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Pterospermum diversifolium


Pterospermum diversifolium

Family Name: Malvaceae
Synonyms: Pterospermum hastatum Blanco, Pterospermum acerifolium auct. non. Willd. <3>
Common Name: Bayu, Bayur Jantan

Pterospermum diversifolium or Bayu is a tree native to Singapore. Growing to 20 m tall, it produce hairy, oblong-obovate, oblong or palmately lobed leaves. In younger leaves, the underside could appear white, while mature foliage have a straw coloured to yellowish-brown underside. Flowers are white, fragrant, 5-petalled, held on an inflorescence. The fruit is a woody capsule that splits to reveal flattened winged seeds.


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Medium (16m-30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 20 m


Native Distribution India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, West Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, Sumbawa, Maluku and the Philippines
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Secondary Rainforest, Riverine)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree up to 20 m tall. Several parts of the tree are covered in straw-coloured to yellowish-brown hairs.
Foliage Leaves are leathery, broadly spoon-shaped (oblong-obovate) to elongated (oblong), measuring 9.5 - 28 cm long by 6 - 14.5 cm wide, attached to a stalk up to 45 mm long. Leaves have a straw-coloured to yellowish-brown underside, the underside of younger leaves might occasionally be white. Margins are slightly wavy, with a heart-shaped base. Orthotropic shoots have palmately lobed leaves, leaf stalk are longer, attached near the center of the leaf blade (sub-peltate), measuring to 250 mm in length.
Flowers Flowers are held on an inflorescence, white, fragrant, 5-petalled. Petals are asymmetrical, spoon-shaped, broad and short measuring 80 - 140 mm long. Sepals consist of 5, hairy, yellow to green coloured, tend to longer than the petals measuring 100 - 150 mm long.
Fruit The fruit is an angular, spindle-shaped or elongated, woody capsule measuring 5–14 cm long, 1.1–4.5 cm wide. Upon maturity, it splits into 5 parts revealing smooth, winged seeds within.
Habitat Occurs by the riverside, secondary forests up to 1000 m altitude. <1,2>
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated.
Etymology Greek pteron, a wing; Greek sperma, a seed, hence winged seed; Latin diversifolium, with different kinds of foliage, referring to the varied leaf blade shapes
Ethnobotanical Uses Others: It is a source of timber, and is also used to make paper.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage

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, Yellow / Golden, Brown, White
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate, Spiral
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oblong, Obovate, Palmate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed, Palmately Lobed
Foliar Apex - Tip Cuspidate
Foliar Base Cordate

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground

Floral (Angiosperm)

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

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Brown
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Leathery
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type



<1> Ganesan, S.K., Middleton, D.J. & Wilkie, P. (2019). A revision of Pterospermum (Malvaceae: Dombeyoideae) in Malesia. Edinburgh Journal of Botany 77(2): 1-81.

<2> Ridley, H.N. et al. (1922). The Flora of Malay Peninsula, vol. 1, pp. 282-283. London: L. Reeve & Co., Ltd.

<3> Rolfe, R.A. & A.L.S. (1885). Supplementary List of Philippines Plants. Journal of Botany 23: 211. London: West, Newman & Co., Printers.


Image Repository



Master ID 30311
Species ID 4620
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: 07 May 2024.