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Chonemorpha fragrans


Chonemorpha fragrans (Moon) Alston

Family Name: Apocynaceae
Synonyms: Chonemorpha macrophylla G. Don, Chonemorpha penangensis Ridl., Chonemorpha elliptica Merr. & Rolfe, Chonemorpha grandieriana Pierre ex Spire, Chonemorpha macrantha Pit.
Common Name: Frangipani Vine, Akar Gerip Merah, Akar Gerit-Gerit Merah, Akar Gerit Merah, 大叶鹿角藤

Chonemorpha fragrans (Frangipani Vine) is a native climber with sweetly-scented flowers and large oval leaves. While the showy, creamy-white flowers bear some resemblance to the Frangipani (Plumeria obtusa), this species is not a tree but a woody climber that can grow up to 20 m! It grows well with support such as on pergolas and adds a luxurious, tropical feel to gardens.


Family Name
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Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Chromosome Number 20
Maximum Height 20 m


Native Distribution Himalaya to Western and Central Malesia.
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, Monsoon Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a latex-containing climber or liana up to 20 m long, its branchlets are sparsely to densely covered with hair, and lenticillate.
Foliage Its latex-containing, opposite, stalked leaves have leathery leaf blades that are round, oval or drop-shaped with a rounded or pointed tip and a heart-shaped to narrowed base, 4–38 by 2.8–35 cm, and densely covered with hair.
Flowers Its fragrant, tubular flowers are cream or white, 1.8–6.5 by 4.2–13 cm, hairless or hairy, and are arranged in many-flowered, 10–30 cm long clusters at the ends of branches.
Fruits Its fruits are spindle-shaped, flattened, hairless or hairy, and 18–40 by 1–2.3 cm.
Habitat It grows in lowland forests, scrub habitats and karst limestone. It occurs in Nee Soon Swamp Forest, and in the vicinity of Upper Seletar Reservoir.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated.
Cultivation It may be suitable for parks. It can be propagated by seed. Plant requires support.
Etymology Greek chone, a funnel; Greek morphe, form, referring to the shape of the corolla; Latin fragrans, referring to the fragrant flowers.
Ethnobotanical Uses Cultural / Religious ( The sweet-scented flowers are given to guests at weddings, and Malay women wear the flowers in their hair.)
[Others]: The white latex can be used as rubber. The plant’s bark is scraped to obtain fibre which is said to be very durable in both fresh and salt water. However, the bark and leaves of this plant are poisonous.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping Suitable for pergolas and on strong support system, for its ornamental and fragrant flowers.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Flowers)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola
Thematic Landscaping Fragrant / Aromatherapy Garden
Usage Hazard - Cons Toxic Upon Ingestion, Irritant - Sap

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Butterfly Food Plant, Bird Attracting

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Drought / Semi-Deciduous
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Hairy / Hirsute, Leathery
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green
Young Flush Texture(s) Hairy / Hirsute
Foliar Modification Trichome / Hair
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Mucronate
Foliar Base Cordate

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, White
Flower Texture(s) Waxy
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Funnelform / Funnel-shaped
Inflorescence Type Cyme
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flowering Opening Time Daytime

Image Repository



Master ID 29504
Species ID 3813
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: 16 September 2022.