Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website


Lumnitzera racemosa Willd.

Family Name: Combretaceae
Common Name: White Teruntum, Teruntum Bunga Putih, 榄李
Full Sun Lots of Water Butterfly Host Plant Native to Singapore Coastal Plant Fragrant Plant Ornamental Flowers Ornamental Leaves Shrub 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
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Conical
Maximum Height 8 m


Native Distribution Eastern Africa to Southeast Asia (including Singapore), Australia, and the Pacific Islands
Native Habitat Shoreline (Mangrove Forest, Sandy Beach, Rocky Beach)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a shrub, or tree up to 8 m tall, without the knee-shaped, upright breathing roots (pneumatophores) at its base.
Foliage Its spirally arranged, almost stalkless leaves have fleshy leaf blades that are usually narrowly drop-shaped, and 2–9 by 1–2.5 cm, with wedge-shaped bases.
Flowers Its stalkless white flowers are fragrant, and found on flowering shoots from the leaf axils.
Fruits Its fruits are blackish-brown when ripe, oval or egg-shaped, slightly compressed on one side, two- or three-ridged, and 10–12 by 3–8 mm.
Habitat It grows in mangrove forest, and on rocky, muddy or sandy coasts. It occurs locally in Western Catchment Nature Reserve and Pulau Ubin amongst other sites.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated. It is also the preferred local food plant for caterpillars of the common tit butterfly (Hypolycaena erylus teatus), and the moth Trabala vishnou. The adults of the common tit butterfly lay eggs singly on leaves, stems or young shoots of the plant.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Latin Lumnitzera, commemorating St. Lumnitzer (1750–1806), a Hungarian botanist; Latin racemosa, flowers growing in racemes, referring to the plant’s racemose flowering shoot consisting of a central axis with stalked flowers along it, with the youngest at the tip and the older ones progressively lower
Ethnobotanical Uses [Others]: The plant is cultivated for its conical crown and beautiful white flowers. The bark can be used for tanning.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping Its tolerance of brackish or fresh water makes the tree suitable for planting on the banks of water bodies and damp ground in public parks.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Form, Fragrant
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site, Does not Drain Site), Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Fertile Loamy Soils, Heavy Clay Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Coastal, Beachfront / Shoreline, Riverine, Pond / Lake / River, Marsh / Bog

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Food Plant (Leaves)
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

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


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Thick
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate, Spiral
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Non-Accessory Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 30102
Species ID 4411
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 August 2022.