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Rubroshorea parvifolia


Rubroshorea parvifolia (Dyer) P.S.Ashton & J.Heck.

Family Name: Dipterocarpaceae
Synonyms: Shorea parvifolia Dyer

Rubroshorea parvifolia or Light Red Meranti is a large emergent tree native to Singapore. Growing to a height of 65 m tall, it has buttresses, round to dome-shaped crown. Leaves are slightly leathery, egg to narrowly egg-shaped with 10 - 14 pairs of slightly curved veins. Flowers are clustered in 8 (more or less), strongly fragrant, white to cream coloured, 5 overlapping petals with gradual hints of pink from the base. The fruit is a 5-winged nut with 3 long lobes and 2 short lobes, sparsely hairy while the nut is oval to round with a tail-like tip. When young, the winged fruit is light pink, drying to brown upon maturity.


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Big (>30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Plant Shape Rounded
Maximum Height 65 m


Native Distribution Thailand, Malesia, Sumatra, Borneo, Singapore
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a large emergent tree with buttresses that can grow to 65 m tall. It lacks stilt roots, and have a round to dome-shaped crown.
Foliage Leaves are slightly leathery, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, occasionally with a pair of large, pale, scale-like domatia held on a petiole measuring 1 - 1.5 cm long. It has 10 - 14 pairs of slightly curved lateral veins, barely raised below. The midrib is narrow and sunken from above. Numerous parts of the foliage including young twigs, buds, stipule, petiole and the top surface of the midrib may be covered in pale brown, short fine hairs.
Flowers Flowers are held on an inflorescence of 12 cm long, bearing around 8 flowers, found along the axils or tips of the branches. The flowers are strongly fragrant, white to cream coloured, gradual hints of pink from the base. When developing, the buds consist of 3 outer lobes and 2 inner lobes which are densely covered in short, fine hairs on the outside. Petals are oblong to elliptic, united and overlapping at the base measuring to 8 mm long by 3 mm wide.
Fruit The fruit is a 5-winged seed, 3 long lobes at 5 - 9 cm long by 0.9 - 1.5 cm wide and 2 shorter lobes at 1 - 2.5 cm long by 0.2 cm wide. It is sparsely hairy, single-seeded, the nut is oval to round, tail-like tip, measuring 0.8 - 1.3 cm long by 0.7 - 0.9 cm wide. When young, the winged seed are light pink and dries to brown upon maturity.
Habitat Occurs in forest, commonly found within mixed dipterocarp forest <1,2,4>
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed. During the sapling stage, it shows tolerance to semi-shade conditions. As it matures, the species thrives in areas with full sun conditions, lack of pronounced water stress with fertile soils.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits, Fragrant (Flowers)

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) ( , Insects (Ant, Beetle, Fly, Thrip, Wasp))
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Gravity)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Slow
Rootzone Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Lanceolate)
Foliar Venation Recticulate
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate, Caudate
Foliar Base Cuneate, Cordate, Rounded / Obtuse

Floral (Angiosperm)

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

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Indehiscent Dry Fruit , Nut / Nutlet
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)



<1> Ashton, P.S. (2004), Shorea. In: Trees of Sabah and Sarawak vol. 5, pp. 306-308. Kuala Lumpur: Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM).

<2> Ashton, P.S. & Arboretum, A. (1982). Dipterocarpaceae. In: Flora Malesiana, ser. 1, Seed Plants, vol. 9, pp. 237-547. Leiden: Rjksherbarium.

<3> Ashton, P.S. & Heckenhauer, J. (2022). Tribe Shoreae (Dipterocarpaceae subfamily Dipterocarpoideae) finally dissected. Kew Bull. 77: 885–903.

<4> Ridley, H.N. (1922). The Flora of The Malay Peninsula, vol. 1, pp.224-225. London: L.Reeve & Co.

Image Repository



Master ID 30412
Species ID 4721
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: 20 May 2024.