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Rubroshorea platycarpa


Rubroshorea platycarpa (F.Heim) P.S.Ashton & J.Heck.

Family Name: Dipterocarpaceae
Synonyms: Shorea platycarpa F.Heim, Shorea palustris Ridl. 
Common Name: Meranti Paya

Rubroshorea platycarpa, also known as Meranti Paya, is a critically endangered tree in Singapore. It can reach up to 50 m tall and have a shallowly hemispherical crown as well as a deeply fissured bark. It produces pale-yellow resin and the wood can be used for both light and medium duty construction.


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Broad / Mushroom / Hemispherical
Maximum Height 50 m


Native Distribution Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia and Borneo
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree, up to 50 m tall, and 1.2 m diameter. It has large buttresses that can reach up to 4 m tall and shallowly hemispherical crown. The bark is grey to pinkish brown and deeply fissured to crumbly flaky. It produces a pale-yellow resin, called dammar. Young branches are densely covered with brown persistent stiff hairs.
Foliage The leaves are elliptic-oblong to broadly ovate (9 – 17 cm long and 5.5 – 10 cm wide), thinly leathery and in alternate arrangement. The leaf tip is pointed (up to 1 cm long) while the leaf base is obtuse leaf base. Each leaf has 16 – 20 pairs of lateral veins which are mostly straight and curved near the leaf margin. The midrib is almost flat above and prominent on the underside of the leaf. Young leaves have pale scale-like domatia along the midrib. The petiole is about 1.5 – 2 cm long and densely covered with brown persistent stiff hairs.
Flowers Inflorescence is about 9 cm long, densely covered with brown persistent stiff hairs and occurs at the terminal ends or leaf axis. Flower have pale yellow petals and 15 stamens with sub-globose anther. The connectival appendage is as long as the anthers and gradually becoming reflexed. Ovary and stylopodium are narrowly ovoid. The style is about the same length as the ovary.
Fruits Fruit is winged, dry and are borne almost without a stalk (subsessile). Each fruit comprises of three long calyx lobes (up to 6.5 cm long and 1.2 cm wide), two shorter lobes (up to 2 cm long) and one oval-shaped nut (0.8 cm long and 0.6 cm wide). The nut is densely covered with dull yellow-brown hairs.
Habitat It is found in peat swamp forests.
Similar Rubroshorea platycarpa is similar to Rubroshorea leprosula (synonym: Shorea leprosula) and differs in terms of the hairs on the underside of the leaf and numbers of lateral veins. On the underside of the mature leaf, R. platycarpa has sparse stiff hairs (scabrid) while R. leprosula has dense soft hairs (pubescent). In addition, R. platycarpa has 16 – 20 pairs of lateral veins while R. leprosula has 12 – 15 pairs.
Associated Fauna Flowers are pollinated by insects.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology The specific epithet platycarpa is Greek for flattened fruit, perhaps referring to the fruit calyx.
Ethnobotanical Uses Timber & Products ( The timber is used as light or dark red meranti. It is used for both medium or light duty construction such as flooring, furniture, door and window frames, rafters, weatherboarding and boat building. )

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils, Waterlogged Soils
Landscape Uses Reforestation

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate to Slow
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Mature Bark Texture Fissured, Peeling / Flaking / Papery
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary, Terminal
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Saucer-shaped
Inflorescence Type Panicle
Flowering Period Every Few Years
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Indehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Samara
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)



Ashton, P.S. (1982). Dipterocarpaceae. In: van Steenis, C.G.G.J. (ed.) Flora Malesiana, ser.1, vol. 9, part 2, pp. 237–552, 575–600. The Hague/Boston/London: Martinus Nijhoff/Dr. W. Junk Publishers. 

Ashton, P.S. (2004). Dipterocarpaceae. In: Soepadmo, E., Saw L.G. & Chung, R.C.K. (eds) Tree Flora of Sabah Sarawak, vol. 5, pp. 63–388. Malaysia: Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)/Sabah Forestry Department/Sarawak Forestry Department.

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

Keng, H. (1990). The Concise Flora of Singapore: Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons. Singapore: Singapore University Press.


Image Repository



Master ID 30414
Species ID 4723
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: 17 March 2023.