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Canarium littorale Blume

Family Name: Burseraceae
Synonyms: Rhus melintangensis Korth. ex Blume, Canarium acutum Engl.
Common Name: Kedondong Bulan

Canarium littorale or Kedondong Bulan is a tall tree that grows to 44 m tall. Kedondong Bulan produce compound leaves, oval to broadly lance-shaped leaflets with smooth to sharply toothed margins. It has greenish yellow flowers and spindle-shaped fruit, each containing 1 - 2 seeds.

Full Sun Lots of Water Moderate Water Native to Singapore Suitable for Roadsides Tree


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Big (>30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Maximum Height 44 m


Native Distribution Borneo, Jawa, Laos, Malaya, Myanmar, Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Mountain, Secondary Rainforest, Freshwater Swamp Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree that grows to 44 m tall, sometimes buttressed.
Foliage Its leaves are compound, stalked, spirally arranged. The oval to broadly lance-shaped leaflets are 3 - 27 cm long and 1 - 9 cm wide. It has smooth to sharply toothed leaf margin, veins are distinctly visible on the underside. Stipules found near the base of the petiole are kidney-shaped, usually hairy about 17 by 12 mm, may fall off early.
Flowers Its flowers are greenish yellow, covered in short fuzzy hairs. The flowering shoots are unisexual, produced at the tip of branches measuring 5 - 40 cm long. Female flowers are held on subracemose inflorescence while male flowers are on a paniculate inflorescence.
Fruits Its fruit is spindle-shaped, fleshy, with elliptic to rounded triangular cross-section. The fruit measures at 4.5 - 7 cm long by 1.5 - 3 cm wide, contains 1 - 2 seeds.
Habitat Occurs in rainforest on dry or swampy soils, under everwet or subseasonal conditions. Mostly at low altitudes, rarely up to 2000m.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Latin Canarium, from the Malay name kanari and the Moluccan name kenari; Latin, littorale, growing by the seashore, referring to one of the habitats this species thrives in.
Ethnobotanical Uses Timber & Products ( The wood is soft, often used as timber to build houses. The resin produced is used as damar or varnish.)

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for streetscapes, parks and gardens.
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

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 Slow
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Papery, Leathery
Foliar Type Compound (Odd-Pinnate)
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Spiral
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oblanceolate, Ovate)
Foliar Venation Recticulate
Foliar Margin Entire, Dentate, Serrate / Toothed
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate, Acute
Foliar Base Cuneate, Cordate

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Monoecious
Flower Colour(s) Green, Yellow / Golden
Flower Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Inflorescence Type Panicle, Raceme

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Drupe
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)


References Leenhouts, P.W., Kalkman, C & Lam, H.J. (1956). Burseraceae. Flora Malesiana, ser. 1 Seed Plants, vol. 5. Leiden: Naturalis Biodiversity Center.

Image Repository



Master ID 29466
Species ID 3775
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: 08 September 2022.