Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Ochrosia oppositifolia


Ochrosia oppositifolia (Lam.) K.Schum.

Family Name: Apocynaceae
Synonyms: Cerbera oppositifolia Lam., Neisosperma oppositifolium (Lam.) Fosb. & Sach.
Common Name: Twin-Apple

Ochrosia oppositifolia or Twin-Apple is a tall tree that can grow to 60 m tall. This native tree exudates a white milky sap when bruised, has spoon-shaped leaves and whitish to cream white flowers.


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))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 60 m


Native Distribution Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Andaman Islands, Thailand, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Borneo, Java, Sulawesi, Moluccas, New Guinea, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga.
Native Habitat Terrestrial, Shoreline
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Presumed Nationally Extinct (NEx))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree, up to 60 m tall, with white, milky latex when bruised.
Foliage Leaves are 3 - 5 whorled, spoon-shaped and rarely elliptic. They are between 6.5 - 36 cm long by 3.4 - 18 cm wide. Each leaf has 21 - 42 pairs of secondary veins which form a distinct submarginal vein that is close to the leaf margin.
Flowers Occurring in whorls of 2 - 4, inflorescence can reach 2 - 17 cm long and comprises of more than 30 flowers in each inflorescence. Flowers are whitish or yellowish white, tubular and 5-petalled. They are glabrous outside and covered with short dense hairs on the inside.
Fruit The fruit comprises of 2 oval to elliptic (sometimes almost round), single-seeded capsule which ripens from green to yellow or orange.
Similar It occurs in primary or old secondary forest, hill slopes, river margins or swamps.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are pollinated by insects.
Etymology Genus Ochrosia, in Greek, means pale-yellow, referring to the whitish flowers. Latin oppositifolia, means leaves arranged in pairs, opposite to each other on the stem, referring to the leaf arrangement in the species.
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal: It is used to treat fever and stomach problems in Vietnam folk medicine.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping The plant resembles a more neatly branching frangipani (Plumeria species or hybrids). It is a tree suitable for gardens, parks and possibly roadsides.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Form, Fragrant (Flowers)
Landscape Uses General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Coastal, Beachfront / Shoreline

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
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green - Light Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite, Whorled
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate, Retuse, Rounded

Non - Foliar and Storage

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

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers , Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White, Cream / Off-White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal, Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Inflorescence Type Cyme
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Orange, Yellow / Golden
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)


References Middleton, D.J. & Rodda, M. (2019). Apocynanceae. Flora of Singapore, vol. 13, pp. 421-630. Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens: National Parks Board.

Image Repository



Master ID 30185
Species ID 4494
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: 13 September 2023.