Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Leea guineensis


Leea guineensis G. Don

Family Name: Vitaceae
Synonyms: Leea manillensis Walpers.
Common Name: West Indian Holly, 台湾火筒树


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
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular


Native Distribution Tropical Africa, Madagascar, India, Myanmar and South East Asia.  
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, Grassland / Savannah/ Scrubland)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A tree, it can grow up to 10m in height and can be cultivated as a shrub. 
Foliage The leaves are pinnately compound and have obovate stipules. The young leaves are reddish-green in colour and turn to green as the leaves mature. The leaflets are  elliptic to lance shaped and have a rounded base with a caudate apex and a dentate margin. 
Flowers The flowers are borne on a cyme and are red to reddish-orange in colour. 
Fruit The fruits comes in the form of red berries when mature.  
Habitat It grows in forests and shrublands in its native range.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are pollinated by insects and butterflies. Fruits are eaten by birds.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed or stem cutting.
Etymology Latin Leea, a name for tropical small trees or shrubs named for James Lee (1715–1795), who was a nurseryman; Latin guineensis, from West Africa (Guinea Coast), referring to one of the countries within its natural distribution range.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for landscaping in gardens and parks.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird-Attracting, Butterfly-Attracting
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Transplanting Tolerance Good
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Red
Foliar Type Compound
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Lanceolate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Apex - Tip Caudate
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Orange, Red
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Inflorescence Type Cyme

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Fleshy Fruit , Non-Accessory Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 30062
Species ID 4371
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: 14 October 2021.