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Bulbophyllum vaginatum (Lindl.) Rchb.f.

Family Name: Orchidaceae
Synonyms: Bulbophyllum whiteanum (Rolfe) J.J.Sm.
Common Name: Magrah Batu
Full Shade Semi Shade Little Water Occasional Misting Native to Singapore Suitable for Roadsides Ornamental Flowers Epiphyte


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Epiphyte
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, Java and Maluku.
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, Freshwater Swamp Forest, Riverine)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is an epiphytic orchid, with a creeping and freely branching sympodial growth habit .
Roots Its rhizome bears pseudobulbs, each with one shortly-stalked leaf .
Foliage Its rhizomes bear pseudobulbs. The leaves are borne as one leaf per pseudobulb which are spaced 3 to 5 cm apart. The pseudobulbs are ovoid and yellow. The shortly-stalked, thick leaves are oblong, 2.5–12 by 1.2–2.5 cm, with a bilobed leaf tip and obtuse leaf lobes.
Stems The rhizome has a creeping and freely branching growth habit.
Flowers The flowers are borne on umbels which originate from the base of the pseudobulbs. The flowers sepals and petals are pale yellow. The dorsal sepal is ovate with an acute tip and is ciliate. The lateral sepals are joined together at the base, measuring about 6.5 cm long. The yellow flower lip is oblong, narrowing at the tip and recurved, measuring about 2 mm long. Each flower cluster consists of up to 15 flowers.
Fruits Its fruits are round or oblong-shaped capsules, that ripen brown or black, splitting open to release the tiny, wind-dispersed seeds.
Habitat It grows on the branches and trunks of trees in open areas, lowland forests, as well as freshwater swamp forests.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seeds (in tissue culture), or division of the rhizomes.
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal ( It is reported that the hot juice from the roasted fruits can be used as a cure for ear-ache by dripping it into the ear. )

Landscaping Features

Landscaping The plants flower simultaneously, thereby a branch bearing several plants will produce a very pretty sight. It can be grown as an ornamental epiphyte of trees in gardens, parks or roadsides.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Form
Landscape Uses General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Vertical Greenery / Green Wall
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

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

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Shade
Water Preference Little Water, Occasional Misting
Propagation Method Seed, Division


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery, Thick
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oblanceolate)
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Retuse

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden, Cream / Off-White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Inflorescence Type Umbel
Flowering Period Remarks All the flowers open together in an area due to a stimulus caused by temperature change.

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown, Black
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Capsule

Image Repository



Master ID 29339
Species ID 3648
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: 14 October 2021.