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Bromheadia finlaysoniana


Bromheadia finlaysoniana (Lindl.) Miq.

Family Name: Orchidaceae
Synonyms: Coelogyne caulescens, Bromheadia palustris, Bromheadia finlaysoniana var. palustris, Bromheadia palustris var. papuana, Bromheadia sylvestris, Grammatophyllum finlaysonianum
Common Name: Finlayson's Bromheadia, Seramen


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 Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Shrubby
Maximum Height 1 m to 2 m


Native Distribution Indochina, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Terrestrial orchid with creeping underground rhizomes and closely-set erect stems, up to 2m height.
Foliage Leaves strap-shaped, bi-lobed, 12cm by 3cm, wider near base, sessile (stalkless), found along stems except near top of plant.
Flowers Fairly large (7-8cm by 7-8cm), slightly fragrant, petals white to creamy, lower lip purple-veined with yellow centre. Produced in terminal inflorescences (10-15cm tall), each of which may hold up to 50 successively-developing flower buds, but which usually bears 1-2 open flowers at a single time. Flowers open in morning, lasting for a few hours, typically fading by noon or early afternoon. Blooming tends to occur a few days after rain.
Fruit Explosive seedpods with tiny dust-like seeds. Mature seeds formed 8 weeks after flower pollination.
Others - Plant Morphology Local Conservation Status: Native, common, previously sighted at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Kent Ridge Park, Western Catchment, Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong.
Habitat Open dry spots on secondary forest floor, Adinandra Belukar (degraded secondary forest), sometimes on sandy soils near roadsides.
Cultivation Provide well-drained soils. Propagate by seeds.
Etymology Genus epithet 'Bromheadia' named after British landowner and mathematician Sir Edward Thomas Bromhead (1789-1855), best remembered as patron of the self-taught British mathematician and physicist George Green (1793-1841). Species epithet 'finlaysoniana' named in honour of Scottish army surgeon and naturalist Dr George Finlayson (1790-1823), who travelled to Siam and Cochin-China in 1821, and wrote an interesting journal about his experience, which was edited and published after his death by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles (1781-1826).
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Herb or Spice)
Others: Roots boiled into herbal wine and drunk to treat rheumatism and joint pain. Flowers used as heart tonic.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Flowers) (Day)
Landscape Uses Flowerbed / Border
Thematic Landscaping Fragrant / Aromatherapy Garden, Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Explosive Dehiscence)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Storage Organ, Division
Propagation Method Remarks Storage stem: Rhizome


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Raised / Sunken Veins, Thin
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Linear)
Foliar Venation Parallel
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Truncate / Square
Typical Foliar Area Mesophyll ( 45cm2 - 182.25 cm2 )

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Herbaceous
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)
Specialised Storage Organ(s) Underground (Rhizome)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, Purple, White, Yellow / Golden
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Flower Size - Remarks Large, 8cm across
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flowering Opening Time Daytime
Flower Lifespan on Plant [Remarks] (A few hours, opening in morning & closing by noon.)
Flower Lifespan on Plant - Remarks A few hours, opening in morning & closing by noon.
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Dehiscent Dry Fruit , Capsule

Image Repository



Master ID 29433
Species ID 3742
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: 23 February 2022.