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Dipterocarpus cornutus


Dipterocarpus cornutus Dyer

Family Name: Dipterocarpaceae
Common Name: Keruing Gombang, Keruing Pekat, Keruing Marah Keluang Akas, Keruing Gajah

Dipterocarpus cornutus, also known as Keruing Gombang is a critically endangered tree in Singapore. It has large plicate leaves which are pale yellow with minute hairs on the underside. It produces Keruing timber as well as wood-oil which is used as a varnish for caulking boats and illumination purposes.


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 65 m


Native Distribution Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a large tree with pale coloured bark, possibly up to 65 m tall.
Foliage The leaves are large and broadly elliptic to oblong-ovate (15 – 30 cm long and 7.5 – 18 cm wide). They are leathery with parallel folds (plicate). The upper surface of the leaf is green while the underside is pale yellow or cream with minute hairs. Each leaf has 18 – 21 pairs of lateral veins which are prominent on the underside. The leaf base is obtuse while leaf tip is obtuse or slightly notched (subretuse). The leaf stalk is stout (5 – 8.5 cm long) and the stipule is strap-shaped (20 cm long and 4 cm wide), often bright red coloured with tufted hairs.
Flowers Flowers occur in an unbranched cluster at the axillary position. Each inflorescence is up to 28 cm long and comprises of up to 10 flowers. The flower bud can reach up to 3.5 cm long and 1 cm wide.
Fruits The fruit is woody and winged. Each fruit has 2 longer calyx lobes (about 21 cm long and 5 cm wide) and 3 shorter lobes (about 15 mm long). The calyx tube is almost round (about 2.5 – 3.7 cm long), and warty with large round tubercles.
Habitat It is found in rainforest up to 1000 m altitude.
Associated Fauna Flowers are pollinated by insects.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Genus Dipterocarpus is from Greek words "dipteros" which means "two-winged" and "karpos" which means "fruit" and they refer to the character of the fruit. The specific epithet cornutus, in Latin, means 'horn-shaped’.
Ethnobotanical Uses Timber & Products ( In Malaysia, the timber is used as keruing for medium to heavy construction. The wood is also used to make charcoal. )
[Others]: The trunk is tapped to harvest a wood-oil which is used as a varnish for caulking boats and illumination purposes.

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Reforestation
SGMP Treatment

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

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

Plant Care and Propagation

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


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)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Obtuse, Retuse
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse

Non - Foliar and Storage

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

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flowering Period Every Few Years
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Bumpy / Tuberculate, Leathery
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Indehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Samara
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)



Ashton, P.S. (1982). Dipterocarpaceae. In: van Steenis, C.G.G.J. (ed.) Flora Malesiana, ser.1,vol. 9, part 2, pp. 237–552, 575–600. The Hague/Boston/London: Martinus Nijhoff/Dr. W. Junk Publishers. 

Soerianegara, I., & Lemmens, R.H.M.J. (Editors). 1993. Plant Resources of South-East Asia Volume 5 (1). Timber Trees: Major Commercial Timbers. Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publishers. 610 pages. 

Symington, C.F., Ashton, P.S. & Appanah, S. (2004). In: Barlow, H.S. (ed.) Foresters’ Manual of Dipterocarps. Malayan Forest Records, no. 16, 2nd ed. Kuala Lumpur: Forest Research Institute Malaysia/Malaysian Nature Society


Image Repository



Master ID 29067
Species ID 3384
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: 10 May 2022.