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Guioa pubescens


Guioa pubescens (Z. & M.) Radlk.

Family Name: Sapindaceae
Common Name: Senyamok

Guioa pubescens or Senyamok is a small to medium sized tree that is native to Singapore. Growing up to 25 m tall, it produces leaflets with an asymmetrical base and veinlets joined in loops, raised below. Flowers are white to yellow, cup-shaped covered in fine hairs on the exterior. The fruit is a 3-lobed capsule that spilt at the base when dried, revealing black dangling seeds covered in a yellow seed covering.


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 (Small (6m-15m), Medium (16m-30m))
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 25 m


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

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a small to medium sized tree that can grow from 2 - 25 m tall.
Foliage Leaves are evenly-pinnate, up to 6 pairs of leaflets. The leaflets are leathery, egg-shaped to elliptic, often slightly sickle-shaped measuring 2.9 - 20 cm long by 0.8 - 7.2cm wide. Leaflets have an asymmetrical base, veinlets are raised below with its ends joined in loops. Pimple-like (papillate) impressions are found on the underside of the leaflets, likewise the underside is covered in fine silky hairs.
Flowers Flowers are borne on an inflorescence produced along the axils. Flowers are small, round, 5-petalled, white to yellow coloured measuring 3.5 mm - 4.5 mm wide. The outer surface of the sepals and petals are covered in fine hairs.
Fruits The fruit is a 3-lobed capsule that splits at the base when matured. The fruit is sparsely covered in short fine hairs, smooth, lobes are laterally flattened. Each capsule measures 1 - 1.5 cm long and 1 - 1.9 cm wide. The fruit is red when fresh, turning blackish when dried. Upon ripening, it splits open at the base to reveal dangling black seeds enclosed completely in a yellow seed covering (arillode).
Habitat Occurs in primary, secondary forest, kerangas, dipterocarp forests, peat swamp forest, uncommon in coastal forest. Altitude from sea level to 1800 m. <1,2>
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Latin Guioa is named after Jose Guio; a Spanish botanical artist in 18th Century. Latin pubescens, soft-hairy, with reference to the fruit.

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type Compound (Even-Pinnate)
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Spiral
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical, Ovate)
Foliar Venation Recticulate
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate, Caudate, Cuspidate, Mucronate
Foliar Base Oblique / Asymmetrical, Attenuate

Non - Foliar and Storage

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

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Capsule
Mature Seed Colour(s) Black



<1> Welzen P.C.van (1994) Guioa. In: Adema, F., Leenhouts, P.W. & Welzen, P.C.van (ed.) Flora Malesiana, ser. 1, Seed Plants, vol. 11(3), pp.591-592. Leiden: Rijksherbarium.

<2> Welzen, P.C.van (2017). Sapindaceae. Flora of Peninsular Malaysia, ser. 2, Seed Plants, vol. 6, pp. 111 - 112. Selangor: Forest Research Institute Malaysia.

Image Repository



Master ID 29931
Species ID 4240
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: 05 June 2023.