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Dialium indum var. indum


Dialium indum L. var. indum

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Synonyms: Dialium patens Baker
Common Name: Keranji, Velvet Tamarind


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Big (>30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 40 m


Native Distribution Southern Thailand, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, and Java
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree up to 40 m tall.
Foliage Its spirally arranged, stalked, imparipinnate leaves are up to 15.2 cm long. Each has 7–9 pairs of leaflets (pinnae) with leathery blades that are egg-shaped-oblong or egg-shaped-lance-shaped to elliptic, hairless above, sparsely hairy below, and 6–10 by 3–5 cm.
Flowers Its white flowers grow on flowering shoots that are up to 10 cm long.
Fruit Its fruits are round to egg-shaped, sometimes slightly compressed, blue-black, have a brittle, hairy fruit wall, and 1.5–2 by 1–1.5 cm. Its seeds are squarish to kidney-shaped, shiny, and 7–12 by 5 mm.
Habitat It grows in well-drained forests, and sometimes swampy areas up to 1150 m altitude. 
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology The genus Dialium is possibly from the Greek plant name dialion. The specific epithet indum may be a Latin reference to the Indus River.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Fruits
Food (Fruit & Vegetable): Its fruits contain a velvety-textured pulp that tastes similar to tamarind (Tamarindus indica).
Timber & Products: Its wood is used as timber.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for parks.
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Riverine

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 Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site), Well-Drained Soils
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type Compound (Odd-Pinnate)
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate, Spiral
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Lanceolate, Elliptical, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Black
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Indehiscent Dry Fruit , Pod


References <1> Lindsay, S. et al. (2022). Flora of Singapore: Checklist and bibliography. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore 74(Suppl. 1): 3–860.

Image Repository



Master ID 29609
Species ID 3918
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 March 2023.