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Endospermum diadenum


Endospermum diadenum (Miq.) Airy Shaw

Family Name: Euphorbiaceae
Synonyms: Endospermum ovalifolium Pax & K.Hoffm., Endospermum chinense auct. non Benth. <3>, Endospermum malaccense Benth. ex Müll.Arg.
Common Name: Membulan, Seduduk-seduduk

Endospermum diadenum or Membulan is a large tree native to Singapore. Growing to 40 m tall, it has thick buttresses, leaves are spoon, egg or heart-shaped with a hairy underside. Flowers are white, dioecious, tiny, tubular, borne on an inflorescence found along the axils. The male flowers have a soapy fragrance, clustered together while the female flowers are held singly along the inflorescence. The fruit is a round capsule that turns yellow, wrinkly when matured.


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))
Maximum Height 40 m


Native Distribution Peninsular Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo and Singapore
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, Freshwater Swamp Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Vulnerable (VU))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a large tree that reaches to 40 m tall with thick buttresses.
Foliage Leaves are spoon to egg or heart-shaped, leathery, measuring 7-25 cm long by 4-22 cm wide with a hairy underside. The younger parts are covered in short fine hairs. A pair of glands is found at the point of insertion of the petiole. The petiole measures to 5 cm long. In young saplings, the leaves are peltate where the petiole is attached to the blade.
Flowers Borne on an inflorescence of up to 17 cm long, found along the axils. Flowers are dioecious where the male and female flowers are produced on the different individuals. The flowers are tiny, tubular, sepals with 3 - 5 irregular lobes. The male flowers are very fragrant, with a soapy smell, clustered together, unstalked, while the female flowers are held singly along the inflorescence, hairy on the outside, held on a 1.5 - 5mm stalk.
Fruit The fruit is a round capsule that do not spilt upon maturity. Measuring 0.85 mm wide, turns from green to yellow, wrinkly when dry.
Habitat Occurs in primary forest, secondary forest on low undulating areas, along streams and occasionally on permanently flooded sites up to 1000 m altitude. <1,2,4>
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Ethnobotanical Uses Timber & Products: The timber is an essential source of sesendok; it is one of the preferred timbers to manufacture clogs shoes.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Fragrant (Flowers)

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna) (Vertebrates (Other Mammal))

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water, Lots of Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Spiral
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Orbicular / Round)
Foliar Venation Recticulate
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute, Rounded
Foliar Base Cordate, Rounded / Obtuse, Truncate / Square, Acute

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Woody

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Unisexual Flowers , Dioecious
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Wrinkled
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)


References <1> Chayamarit, K & Van Welzen, P.C. (2005). Euphorbiaceae. Flora of Thailand vol. 8(1), pp. 255-256. Bangkok: The Forest Herbarium, National Park Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department.

<2> Ridley, H.N. et al. (1924). Endospermum. In: The Flora of Malay Peninsula, vol. 3, pp. 305-306. London: L. Reeve & Co.

<3> Ridley, H.N. (1900). The Flora of Singapore. J. Straits Branch Roy. Asiat. Soc. 33: 142.
<4> Soerianegara, I. and Lemmens, R.H.M.J. (Editors) (1993). Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 5(1): Timber trees; Major commercial timbers. Bogor, Indonesia: PROSEA Foundation.

Image Repository



Master ID 29678
Species ID 3987
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: 21 May 2024.