGMP Treatment

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water, Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
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 Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire

Non - Foliar and Storage

Branch Angle (wrt vertical) Horizontal

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Dioecious
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Capsule

Image Repository



Master ID 2007
Species ID 3299
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: 20 April 2020.