Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website


Dendrolobium umbellatum (L.) Benth.

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Synonyms: Hedysarum umbellatum L., Desmodium umbellatum (L.) DC.
Common Name: Dendulang, Petai Belalang, Petai Laut, Sea Dendrolobium, 伞花假木豆
Full Sun: 6-8h Lots of Water Moderate Water Native to Singapore Fruit & Vegetable Herb & Spice Coastal Roadside Tree / Palm Ornamental Foliage Woody Tree


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Small (6m-15m)), Shrub (Woody)
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 6 m


Native Distribution East Africa to tropical Asia to northern Australia and the southwest Pacific
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Secondary Rainforest, Monsoon Forest, Coastal Forest, Grassland / Savannah/ Scrubland, Inland Cliff, Riverine), Shoreline (Mangrove Forest, Sandy Beach, Rocky Beach)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status 1 Native to Singapore (Common)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a shrub or tree up to 6 m tall.
Foliage Its pinnate, stalked leaves have leaflets that are elliptic to broadly egg-shaped, the underside of which are covered with fine hairs. The terminal leaflet is 5–17 by 2.5–8.5 cm, and the lateral leaflets 3–11 by 1.5–6 cm.
Flowers Its flowering cluster consists of 10–20, 13 mm-long, white flowers.
Fruits Its thick, elongated, leathery fruit pods consist of 3–8 segments that are 1-seeded, broadly elliptical-oblong to oblong, and 5–10 by 3.5–5 mm.
Habitat It grows on rocky or sandy seashores or tidal mud, monsoon forest edges, river banks, rocky cliffs, savanna, and secondary forests from sea level up to 180 m altitude.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seeds.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The young leaves are sometimes eaten as a vegetable or used as a seasoning.;Herb and Spice)
Medicinal ( It is used medicinally for treating gonorrhoea, irregular menstruation, scaly skin, as after childbirth medicine, as a general tonic, etc.)
[Others]: The plant is also used for cattle fodder.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is a bushy plant, with pink young leaves, suitable for hedges or screening. It can tolerate brackish water and salt spray so it’s suitable for coastal sites. It is a shrub or tree suitable for gardens, parks and roadsides for borders or screens.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Form
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site), Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Poor Infertile Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils, Easy to Grow
Landscape Uses Coastal, General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Beachfront / Shoreline, Hedge / Screening

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, Lots of Water
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Pink
Foliar Type Compound (Even-Pinnate)
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Individual Flower Shape Papilionaceous / Pea-shaped

Fruit, Seed & Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Legume / Pod

Image Repository



Master ID 29607
Species ID 3916
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: 20 April 2020.